Unimog Prototypes: U1 to U6

The Unimog is a versatile off-road vehicle produced by Mercedes-Benz. The prototype versions of the Unimog were produced between 1946 and 1951, and were designated U1 to U6. These prototypes laid the foundation for the Unimog’s design and capabilities.


The Unimog prototypes were designed for use in agriculture, and were equipped with a variety of features to make them versatile and capable off-road vehicles. Some of the key characteristics of the prototypes include:

  • Four-wheel-drive system
  • High ground clearance
  • Implement attachment system
  • Cab-over-engine design
  • Power take-off system

Production Dates and Models

The Unimog prototypes were produced between 1946 and 1951, with six models produced during that time. Some of the models include:

  • U1 (1946-1947)
  • U2 (1947-1948)
  • U3 (1948-1949)
  • U4 (1949-1950)
  • U5 (1950-1951)
  • U6 (1951)

Engine Performance

The Unimog prototypes were equipped with various engines, depending on the model. Some of the engines used include:

  • Mercedes-Benz OM636 diesel engine
  • Mercedes-Benz M136 gasoline engine

The engines produced between 25 and 32 horsepower, and were known for their reliability and durability.

Dimensions and Wheelbase

The dimensions and wheelbase of the Unimog prototypes varied depending on the model. Generally, the prototypes had a wheelbase of between 1650 and 2000 mm, and a total length of between 2950 and 3470 mm.

Competitive Advantages

The Unimog prototypes had several competitive advantages over other agricultural vehicles of the time, including:

  • Versatility – The Unimog’s implement attachment system and power take-off system allowed it to perform a wide range of tasks, making it a versatile vehicle for farming.
  • Off-road capability – The Unimog’s four-wheel-drive system and high ground clearance allowed it to navigate difficult terrain, making it ideal for use in rural areas.
  • Reliability – The Unimog’s reputation for durability and longevity made it a popular choice for farmers.


Over the course of the U1 to U6 prototypes, several improvements were made to the vehicle. Some of the key improvements include:

  • Increase in engine power and torque
  • Improvements to the implement attachment system
  • Widening of the track to improve stability
  • Improvements to the steering system

Uses and Sales

The Unimog prototypes were primarily used in agriculture, but were also used for forestry, military, and transportation purposes. The prototypes were sold primarily in Germany, but were also exported to other countries in Europe.