By on October 5, 2011

How much do things change in 60 years? Sometimes the best answer to that kind of question is a picture. Here you can see an original Unimog (right), built sometime between the start of production in 1948 and 1951, when Mercedes bought the operation in order to expand it enough to keep up with demand. On the left is a “60th Anniversary” Unimog design concept, celebrating not the actual birth of the Unimog, but its purchase by Mercedes. Needless to say, the contrast between the two is… breathtaking. And if you’re curious about the evolution of this hugely influential vehicle, if you can’t help wondering how it grew from a (relatively) tiny, spartan utility vehicle to a garish, Mercedes-starred behemoth, be sure to check out Bertel’s illustrated history of the Unimog. It makes you wonder what the next 60 years have in store for vehicles like this… [images courtesy: Autobild]

 

 

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40 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: This Modern Unimog Edition...”


  • avatar

    Egads.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    Bigger is not necessarily better. Keeping a product right sized so that it does not overwhelm natural human proportions is important.

    Unless Mercedes wants prospective buyers to feel like they are buying a English Mastiff to replace their trusty English Boxer, I think this new vehicle is answering a question no one seems to be asking.

  • avatar
    ott

    I’m sure this concept vehicle will show up in some kind of high-tech sci-fi thriller very soon.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    These pedestrian impact standards have just gone too far.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      Do you mean the ability to run right over a standing man without hitting him – provided you missed him with the tires?

      Servicing that thing from underneath must be easy, but you might need a bucket crane to get at it from the top.

  • avatar

    If you’re a car designer, do these rims give you:

    1. Wet dreams

    2. A feeling of hopeless inadequacy

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Wow.

  • avatar

    This confirms all my worst suspicions about that once-storied brand.Die Welt ist am Abgrund.

  • avatar
    sitting@home

    “you can’t help wondering how it grew from a (relatively) tiny, spartan utility vehicle to a garish, Mercedes-starred behemoth”

    It followed the growth curve of pick-up trucks (and SUVs) in general.

    • 0 avatar
      RedStapler

      Exactly.

      You could get just as shocking a picture if you parked a stock 40-50s era CJ next to the current JK Wrangler with a lift kit and 35″ Mudders. While we are at it lets throw in a 1980 Honda Civic and the current model.

  • avatar
    Acubra

    What is the sense of (over)designing the aero shape for a vehicle that is intended to move at almost pedestrian speeds most of the time?
    This “concept” is just a waste of materials and effort.

  • avatar
    thirty-three

    The concept is huge, but doesn’t seem to have much more ground clearance than the original. So what’s the point?

  • avatar
    geggamoya

    My favourite video as a kid was a Unimog promotional video from the late 80′s, with Unimogs putting our huge fires and pushing trains and whatnot. Never got tired of that one. VHS of course, sturdy black case with silver covers, MB logo and profile of a Unimog truck IIRC.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    What’s wrong with this picture? More like what’s right with this picture. What a completely twatish concept. Ugly, idiotic and completely missing the point of a Unimog.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I half-expect to see the Master Chief behind the wheel, except that the video-game Warthog (sorry, Puma) was more restrained.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    It looks like something from the Robocop movie.

    Or one of the Transformers movies…

    Verdammt!

  • avatar
    carguy

    At last, an aspirational vehicle for German rednecks.

  • avatar
    drylbrg

    Am I wrong in thinking that in a forest the old version would do better than the gargantuan concept version? I’m no off-roader but I’d think the smaller proportions would make it easier to navigate through the trees.

    • 0 avatar
      ott

      Though in the new one it would be more a matter of: “Trees? What trees?”.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      For a wood lot full of high value timber, like mature cherry or walnut, to harvest a tree and spare damaging its neighbors, a horse can be used. Not gonna do that with typical lumber, but, for veneer, the right tree is worth as much as some new cars. If you don’t have a horse, the original Unimog will certainly be a better choice than that other thing.

      • 0 avatar
        dvp cars

        ……although they leave a not insignificant carbon footprint, jumbo helicopters are commonly used to snag select timber without damaging valuable neighboring trees…….high paid but very dangerous work…..that horse sounds like the way to go, and go green to boot.

  • avatar

    Oh my god. This is the funniest thing I will see all day.

    Wow.

    Take that, A-Class.

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    Absolute silliness. Is this more evidence of Mercedes’ commitment to the environment? Not to mention on the average trail, that new monstrosity just wouldn’t fit – although it looks capable of making its own trail.

    It just needs a giant spinning saw blade at the front to remove those pesky trees, and maybe a macerator for all the wildlife it runs over.

  • avatar
    geggamoya

    It’s just a concept.. A very silly concept but still a concept that is unlikely to see production. Real Unimogs still look more or less like they did thirty years ago. http://youtu.be/fZRews1U1K4

    Here’s a brochure, in German of course..
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/6x3wnu9

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    What’s with the toylike styling? Unimog is a very serious vehicle. This one looks like the car of a roller coaster or something. Whoever designed that should be fired. Don’t care if it’s just a concept, it’s hideous!

  • avatar

    I wonder if it has cup holders….

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Showing the whole spectrum of evolution of the UNIMOG – rather than just the oldest and newest – would make for a less jarring image. That, and painting the concept a more subtle green…and losing the garish wheels.

    Don’t forget, this is just a idiosyncratic concept that serves as an homage to the anniversary, with zero production intent. It’s supposed to look ridiculous and over-the-top, and it succeeds. They said to their designers, “let your hair down, go wild”, and they did.

    Putting a Fiesta next to a Model T would be just as striking, as would parking a Patent Motorwagen beside an SLR 722.

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    That’s really bizarre. It looks like the unfortunate offspring of an SLS and a skidder. They should rename it the OMG!

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    This is why I own the previous generation (1997-2006) Wrangler – it’s just the right size. The 2007+ model seems gargantuan (to me, at least) by comparison.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Love the original. That MB quit improving and refining a version of that size, is really sad. Manual tranny, simple engine, soft roof, massive ground clearance, and fast enough for local travel. Even in localities that prefer low taxes to roads.

  • avatar
    Bryce

    AWful and childish so whats the bet theyll build it

  • avatar
    fred schumacher

    What I found interesting was the old Unimog. It’s not much larger than a modern utility ATV, but has more ground clearance and more “utility.” Center of gravity looks to be quite low for such high ground clearance, and I like the narrow tires. Wide tires are greatly overrated.

    This looks to be a very useful vehicle. It even has a three-point tractor hitch. I had a neighbor in North Dakota who used his Unimog as a tractor to do field work. A vehicle this size would have great usefulness: nimble and capable. With modern, small diesel it could be a real work horse.

    Too bad something like this is no longer available. Looks like a job for Tata to tackle. It would be a hit in ranching country.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    This would work as some kind of toy, but thats it. And the exaggerated Benz snout is laughable.

    When will concept car designers figure out that designing a Hot Wheels
    and a real car are totally different things?


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