Mercedes-Benz new ‘go anywhere’ Unimog is completely redesigned with lower center of gravity, new cabin with better visibility, multifunction tire pressure system and more.
Images © Mercedes-Benz
Read more at the press release
Unimog is a range of multi-purpose auto four wheel drive medium trucks produced by Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG. The name Unimog is pronounced [ˈuːnɪmɔk] in German and is an acronym for the German “UNIversal-MOtor-Gerät”, Gerät being the German word for machine or device. Daimler Benz took over manufacture of the Unimog in 1951 and they are currently built in the Mercedes truck plant in Wörth am Rhein in Germany. Another Mercedes-Benz Türk A.Ş. plant assembles Unimogs in Aksaray, Turkey. Unimogs were also built in Argentina until the first years of the 1980s, in the González Catán factory.
New set-up for Unimog and Econic Strong new image for globally unique concepts – Unimog and Econic:
Cleaner, more efficient, more powerful
– BlueEfficiency Power engine generation with four-cylinder and six cylinder engines from 115 kW (156 hp) and 260 kW (354 hp)
– Powerful and environmentally acceptable: Thoroughly renewed with state-of-the-art drive technology, control concept and cab
– Unimog: New unique synergetic traction drive sets new standards in competition
– Econic: Up to 4 percent lower fuel consumption
– Econic: same payload despite Euro VI
World premieres from Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks: A Unimog product range with ten new models at one go – from the Unimog U 216 to the Unimog U 5024 – and 2 and 3-axle versions for the Econic low-entry specialists vehicle introduce the era of Euro VI engines also for special vehicles. All this is combined with an appreciable increase in performance, efficiency and easy operation. Despite the challenges arising from the Euro VI emission standards involving additional components and an increased volume of 120 litres, it has been possible to retain and improve the concept advantages of the two vehicle product ranges.
As the new Europe-wide Euro VI emission standards will be valid from 1 January 2014, Mercedes-Benz is rounding off its range of commercial vehicles including the Atego, Antos, Arocs and Actros by launching the two special vehicle product ranges Unimog and Econic to comply with the new regulations. The new engines have up to 90 percent fewer exhaust gas and particulate matter emissions than those used up to now.
New structures for the Unimog product range
In the new set-up for the Unimog implement carriers, the Unimog U 216 and U 218 replace the previous Unimog U 20 as compact entry-level models and are getting closer to the versions with stronger engines now known as U 318, U 423, U 430, U 527 and U 530. Here the first number denotes the size (for instance 4 corresponds to the current Unimog U 400), the following two numbers stand for the first two numbers of horse-power performance, for example 23 for 230 hp. They are all being launched with, amongst other things, a completely redesigned panoramic cab, new work and power hydraulics systems as well as synergetic traction drive which allows changing over from manual transmission to hydrostatic transmission while driving and all of these innovations make an appreciable difference to the efficiency of the Unimog. The extremely mobile off-road Unimog U 4000 und U 5000 have also been given a more advanced design in important details and are now known under the reference numbers U 4023 and U 5023.
For the Econic – the 2 and 3-axle chassis versions now as 4×2, 6×4 and 6×2/4 with electronically steered forward and trailing axles – the concept of the low-entry cab has now been given more potential with a great number of important ergonomic innovations. In addition, it is clearly more cost-effective as it has reduced its fuel consumption and repair and maintenance costs. However the payload remains the same despite the Euro VI.
Facing the future efficiently with BlueEfficiency Power
Two BlueEfficiency Power model series engines with radically new designs ensure that the Unimog complies with Euro VI emission standards and is also much more efficient especially when using implements as here greater output is available. The Econic has also been given two engines from this generation: engine types OM 934 and OM 936 with three 4-cylinder and two 6-cylinder versions and performances ranging from 115 kW (156 hp) to 260 kW (354 hp) with cubic capacities of 5.1 litres and 7.7 litres. The state-of-the-art drive units combine low fuel consumption with extremely clean exhaust gas and ensure that the Unimog is on the road altogether more efficiently despite the great amount of effort invested in its construction to ensure that it complies with Euro VI. For the Econic it has been possible to achieve up to four percent lower fuel consumption. The engines – already successfully used in the Antos and Atego – are very convincing with their improved output and torque and clearly increased acceleration over the whole transmission range. Despite the Euro VI the fuel consumption of the Unimog has also been reduced.
High-tech drive units from a state-of-the-art engine generation
The new solenoid injectors with ten-hole jets provide the best possible injection for every working situation. These new, long-stroke engines with cooled exhaust gas recirculation and a specific engine output of up to 33.8 kW/l (46 hp/l) are among the most effective diesel units. The new 5.1 litre 4-cylinder version also produces a convincing top torque of 650 Nm for the entry-level model Unimog U 216 with 115 kW (156 hp) which remains constant over the whole of the main transmission range from 1200 to 1600 rpm.
The six-cylinder gives a powerful performance
The performance spectrum of the big 7.7 litre in-line 6-cylinder OM 936 follows directly on the heels of the extremely compact four-cylinder version. It is used in both the U 427 and U 430 as well as the U 527 and U 530 and here for both versions with 200 kW (272 hp) or 220 kW (299 hp). This means that the Unimog has been given top-level motorisation. The best torque result lies at 1200 Nm for the 1200 to 1600 speed range. The Econic has been fitted with 6‑cylinder engines providing an output of 220 kW (299 hp) and 260 kW (354 hp).
