Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks at the "Adventure & All-Wheel Drive" show: Mercedes-Benz all-wheel drive vehicles at the world's largest off-road show

May 30, 2018
Stuttgart / Bad Kissingen
  • Off-road specialists for expeditions, long-distance tours and recreation
  • Unimog as the archetypal all-wheel drive vehicle: ideal basis for expedition vehicles
  • Available worldwide: the Mercedes-Benz service network

Stuttgart / Bad Kissingen. From 31 May to 3 June 2018, the spa town of Bad Kissingen in Lower Franconia is the venue where long-distance tourers and globetrotters from every continent will come together for the "Adventure & All-Wheel Drive" show. With the all-terrain Unimog and the all-wheel drive Zetros, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks provides the ideal basis for long-distance touring and expedition vehicles that are suitable for all needs, from short holidays to world tours. Also presented are various versions of the legendary Mercedes-Benz G-Class and a number of all-wheel drive vans and trucks.

All-terrain Unimog U 4023 and U 5023

The Unimog always finds a way through, whether as the U 4023 or U 5023. The legendary UNIversal-MOtor-Gerät (UNIversal MOtor vehicle) with its uncompromising all-terrain capability and more than seven decades of development experience remains undeterred on unmetalled roads and tracks where others have long thrown in the towel.

This is ensured by portal axles, selectable all-wheel drive, an inter-axle lock and differential locks in both axles and an extremely torsionally flexible frame. With the "Tirecontrol plus" tyre pressure control system, the correct tyre pressure can be conveniently and automatically set by selecting the preset modes "Road", "Off-road" or "Sand" at the touch of a button while on the move. Also helpful for traction are the single tyres and off-road reduction range of the Unimog. Especially for camper vans, its final drive ratio ensures more comfort thanks to reduced engine speeds. The 5132 cc Euro VI four-cylinder diesel engine of the Unimog develops 170 kW (231 hp), with a maximum torque of 900 Nm. With a permissible gross vehicle weight of 7.5 to 14.5 tonnes, this cult all-wheel drive vehicle is sure to offer an adequate payload as a touring mobile home. In the sum of its attributes, the Unimog is the ideal partner for expeditions, extended tours or outdoor excursions. On request the Unimog is also available as a Euro III/Euro V model.

Mercedes-Benz Zetros: heavy cab-behind-engine truck as a basis for touring mobile homes

The Zetros is a robust all-terrain truck that combines the off-road capabilities of a Unimog with the high payload of a heavy truck. It is available in two-axle (1833) and three-axle (2733) variants. Designed as a cab-behind-engine truck, the Zetros like the Unimog seats the driver behind the front axle for safe and comfortable off-road handling characteristics. Permanent all-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer case, differential locks and the high torsional flexibility of the chassis ensure maximum traction. The major assemblies and components of the Zetros come from the large-scale series production truck models. The Zetros is powered by a six-cylinder in-line engine (only Euro III/V) with a displacement of 7.2 litres and 240 kW (326 hp), which can optionally be combined with a six-speed automatic transmission. The fording depth is up to 1190 mm, with a slope climbing ability of 80 percent.

Skilled and highly specialised bodybuilders turn the Unimog into an expedition vehicle – U 4023 crewcab by Hellgeth

There are several very interesting vehicle displayed on the stand shared by Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks and Hellgeth Engineering (M 15): for example a Unimog U 4023 with a crewcab and extensive enhancements by Unimog specialist Hellgeth, a U 4023 chassis optimised for mobile home bodies and a U 4023 and U 4000 with platform and tarpaulin. A Zetros 1833 chasis is also exhibited.

Hellgeth Engineering specialises in converting the U 4023/U 5023 from 4 cylinders to 6 cylinders, and individualising Unimog and Zetros chassis for special purposes such as disaster relief, expedition vehicles, rally vehicles or simply recreational vehicles. Hellgeth also offers a wide range of interior appointments. These include e.g. special suspension options, CRP bumpers, multi-section light-alloy wheel, additional tanks or optimised noise and thermal insulation for improved comfort.

Bimobil EX 435 on the Unimog U 4023

One of the manufacturers who have produced expedition vehicles based on the Unimog for a considerable time is Bimobil based in Oberpframmern in Bavaria (stands Z 37 and E 16). The living unit of the Model EX 435 is connected to the chassis by the Unimog's floor assembly for non-MB bodies, which has a double three-point mounting to the vehicle frame. This does not restrict the vehicles axle articulation when off-road, yet the living unit remains unstressed.

