As part of the "60 Years Mercedes-Benz Unimog" jubilee, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks (MBS) unveiled the "Concept Design 60 Years Unimog" at Daimler’s Worth truck plant in Germany on June 3, 2011. Underpinned by the Unimog U 5000 chassis, the Mercedes-Benz Unimog Concept features a dynamic and expressive "face" consistent with Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle design’s future form language. The new Mercedes-Benz Unimog Concept essentially fuses the Unimog’s past and future and presents it in a very avant-garde manner. Bertrand Janssen, of the Daimler department for commercial vehicle design, quipped that in creating the Concept Design 60 Years Unimog, they fully considered the unique concept of the Universal-Motor-Gerat (Unimog) DNA.
In addition, the new Concept Design 60 Years Unimog is a curious creation that allows anyone who has seen it to further think about how the Unimog may look, feel and perform in the future. Yaris Pursun, Director of the Mercedes-Benz Plant at Worth and Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks, has been enthusiastic about this new interpretation of the Unimog concept by the unit’s commercial vehicle designers and the responsible project team. He remarked that the unit decided to construct a design concept that will serve as a bridge between the progressive strength of self-renewal during Unimog’s 60 years of existence and the future design of the next generations of the vehicle.
Indeed, right from 60 years ago until today – after 26 product ranges introduced during the period – the Mercedes-Benz Unimog has always been able to renew itself again and again. Now, the Concept Design 60 Years Unimog shows that it is still possible to have the Unimog undergo evolution and innovation to give birth to future generations of the vehicle. MBS is expecting the Concept Design 60 Years Unimog to surprise anyone -- experts and enthusiasts as well as users and customers -- who sees it.
The chassis of the Unimog U 500 was chosen to underpin the design concept because of its excellent off-road capabilities. Janssen and his team were particularly inspired by the poison dart frog, which boasts of extreme mobility both in land and water. Thus in choosing the colors for the Concept Design 60 Years Unimog, the exterior appearance of the poison dart frog was specifically considered. As a result, green was chosen as the main color for the design concept – the same color that covered the first Unimog and quite a number of the next generations.
Traditionally, the Unimog has been known for its coil springs, which is one of the vehicle’s unique yet main selling points. To highlight this component, MBS painted it red in the Concept Design 60 Years Unimog. MBS also painted green the Unimog’s mudguards and specified the bonnet with the Mercedes-Benz line. The frame of the Concept Design 60 Years Unimog features visible, sweeping lines finished with high-grade trims cut from aluminum blocks while the vehicle’s same-size wheels are marked by their five-star alu-rim design.
Moreover, the concept design comes with headlights that could focus their beams of light. Janssen remarked that during the creation of the concept design, the team never let ideas be separated from reality, resulting to the Unimog that while purist, remains true to concept that some of its design cues and elements will be adapted by future generations of the vehicle. He quipped that the project team took the most important features of the Unimog that have characterized it for the past 60 years and which will characterize the vehicle in the future -- portal axles, coil springs and the frame concept. MBS has made it clear that the Concept Design 60 Years Unimog is not a prototype for a new product range, but is a unique vehicle concept.
In effect, the concept design clearly communicates that the Mercedes-Benz Unimog will have an innovative character in the future and a high degree of versatility in design and construction. According to Michael Dietz, Head of Sales and Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks, the Unimog has etched a global name as an ambassador and image-carrier for the Mercedes-Benz brand in the past 60 years. He described the Concept Design 60 Years Unimog as a forward projection of the unique Unimog-DNA and as evidence of the innovative power of MBS.