First Look: Mercedes-Benz Hexawheel Concept

Evan McCausland
May 24, 2010
Forget the Unimog or the W31 G4 Grosser -- we think the Hexawheel, as designed by Iranian stylist/engineer Siyamak Rouhi Dehkordi, is one the coolest Mercedes-Benz off-roaders ever designed.
Photo 2/4   |   Mercedes Benz Hexawheeler Design Concept Side View
Dubbed the Mercedes-Benz Hexawheel, the conceptual off-roader utilizes -- of all things -- six wheels. The hallowed portal axles of the Unimog are abandoned in favor of independent suspension at each wheel, but the frame itself is truly interesting.
Like the unusual M561 Gamma Goat military vehicle, the Hexawheel sports a vertically articulated frame, which is hinged around the axis of the center pair of wheels. Dehkordi says the design allows for substantial vertical articulation -- the frame can theoretically travel 28 degrees up and 30 degrees down. A pair of hydraulic rams controls the articulation, provides dampening, and in some instances, work to help push the Hexawheel over large obstacles.
Photo 3/4   |   Mercedes Benz Hexawheeler Design Concept
Unlike the Goat, which sported steering on its front and rear axles, the Hexawheel’s rear section pivots laterally, allowing the 16-foot long vehicle to have an 18-foot turning radius. Further enhancing its prowess off-road is its balanced drivetrain. Dehkordi’s design calls for a diesel-hydraulic drive system, with the engine, pump, and accumulators placed underneath the pickup bed. The fuel tank, located under the cab, helps distribute truck’s 4850-pound curb weight.
We think this is a neat idea -- but our only reservation lies with torsion. Long-travel suspension does help traverse obstacles, but when it comes time to twist -- like the Gama Goat does when climbing this hill -- we’d be curious to see how the Hexawheel performs in the real world. Sadly, we think this will remain a digital flight of fancy for the foreseeable future.
Photo 4/4   |   Mercedes Benz Hexawheeler Design Concept Rear View
Source: Car Body Design

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