Economy of space on compact chassis
Great importance was also attached to economy of space when complying with the exhaust gas cleaning standards required by Euro VI which comes into force on 1 January 2014. This was a task which faced the designers with demanding challenges considering the compact chassis of the Unimog vehicles and also the low-entry concept of the Econic. In addition to the recirculation of the exhaust gas inside the engine, cleaning the exhaust gas also involves a system comprising the oxidation catalytic converter, a closed particulate matter filter, AdBlue injection and an SCR catalytic converter connected in a series.
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New set-up for Unimog and Econic
Unimog U 4023 and U 5023: Setting standards for off-road mobility
– Perfection off-road, better handling with centrally-positioned engine
– New BlueEfficiency Power Euro VI engines with higher output and higher torque
– Chassis concept with torsionally flexible frame, torque tubes and coil springs retained
– Strong and reliable, many details improved
– New engine power take-off with increased applications
The outstandingly mobile off-road Unimog with its new reference numbers U 4023 and U 5023 as the follow-up models for the U 4000 and U 5000 is now more environmentally acceptable and efficient, but still just as mobile off the road as its predecessors and even stronger – that means better all round. It is fitted with the new four-cylinder BlueEfficiency Power BlueTec 6 engine with an output of 170 kW (230 hp) and a strong torque of 900 Nm. The Unimog transmission has been improved and uprated so that the gear changing times are shorter with an increased life span. In future the gears will be changed using the pitman arm on the steering column and this also includes the electronic quick reverse function (EQR). As up to now, there are eight forward and six reverse gears available as well as the optional crawler gears for off-road use with a speed range between 2.5-35 km/h. The main difference between the two big Unimog vehicles lies in their axles and frames i.e. their axle loads and the gross vehicle weights which is a maximum of 10.3 tonnes for the U 4023 and 14.5 tonnes for the U 5023.
Time-tried cab with a short bonnet radically reworked
This cab is first class – it has left its mark on the appearance of the outstandingly mobile off-road Unimog since 1974. The designing engineers were confronted with the challenging task of installing technology complying with Euro VI and they succeeded by repositioning the engine one metre further back under the cab and this is now the core of the new concept. In comparison with its predecessor, the new cab has been lengthened by 120 mm and is slightly higher – and by moving the transmission controls from the central console to the pitman arm on the steering column there is much more space in the interior of the cab.
This cab has also been upgraded with its new fittings: The multifunction steering wheel, adjustable steering column, pitman arm control, multifunction touch-keys and instrument cluster with a large display as well as a new stronger heating and ventilation system provide the very best conditions for the driver. The central tire inflation system “Tirecontrol Plus” has been redesigned so that the correct tire pressure for the prevailing conditions can be chosen simply and easily in the display with the pre-programmed modes “road”, “sand” and “bad surface”. From the outside the dynamic design of the radiator and the new bumpers with modern headlamps show at the first glance that here there is a new generation of the Unimog on the job. Also the access to the cab is completely new with easy to master and safe steps, two or three depending on what the customer requires.
The altered position of the engine also allows power to be taken directly from the engine with an engine-driven PTO so that implements can be run independently of the driving situation unlike the transmission-driven PTOs which are still available.
Perfect for off-road operations
The big advantages of the extremely mobile off-road Unimog such as its outstanding handling over tough terrain remain untouched and in individual points its strengths have been improved. In the new model, the curving of the frame is now further back due to the central position of the engine and altogether the Unimog has a lower centre of gravity while retaining its high ground clearance which is extremely important for off-road operations. As both frame and tubular cross members are welded, this guarantees the extremely good torsional flexibility of up to 600 mm when driving cross-country. The axle articulation of up to 30° is made possible by the torque tube technology combined with the coil springs by connecting the torque tube and the torque ball to the transmission. Portal axles, the low centre of gravity and extremely good angles of approach and departure (at the front 44°, at the rear 51°), and ramp angles (34°) as well as its slope climbing ability (45°) all go to make the outstandingly mobile off-road Unimog just what it is – and in addition there is its fording ability of a maximum of 1200 mm as well as its side tilting angle of 38°. Driving in extreme situations is supported by the engageable all-wheel drive, engageable differential locks and the central tire inflation system.
Unimog vehicles have a long life and they are robust and reliable. The completely welded frame and the enclosed parts of the chassis stand for the claim that the vehicle is able to stand up to great stress and strain. The axles are reinforced, all important power units and equipment are metal clad or installed in safe positions – and this is also true for fording ability within the guaranteed depth of 1200 mm.
Extreme operations the world over
All this shows quite clearly just why the outstandingly mobile off-road Unimog has such an excellent reputation all over the world. Working in extreme off-road conditions is the order of the day, whether it is fighting forest fires, for disaster control, crane operations, pipeline construction, expeditions, rescuing man and machine and last but not least for transporting crews and other people – in remote areas where the roads turn into bad tracks and rough terrain, that is where the Unimog U 4023 and U 5023 are on home ground.
The Unimog is also looked after perfectly as far as maintenance, trouble diagnosis or repairs are concerned as competent Unimog Dealers are there to take care of the vehicles in over 650 service stations in more than 130 countries where special service packages and financial services round off the customer care.