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The Ultimate S.U.V. 471

Posted by michael
from the ten-thousand-bits-to-the-gallon dept.
Max the Merciless writes: "Take one part KITT, one part 007, one part Unimog, throw in a whole lot of high technology and you get the MaxiMog, perhaps the ultimate SUV! The MaxiMog is a go anywhere, do anything 'expedition system'. The vehicle (and trailer) runs a total of 7 separate computers, a high speed network and a google of different communications devices. I enquired as to the operating systems, and apparently "real time and safety related systems control run under QNX, scheduling and communications management under Linux, and there are a few apps that run under OS9/OSX and WinNT (hate the NT stuff, but some of the communications software is yet to be ported to anything else)". However, my favourite feature is the "High Intensity Air horn system - two air horns producing 137dba at 15 feet in front of vehicle. Note -- Due to high sound pressure levels only for use off road when no personnel are nearby!"
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The Ultimate S.U.V.

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  • I think they should add an 802.11b antenna to it. That why I dont have to point my omni out the window in order to get on Mobilestar or Houston Wireless Freenets [houstonwireless.org].
    • Well, considering that only like .00002% of even urban america even has WiFi access out in the open I'd say it would be kind of pointless. And if you had the money/need to buy a machine like this you'd probably be able to get the antenna added custom.
  • Where's the turret?
    • I'm sure these folks [ibistek.com] could install one for them. Check it out, a joystick controlled .50 caliber machine gun (or optionally a 40 mm grenade launcher) that is stealthed inside your vehicle and deploys in less than 10 seconds. Slope too steep for even your expedition vehicle? Blast it flat like any true explorer.
  • Soon to be seen in a grocery-store parking lot near you driven by a harried woman with 3 kids, one of whom is screaming, the other watching a DVD, the third throwing items out the window while Mom attempts to talk on her cellphone, drink her double non-fat latte, fish a hairbrush out of her purse, and tune in the weather report as she weaves about like a drunken sailor and flatten two lost seniors, their grocery carriage, and a half dozen sub-compacts.

    The vehicle of course will never see anything rougher then the family's paved mini-mansion driveway where it will of course be painted to contrast nicely with the house and gardens and show up the pricy but effete Mercades-Benz SUV the Joneses across the street dared buy.

    • If you had this thing, why the hell would you care what the weather was like?
    • There's more like you at Changing the Climate [changingtheclimate.com].
  • by tooth (111958)
    Hmm, I don't know... I think if I sneezed at this thing sideways the breeze would tip it over. It seems far to high for its width.
    • The Mog is basically a military vehicle. The ADF use them and they're almost impossible to tip.
    • I would guess there's a _lot_ of mass in the bottom 1/3 of the height though, so the center of gravity is probably low enough to avoid tipping during "normal" off-road driving (ie. no driving laterally along steep slopes). It needs the height for capacity, but can't be too wide to be street legal (or to negotiate narrow 1-lane roads in developing areas).

      Note that this thing can supposedly "climb a 45 degree slope" - just don't turn sideways while doing it or your expedition will come to a rapid, messy end.

    • The FAQ [maximog.com] says:
      FROM THE PICTURES, IT LOOKS TOP HEAVY.
      While the vehicle has a high profile to provide adequate internal headroom (BTW - It's the same height as the original Unimog U90 chassis on which it was based.), the center of gravity is quite low due to the placement of heavy items such as the Engine, Generator, Batteries and Fuel Tanks. Additionally, the vehicle has front and rear antisway bars and an auto leveling air suspension system to assist in dynamic stability.
  • Truck not SUV (Score:5, Informative)

    by Student_Tech (66719) on Monday January 14, 2002 @04:30AM (#2835270) Journal
    Its FAQ says that:

    The MaxiMog(TM) is a Truck not an SUV and requires a driver's license for a heavy (over 12,500lbs) vehicle with air brakes.

    So I doubt that we would see these being driven by soccer moms. Although it would be cool for a road trip.
    • The specs state this thing has a fairly standard 5.7 L Chevy under the hood. That's not much power for moving such a large amount of weight. Dual alternators and other accessories further drag this thing down. Plus, I speak from experience when I state that a 5.7 L chevy, old or new isn't the best for moving something heavy when you want to keep up with the 75MPH speed limit on a moderate hill.

      This thing is good for off-road trips. Excess power under the hood in that situation wastes fuel, which is obviously a bad thing. With a highway monster, a good 454 suits me just fine.. and if I don't mind stopping to pick up $50 of gasoline every 2-300 miles or so, I can climb hills at about 75+ MPH.

