See Mercedes Unimog And G-Class Demonstrate Their Off-Road Chops
30 July 2019 - motor1
14 minutes well spent.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, the Mercedes G-Class has transitioned from its military roots to become more of a lifestyle vehicle. It's as luxurious as you expect any car carrying the three-pointed star badge to be, but it's still as competent in the off-road should you ever want to drive off the beaten path. With low-range, 100-percent locking differentials and a slope climbing ability of up to 100%, Mercedes says the G can go "virtually anywhere."
An interesting fact released by Mercedes emphasizes the SUV's legendary reliability as 80% of all the G-Class vehicles ever made are still on the road. As a refresher, the model is built by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria where the 300,000th unit was assembled two years ago. Over the years, it has spawned numerous derivatives, from a Popemobile and the opulent Landaulet to the sporty AMGs and the 6x6 behemoth.
As for the UNIversal-MOtor-Gerät (the latter German word means machine/device/instrument), it's still the fully fledged workhorse it has been since day one. Much older than the G-Class, you can trace the Unimog's roots back to 1946 when the first prototype was built. It was twice as fast as the regular agricultural vehicle of that era, and came with AWD with front + rear locking differentials for some serious off-road chops. The prototype was well-received, prompting the start of series production three years later when it was baptized as the "Unimog."
Due to popular demand, production had to be moved from Maschinenfabrik Boehringer in Göppingen to the Daimler-Benz truck plant in Gaggenau, Baden in June 1951. Dubbed "U 25," the very first Unimog had to make do with just 25 horsepower, while the Unimog S launched in 1955 packed 80 hp from its (thirsty) six-cylinder 2.2-liter engine also found in the 220 S luxury sedan of that period.
Since its inception, the Unimog has been built in more than 350,000 examples and has been assembled since 2002 at the world's largest truck assembly plant in Wörth. The aforementioned Unimog S is still the most popular version of the vehicle ever made.
In what is described as a "summit of the off-road giants," the G-Class and Unimog got together for a promotional film showing the capabilities of the two legendary off-roaders to tackle rough terrain. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.