Among the pantheon of off-road greats, there are few greater than Mercedes-Benz's revered Unimog. Admittedly not the cheapest, fastest, or most flingable, these portal-axle equipped beasts are the definition of off-road utility and might. The standard two-axle models are plenty tough and capable in their own right. But Mercedes has upped the ante with the addition of a three-axle, 6x6 model.
Introducing the Unimog U 5000 6x6. This triple-axle brute is designed for heavy-duty tasks such as firefighting, with an available on-board water tank holding as much as 1850 gallons. If you have a need for passenger hauling, an available bus body has a capacity for up to 30 passengers. You can bet if you rolled up to school in this thing, you wouldn't hear "short bus" jokes anymore. The U 5000 6x6's payload rating is the rated towing capacity of most 1-ton dually trucks at 22,000 pounds. But considering the 6x6 Unimog weighs roughly double what those "heavy duty" pickups do at 15,961 lb, its capabilities should come as no surprise.
And just as the truck world is in awe of the 2013 Ram's eight-speed transmission, the 'Mog has that many forward speeds plus six reverse speeds. Whether you need to air down for trails or air back up for the ride home, you can do it from the comfort of the cab with a central tire inflation system. Your chances of bottoming out on the trail are slim to none, with a massive 19 inches of ground clearance.
As beastly as its bulk and capabilities are, the Unimog is powered by a surprisingly small 4.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel producing 218 hp and 597 lb-ft of torque. But with all those gear ratios at the driver's disposal, it will get you where you're going.
Pricing was not announced for the U 5000 6x6, but with the regular two-axle models going for well into the six figures, as the saying goes, if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it.