      • Having seen one, and ridden in one with original specifications [uppervalle...dtours.com] I can tell you that a 5.7L Chevy is much much more powerful than the 90 HP engine that the Mogs originally came with. And I can tell you that the gearing on these things is so low that 90 Horses would take the original Mog (which was used as a mobile electronic communication base) over just about anything. Basically, it's an old Humvee.

        With a 5.7L Chevy, this thing is probably unstoppable right up to grades that flip it over, especially if the original tranny or gear ratios are still being used.
  • Rebels (Score:4, Funny)

    by Renraku (518261) on Monday January 14, 2002 @04:32AM (#2835275) Homepage
    Finally bringing the Beowulf cluster to the redneck/jock clique.
  • Something tells me that we'll be seeing Dirk Pitt tooling around in one of these in a future NUMA [numa.net] action-adventure novel.
  • by J.D. Hogg (545364) on Monday January 14, 2002 @04:40AM (#2835287) Homepage
    So, is this going to be another very large very heavy off-road capable vehicle that idiotic SUV lovers will use to drive 5 miles to work everyday on perfectly maintained flat roads, doing less than 15 miles to the gallon, and threatening bicycle riders like myself ?

    Hold on while I masturbate furiously in anticipation ... :-(

    • If you'll read the site you'll see you'll need a special drivers license just to drive the thing (well, maybe the cops won't know that :P) so I doubt it'll be used by soccer moms.

      I have a feeling this is mostly going to be used by people who actually need one.
  • UNIMOG (Score:3, Troll)

    by clinko (232501) on Monday January 14, 2002 @04:41AM (#2835290) Homepage Journal
    This is actually a redesign of a very old "S.U.V." called the UniMog
    Unimog info [unimogusa.com]
    • Re:UNIMOG (Score:2, Interesting)

      by zyklone (8959)
      I think calling the UniMogs SUVs is a bit wrong.
      They are UVs perhaps.

      They are not exactly know for their extreme speed.
  • by J.D. Hogg (545364) on Monday January 14, 2002 @04:55AM (#2835312) Homepage
    Am I the only one who saw this thing [maximog.com] and imagined it standing on its rear wheels shouting "transformer" ?
  • by GoRK (10018) <<moc.ocbrulb> <ta> <lnhoj>> on Monday January 14, 2002 @05:00AM (#2835322) Homepage Journal
    So for those of you who want to build your own one of these beasts...

    A couple months ago some friends of mine and I bought an old super heavy duty school bus to deck out with gear. GPS, wireless lan, satelite transponders, audio gear, radar (marine radar), HUD, etc... basically anything ridiculously gratuitous that you see on the MAXIMOG vehicle. Our vehicle has 450 horses and weighs about 3.5 tons gutted. We got it from a podunk town that was using it as a fire and rescue support vehicle to haul rescue workers and equipment such as the jaws of life, chemical fire extenguishers, etc. It is a beastly machine.

    Anyway for our vehicle systems, the design documents are to be public domain (with author copyrights of course) and support software will be GPL'd or BSD licensed. There are the beginnings of a project on sourceforge and photos. Basically the whole project is focused on building a totally insane techno machine from a bunch of junk on the cheap.

    Check it out! [sourceforge.net]

    Oh yeah, it's already named Richard, III.
    • Oh man, thats awesome :) I've often thought about rigging out a step van (ala Sneakers) but I've never had the money, so I'm living vicariously through you. I can't wait to see how this turns out. :)
    • Anyway for our vehicle systems, the design documents are to be public domain (with author copyrights of course) and support software will be GPL'd or BSD licensed.

      *sigh*

      If you create something, copyright is implicitly granted to you.

      If you explicitly register it with a government, or mark it with a copyright notice, or both, the copyright is made more enforceable in courts, but the copyright already existed.

      If you transfer or license copyright to another party, then they can copy or distribute it within the bounds of the agreement. It depends on the bounds of the agreement as to whether you, the creator, can continue to copy or distribute it.

      Putting something in the Public Domain negates and relinquishes all copyrights. That's the point. The thing may then be copied and distributed and modified and incorporated in derivative works by anyone in the world, without attribution. The only thing that is still not possible ethically or morally is to try to assign or limit reproduction with a new copyright on any substantially unchanged version.

      It is rare, but sometimes excessive licensed reproduction, to the point of cultural ubiquity, can negate all copyrights on a work and put it into the Public Domain. For example, NASA's photograph of Earth during Apollo 17 mission was once the most reproduced photo in the world, with hundreds of thousands or millions of licensed placements. Its ubiquity dilutes its controls.

      If you consciously put your vehicle design documents into the Public Domain, then you can choose whether or not to include attribution of the authors. However, saying that Joe Blow wrote the plans is a far cry from claiming, asserting or enforcing a right to control copying.

