Created by the Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks division in concert with Daimler Commercial Vehicles as a rolling tribute to the 60th Anniversary of its iconic Unimog, this high-profile study is meant to serve as a design bridge linking the past and the future of M-B's go-anywhere Universal-Motor-Gerät (Unimog). Based on the current U 5000 chassis, the "60 Years Unimog" embodies elements of the very first Unimog 2010 model that rolled off the production line in 1951, which was also green in color and featured an open-air cockpit. However, Bertrand Janssen from the Daimler department for commercial vehicle design notes that this far more avant-garde execution also drew its inspiration from an even more obscure source: the little-known poison dart frog, a colorful amphibian that's equally at home on land and water.
Beyond its obvious brilliant green exterior set off by prominent bright-red coil springs, design highlights of the 60 Years Unimog include bolder takes on its signature exposed frame -- which here features aluminum-block accents -- portal axles, and massive flotation tires mounted on oversize five-spoke alu-rim alloy wheels. Also on hand is a pair of high-intensity rally-style stage lights that add even more visual and functional character to the already expressive front fascia -- which M-B admits does "correspond" to the form language of its future commercial vehicles. While quick to stress that this fully functional exercise is not a direct prototype of the next-generation production Unimog, Janssen advises that "some of its details will turn up in coming product ranges in future. On no account did we work in an atmosphere where our ideas were divorced from reality."