King of the Jungle

Mercedes-Benz, with additional input from the German tuning company Brabus, has introduced the 'King Kong' of off-roaders at this month's Dubai Motor Show. It's designed to be the most outrageous car of its type in the world, with the ability to discover the most inaccessible parts of the globe.

The new Mercedes-Benz Unimog Black Edition is a combination of a day-to-day, recreational and utility vehicle based on the Unimog U 500. Cooperation with Brabus the tuning company in Bottrop has created a recreational vehicle for individualists, with a striking appearance which sets it apart from other on-road or off-road vehicles. The high, truck-like seating position provides the driver with excellent all-round visibility. Thanks to power steering and compact dimensions, the Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 500 Black Edition is as manoeuvrable as a medium-sized passenger car.

Both the exterior and interior of the exclusive Unimog Black Edition have been completely revised. Its silhouette is characterised by both a platform with integral side panels, and a newly designed bumper while the roll-over bar of polished stainless steel and upswept chrome exhaust pipes accentuate the sporty appearance.

The vehicle interior has been customised by Brabus and many features in carbon-fibre. The roof and the A/B-pillars are lined in Alcantara leather, while the sports-style seats are upholstered in the finest mastic leather and the footwells are carpeted in soft velour. The colour scheme is deep black, in line with the model name. With a black leather steering wheel and aluminium pedals, the driver of the Unimog Black Edition should have the vehicle firmly under control. Technical highlights include the COMAND system from the S-Class, with a 6.5" screen, DVD navigation, CD changer and a specially developed compass function. A comfortable interior atmosphere is ensured by two separately controlled air conditioning systems, tinted glass all-round and a first-class sound system.

The Unimog generates an output of 205 kW/ 280 hp from an engine displacement of 6.4 l, developing a torque of 1100 Nm. A high final-drive ratio enables speeds of over 120 km/h to be achieved. With a gross vehicle weight of 11.99 tonnes, the Mercedes-Benz Unimog Black Edition has a payload of around 4.3 t and is fitted with tyres in size 455/70 R24. The standard portal axles in conjunction with the in-cab-operated tyre pressure control system and the rear-mounted cable winch make this premium Unimog an extra-special off-roader which knows practically no limits. The EAS transmission allows the gears to be shifted manually or in automatic mode, just as the driver prefers. Switching between the two modes is possible at any time.

The Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 500 Black Edition offers the well-known off-road capability of the Unimog, a high payload for all manner of sports equipment and a high towing capacity. This makes it suitable for a wide range of applications: in addition to day-to-day use in the city this Unimog is ideal for excursions to rough mountain areas, remote ski slopes or hot desert regions. And soon afterwards the same vehicle can be used as a towing unit to transport a yacht to the coast or carry boating and diving equipment. These many applications fully reflect the versatility for which the Unimog is famous.

The basic price for the Unimog U 500 is 140.000 euro and the Brabus tuning modifications will cost an extra 90.000 euro (depending on exact specification).

Text: Classic Driver
Photos: DaimlerChrysler

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