Less than 200 were sold in America, which makes the heavy-duty truck a rare sight.
The Mercedes G-Class is one of the toughest SUVs on the market, but it isn't the most capable off-roader in Mercedes' lineup. That title belongs to the Unimog, the legendary heavy-duty truck that's been in production since the 1940s.
Despite its durability, the Unimog wasn't in popular America. In 2002, the Unimog was sold at Freightliner dealerships for a few years, but only around 200 were sold. It was then discontinued in 2008. As a result, US-spec Mercedes U500s are a very rare sight on the road and difficult to track down, but one of the few that were sold in America is currently listed for sale at Apex One.
According to the sale listing, this is one of the finest examples you're ever likely to find. With less than 19,000 miles on the clock, we're inclined to believe that because it looks immaculate.
As with other U500s, the heavy-duty truck features an OM906LA 6.4-liter turbodiesel that produces 700 lb-ft of torque, paired with an eight-speed pre-selector manual transmission that that sends power through a permanent, full-time all-wheel-drive system. Thanks to its standard portal axles providing exceptional ground clearance, multiple gearing options, and central tire inflation system, the U500 is capable of tackling the toughest types of terrain you can throw at it. There isn't much that can stop this beast apart from the air brakes.
Unique touches that help this U500 stand out from other all-terrain Mercedes models include Mercedes Designo Platinum Metallic paint with a matte finish with a contrasting black three-way dump bed and a custom-made rollbar. There's also integrated LED lighting, a center-mounted spare tire, and a Plastisol crew cab while the forward cab design gives the Mercedes U500 a menacing appearance. Don't expect anything modern inside, however, as the vinyl interior is rather rudimentary.
Its rarity makes it considerably more expensive than a Mercedes G Wagon. If you fancy owning one of the only US-market Mercedes Unimogs, this U500 can be yours for an eye-watering $369,000. For comparison, a Mercedes G-Class G550 starts at $130,900.