The living area of the EX 345 cabin is bright, welcoming and practical. In the rear the vehicle has a comfortable U-shaped seating unit. The electrically lowerable bed above this has a surface area of 150 cm x 198 cm and descends to one metre above the floor. The washrooom impresses with a separate shower unit. The 50 cm x 75 cm access to the cab can be closed by an insulated door.

Unimog and Zetros by Bliss Mobil

Bliss Mobil based in the Netherlands uses the advantages of a container system for its mobile home bodies. Chassis with wheelbases between 3250 mm and 5400 mm can be equipped with corresponding living units. A Zetros 6x6 with a 20 ft living unit and a Unimog U 5023 with a 13 ft cabin can be seen on stand M 14 in Bad Kissingen. The roughly 4.2-tonne expedition body of the Zetros provides living space for up to four people, and has exactly the same dimensions as a freight container. This means that it can be transported and shipped just like a container. 565 litres of fresh water can be stored in two tanks. Six solar modules have a power output of around 1.9 kW. With additional diesel tanks, ranges of up to 2500 kilometres are possible.

The 13 ft body of the Unimog weighs around 2300 kg, and in combination with the Unimog it makes an ideal expedition vehicle for two people. The standard model has a water supply of 300 litres, and four solar modules with a capacity of 0.96 kW. The system is quickly demountable, i.e. the body can be rapidly replaced by a platform.

Unimog U 4023 as a long-distance tourer by Bocklet

For a good three decades, Bocklet based in Koblenz has produced individual long-distance touring vehicles to customer specification like the Unimog Dakar U690 based on the U 4023 (stand M 18). With an overall length of 6.87 m and a width of 2.34 m, the Dakar U690 is relatively compact for a long-distance tourer. The GRP box body has an interior width of 2.20 m, a length of 4.25 m and a standing height of 1.95 m. The tanks for fresh and waste water have capacities of 250 litres and 130 litres respectively, and are internally located with a heating system. The washroom is directly adjacent to the cab ands features a wash-basin, shower and cassette toilet. The kitchen unit in the centre on the driver's side has a double burner, sink, household fittings and plenty of stowage space supplemented by roof stowage boxes. An 80-litre compressor refrigerator keeps food and drinks fresh and cool. The rear area is ocupied by the bed with a sleeping surface of 200 cm x 130 cm.

Unicat with pop-up roof based on the Unimog

On stand Z 46 Unicat, a specialist in exclusive long-distance touring and expedition vehicles based in Dettenheim (Karlsruhe region) is displaying a body mounted on a Unimog. The special feature of this vehicle is the living unit equipped with a pop-up roof, which keeps the vehicle relatively flat when on the move. When stationary, the roof is raised to full height and provides a large, very spacious living area.

Moghome by Ziegler Adventure

The Unimog U 4023 with a comfortably equipped mobile home body by Ziegler Adventure is robust and off-road capable. The vehicle's features include a well-equipped kitchen with a microwave/oven combination, an induction hob and a water filtering system. The toilet and shower areas are separate, and the occupants sleep on a lowerable bed above the seating group.

A modern electrical system with lithium-ion batteries and solar panels supplies the vehicle with electrical energy in an environmentally friendly manner. Ziegler Adventure is bringing two Unimog U 4023 with different floor plans to Bad Kissingen, and they can be seen on stand Z 15.

All-wheel-drive vehicles from Mercedes-Benz impress with worldwide service network

The Unimog and Zetros are among the world's most widespread all-terrain trucks. All their components have been tried and tested many thousands of times, and guarantee a high level of reliability with their high Mercedes-Benz quality. Moreover, a worldwide network of Mercedes-Benz service partners is available for servicing, maintenance and repairs, so that assistance can be given rapidly when needed and journey interruptions are kept to a minimum. This dense worldwide service network ensures the rapid availability of genuine replacement parts and minimised downtimes in over 130 countries with over 650 Unimog service outlets.

Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 4023 – Bocklet Dakar U690 long-distance tourer
Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 4023 – Moghome long-distance tourer by Ziegler Adventure
Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 4023 – Bimobil EX 435 long-distance tourer