Though our world is filled with muscular SUVs, most of us mortals will never need the kind of brutish off-road abilities of a truly big 4×4 truck. But it’s comforting (at least to us) to know they exist. Need to extricate a redwood stump from the grips of the earth? How about racing a mountain goat up a 45-degree rock face? Mudding in the La Brea Tar Pits? Child’s play. For the fortunate few who need to do serious work in a serious world (or for those with big amounts of extra coin laying around), there are two serious players at opposite ends of the cost spectrum: the Mercedes-Benz Unimog U5000 and the Bremach T-Rex. Whether it’s off-road adventure, payload hauling or search and rescue, both mean business.
Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 5023
This is the vehicle you take to the end of the world. The Unimog U5023 (approx. $250,000) is powered by a new 5.1-liter, 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine with 231 hp and a road-distorting 661 lb-ft of torque. Though its 95 mph top speed can’t really outrun more than a Nissan Leaf or an angry recumbent cyclist, it can do 56 mph in reverse thanks to both eight forward and eight reverse gears. The Unimog is also wilderness-ready with the ability to ford nearly four feet of water thanks to its portal axles and clamber up and down just about anything with its torsionally flexible frame and radical approach angles. Think you’ll need biceps like Arnold to pump the tires? Just turn to the central inflation system and blow air without breaking a sweat or deflate to get out of deep sand/dirt quagmires. The new terrain adaptive system makes managing varied terrain that much easier.
Unfortunately, the $250k price tag might not leave you much to purchase the necessary fuel to traverse the globe, the thousands of MREs for emergencies and the a few dozen of these just to give you peace of mind. But whatever you decide to pack for your permanent vacation, the mind-blowing 29,000-pound payload capacity should be more than sufficient. You can even add multiple attachments like snowplows, rescue winches and power generators, but hell, that’s just plain showing off.
The T-Rex doesn’t have the build quality or the German quality of the Unimog, but it also costs less than half of the biggun’. The T-Rex (approx. $96,000) looks far less industrial than the Mercedes but still delivers the off-road capability to set itself apart from run-of-the-mill trucks and SUVs. Built in Italy entirely by hand, the T-Rex’s beefy modular steel structure can handle extreme stress, while its approach and departure angles are aggressive enough to make drivers wonder if they’re about to take on too much. The Bremach has full-time 4×4 with automatic locking hubs and locking center and rear differentials, so you can get up, over and through whatever faces you. You’ll be able to choose from gas, diesel, natural gas, hybrid and pure electric power trains, with numerous configurations including two and four doors, open top, flat bed and cargo versions.
The T-Rex lacks some creature comforts, but seriously, who cares with this sort of muscle. Depending on configuration, you can haul anywhere between 2,500 and 7,300 pounds, so bringing survival supplies and a backup vehicle should be easy. A front- or rear-mounted winch and tow hooks can also be added, upping the T-Rex’s versatility even further. The T-Rex can also conquer a 45 degree slope and ford nearly three feet of water, so escaping any pursuer is just about guaranteed (unless it’s a helicopter). And though it won’t boast the payload of the big Merc, it will most assuredly get you to places you wouldn’t dare go if your sane personality had any vote in the matter.