If there’s ever been a definite sign times are changing rapidly in the auto industry it came this month with the reveal of the 2013 Unimog. The river fording, brick wall obliterating, apocalyptic survival ride of choice is now boasting that it can… be greener. It appears that in order to survive upcoming Euro V1 emissions standards, Unimog’s newest claim to fame will be the way in which it manages to take good care of Mother Nature.
At first glance the 2013 Unimog is still a massively imposing vehicle in any of its 10 iterations, which includes two and three axle chassis versions, as well as 4x2, 6x4, 6x2 and 6x4 drive options (how is this not an American creation again?).
Despite rumors the new models would resemble the frog-beast concept that appeared in 2011, exterior changes revolve mostly around a completely redesigned cab to increase visibility, rather than resemble an amphibian nightmare creature.
For the 2013 lineup, Mercedes-Benz focused on making the biggest changes in the heart of Unimog. The next generation rigs will feature two series of new ‘BlueEfficiency’ engines in four and six-cylinder versions, ranging from 5.1 to 7.7 liters. The 7.7 liter inline-six is good for 354hp and 885 “let’s drive through that house” pound-feet of torque.
Using a series of filters that re-circulates gases, the new engines have up to 90 percent fewer exhaust gas and particulates than their predecessors. Fuel economy is also up by about four percent in certain applications; proof the real green portion of the story here is about reducing pollution versus terrorizing fewer gas stations.
Mercedes-Benz has every right to hang their hat on applications of their new ‘Blue’ engines in any of their trucks - as of now they’re the only manufacturers in Europe to offer Euro V1-compliant light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks, as well as special purpose vehicles such as the mighty Unimog.
So, if you happen to hear Arnold Schwarzenegger defending Unimogs as being ‘environmentally friendly’ any time soon, take it with a grain of salt.
Get up close and personal video-style with the 2013 Unimog here.