Mercedes-Benz Unimog is 2007 Cross-Country Vehicle of the Year
Stuttgart, Feb 22, 2007 For the third time, readers of "Off Road" magazine have voted the Mercedes-Benz Unimog cross-country vehicle of the year in the "Special vehicles" category. The Unimog picked up the title of "2007 cross-country vehicle of the year - Special vehicles category" after the October issue of the respected Munich-based all-wheel-drive magazine invited readers to vote for a selection of cross-country vehicles in a total of eight categories. The awards – which took the form of glass OFF ROAD obelisks – were presented during a special gala evening which was held at Munich's "Das Schloss" theatre tent on February 8, 2007. Over 56,000 readers had selected the winners from the 80 vehicles nominated by the organisers. Mercedes-Benz models were winners in two categories: the Unimog was the top-scoring model among the "Special vehicles" with an outstanding 59% of the readers' votes while the Mercedes G-Class won the "Classics" category. The eight categories for which readers were invited to cast their votes were "Cross-country vehicles", "Luxury cross-country vehicles", "Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs)", "Luxury SUVs", "Classics", "Pick-ups", "Special vehicles" and "Crossover vehicles". Among the special vehicles – cross-country vehicles used for transporting loads and cargo in remote areas or as a basis for special bodies used by fire-fighters, expeditions and the military – the Unimog easily led the field. Its signature product characteristics, such as its portal axles which provide outstanding off-road capability and its tremendous torsional flexibility combined with exceptional ruggedness and strength, came in for particular praise. Martin C. Klein, head of Sales/Marketing, accepted the award from OFF ROAD's Florian Pillau on behalf of the Special Vehicles Division of DaimlerChrysler AG.
The Unimog was also voted cross-country vehicle of the year in 1994 – in the form of the U 90 "Funmog" which combined attributes of urban, leisure, cross-country and commercial vehicles.
Produced at the Wörth plant since 2002, the high-mobility Unimog U 3000 to U 5000 model series is the natural choice for difficult all-terrain operations far from roads and tracks. Its principal applications are in the domains of fire-fighting (especially in the context of forest fires), disaster relief, expedition transport as well as service and maintenance work in areas where access is difficult. The Unimog U 3000, U 4000 and U 5000 models are therefore the ideal complement to the all-terrain implement carriers which make up the U 300 to U 500 model series and which are used principally by public service organisations and municipal contractors as well as in the construction and energy sectors, in intra-plant transport applications and for road/rail work. The latest addition to the Unimog family, the compact U 20 made its first public appearance at the 2006 IAA commercial vehicle show.
The "Classics" category – which was won by the Mercedes-Benz G-Class –comprises cross-country vehicles which have defied changing fashions and have remained true to their original identity for many years. The G-Class model series, which has been in production since 1979, currently comprises three engine variants: one turbodiesel with common-rail direct injection as well as two eight-cylinder petrol units.