While we’re in the Unimog mood, here is a fun look back to the recent past for the 60 Years design concept. This sought to strip the Unimog to its core, function-required elements. Enhancing the insane wheel travel and semi-flexible chassis with showy red springs visible easily through the giant front fender/hood combination.
Deconstruction and modernization are the clearest themes visible in this design. The bodywork is pared to the bare minimum, while the roll cage for the passenger cell becomes the only structural element of the open-air cabin. Similarly flowing new frame rails swoop upward around the rear suspension and make great ground clearance simply epic. The open cab is actually a nice throwbacl to the original 1951 model in its roofless layout.
The original did not have this wild, expressive panel shaping to its face, however! We can see the advanced design concepts looking beautiful on the eventual production models influenced by this concept: the latest U4000 and U5000 models with their full-width, single bar grille.
The color itself also references that original tall-tractor design that has proved so resilient after all these years.
Concept Flashback – 2011 Unimog 50th Anniversary Design Concept
“60 Years Mercedes-Benz Unimog”: A spectacular design concept for the jubilee
Stuttgart / Wörth on Rhein – The unit Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks (MBS), which includes the product ranges Unimog, Econic and Zetros, presented a spectacular design concept on the occasion of the ceremony “60 Years Mercedes-Benz Unimog” on 3 June 2011 at the Daimler plant in Wörth. It has an impressive, dynamic and extremely expressive “face” corresponding to the future form language of Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle design. The design concept combines the past and future of the Unimog in an extremely avantgardist way. “We have taken the Unimog-DNA with its unique concept features to 100 percent into consideration when creating this design concept,” says Bertrand Janssen from the Daimler department for commercial vehicle design. Furthermore, this design concept gives the observer sufficient room for thought to interpret its technical innovations. To cut a long story short, it is literally an unsually idea to make one think about the Universal-Motor-Gerät (Unimog) of the future. And Yaris Pürsün, Director of the Mercedes-Benz Plant at Wörth and Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks, is visibly enthusiastic about this new interpretation of the Unimog idea by the commercial vehicle designers and the project team responsible. “The result is a complete success. At Mercedes Benz Special Trucks we decided to construct a design concept because we are of the opinion that such a vehicle will act as a bridge between the progressive strength of self-renewal that has distinguished the Unimog programme for 60 years and the future design of the coming generations of products.”
The four same-size wheels make a strong optical impression with their five star alu-rim design. Bertrand Janssen emphasises, ” On no account did we work in an atmosphere where our ideas were divorced from reality. Here we have a vehicle which is puristic, but still clearly true to concept – with the claim, that some of its details will turn up in coming product ranges in future. We continued to take up the most important Unimog features which have characterised the vehicle for the last 60 years and which will also characterise it in future – features such as portal axles, coil springs or the frame concept.” The design concept “60 Years Unimog” is not however a prototype for a new product range. But it becomes quite clear that the Mercedes-Benz Unimog will still continue to have an innovative character in future and will still possess a high degree of versatility in design and type of construction. It is after all a unique vehicle concept.
Michael Dietz, Head of Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks makes it clear. “During the last 60 years our Unimog has made a name for itself worldwide as an ambassador and image-carrier for the brand Mercedes-Benz. Whether working for numerous municipalities and contractors in Europe, under extreme conditions exploring for oil in the Taklamakan desert in China or for example as a motorhome “down under”, the design concept is a forward projection of these unique Unimog-DNA and is impressive proof of the innovative power of Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks.” Because of this, Yaris Pürsün pays the whole team a compliment. “Each of them brought his own competence to the project to the best of his ability. From the very beginning there was a unique spirt of cooperation. It has been a very emotional project which we all became very attached to.” And in one very important point the design concept for the jubilee year 2011 and the very first Mercedes-Benz Unimog of the product range 2010 which rolled off the band on 3 Juni 1951 at the Gaggenau plant have something very obvious in common: Both vehicles are open – really genuine cabrios.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.
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