Mercedes-Benz Unimog set a new record as a car that is capable of reaching an altitude of 6,694 meters (21,962 feet) above sea level. Amazingly, the attempt is not just for breaking the records. But ten people in the two Unimogs carried out a humanitarian mission to install an emitters radio transmitter, in the mountains of Ojos del Salado, Chile.
What’s even more complicated is the fact that the mountain is still an active volcano. Ojos del Salado is located in the Atacama desert that is known to be the driest place in the world. But both cars successfully reached the camp at an altitude of 6,100 meters, although only one Unimog continued to advance to an altitude of 6,694 meters.
After all, the car has no problem in starting as the oxygen layer, one of the important elements to start the engine, is thin at that height.
The car is the Unimog U 5023 BlueEfficiency engined with a turbine diesel engine powered by 233 PS with a peak torque of 900 Nm. 8-speed transmission forward, 6-speed reverse. The weight that can be borne by U 5023 is a maximum of 14.5 tons.
It’s more than just a matter of engine, the Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 5023 is also equipped with crawling capabilities, axle portal models and differential lock to tackle heavy terrain. Not to mention the configuration of the axle portal suspension, allowing it to step over obstacles. The car also supported by articulation up to 30 degrees on each axis.
There are special gambot sized tires and extra strong winch. Plus, the special design on the body allows variably shifting the center of gravity. The car was developed by specialists at the Unimog Museum, Söder, and engineers at the Unimog Development Team.
The transmitter installation expedition was led by Matthias Jeschke, a nature lover who owns an expedition company called Extrem Events. Both Unimogs are provided directly by Mercedes-Benz and modified to enhance the ability to devour the uphill terrain and support its main mission.
One of the modifications is the installation of a spare tire that is located far in front. The approach is used to find the optimal balance while devouring steep terrain. Offroad tires that are used are adjusted to the features of Unimog’s default tire pressure control. The pressure regulating mode can be selected directly according to the conditions traversed.