  • Excessive? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ImaLamer (260199) <john.lamarNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday January 14, 2002 @05:04AM (#2835335) Homepage Journal
    No, this machine isn't excessive. The add-ons are excessive. Jet boat and unmanned aircraft?

    I guess the 'James Bond' types will be easy to spot in the near future. He's the guy driving the huge ambulance with a jet boat on the back and spy plane on the roof.

    It will be an obvious choice who to kill for the bad guys.
  • by Tsar (536185) on Monday January 14, 2002 @05:06AM (#2835344) Homepage Journal
    Of the Future SUV [4x4.org] site? It hosts such massive concept vehicles as the Kenworth Pilgrimage, the Grand Dominator, the Eliminator (a new version of last year's Fornicator), and the ever-popular Peterbuilt Crusader All-Sport Denali Outback Eddie Bauer 5.9 Limited [4x4.org].
  • the OS (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    OS's by law have to be embedded type OS's. It's ilegal to run the controls such as safety and what makes it work with anything else such as windows, macOS,linux (embedded forms would be ok). They have to be embedded to help prevent against a crash. Any bug while driving could result in injury/death. Also since the cars computer controller is never used by things like entertainment systems and such it doesn't have to support much other than a lot of IO and managing things such as fuel maps for the engine. The auto industry does most of their prototyping with Dspace. Production cars use a finalized version of this. Typicaly you have little control over this programing for safety reasons, you can read the codes (as in error code) but not much more. This is not something people shouldn't mess with. I would be surprised if QNX is the real OS controling critical things. 1) because Benz makes the unimog so its' controls would have been made by them. 2) QNX is pretty advanced, for your car you want it as simple as possable to avoid bugs. 3) its pretty big and needs a decent CPU, cars use very lame CPU's in them, and many of them. Anything thats more than a few thousand lines of code would probly be to much.

    BB
  • SUVs are evil (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cliveholloway (132299) on Monday January 14, 2002 @05:16AM (#2835376) Homepage Journal
    I am dying to print and randomly place the following sticker on SUVs at my local green supermarket:

    "I'm an environmental oxymoron - I buy organic and drive an SUV"

    .02

    cLive ;-)

    • Re:SUVs are evil (Score:2, Insightful)

      by klund (53347)
      Standard equipment should include a bumper sticker that says I'm changing the climate. Ask me how! [changingtheclimate.com]
    • I've been shopping at a co-op for years and have yet to see an SUV in the lot (I've looked). Lots of Volvo's and Saabs, but no SUV's.

      Go to the mall, however, and it's a different story.
    • Believe it or not, those "evil" SUVs are relatively clean compared to motorcycles [evworld.com]. Yes, that's right. If you want to emit less pollution, a LOT less, get rid of your Honda motorcycle and get into an Explorer. Admittedly, SUVs will still output more carbon dioxide, but I'd rather have more inert gas than more pollution.
    • SUV = Stupid Urban Vehicle.

      90% of Stupid Urban Vehicle owners are office workers that will never see an unpaved road. They buy these moster machines because they have been taught to fear their neighbors. In reality, the world has them to fear as the stupid things are difficult to handle and much less stable than the simple 4 door sedan that would fill all of their automotive needs.

      The flicker in my eye is a reflection of burning karma.

  • You know they should put one of these in a movie. Then they could go to some island and get eaten by Dinosaurs.

    Seems like a lot of really cool ideas from movies are being taken on as projects and being made into reality. This is making for some really fun new toys that we've always wished we could have. C'mon Hollywood, keep 'em coming!
  • by Bombcar (16057) <racbmobNO@SPAMbombcar.com> on Monday January 14, 2002 @06:03AM (#2835454) Homepage Journal
    All these computers, and no MP3 player!

    Creature Comforts

    * 5.1. Self leveling leather upholstered air suspension seats with five way adjustments, lumbar air bags, heat, and on/off road modes)
    * 5.2. Inertia reel seatbelts with off-road lock
    * 5.3. Refrigerator/food warmer/coffee maker
    * 5.4. Heated and cooled drink holders.
    * 12 disc CD changer (connected to entertainment AM/FM/CD player)
    * 5.6. Retractable (air powered) entry steps (one on each side), provide access step for front and rear doors.

    from this page [maximog.com]
  • by Diabolical (2110) on Monday January 14, 2002 @06:08AM (#2835458) Homepage
    Why is it people are making comments about this thing making VERY clear that they did not read the site's FAQ or even visited the site?

    The vehicle is not for sale, another one could be build if you have enough money. But i bet that there won't be alot of these things sold.. if people just look at the site they would have found out that this truck, bike, UAV, powerboat etc, was entirely build for EXPEDITIONS ! It isn't meant to be used as a recreational vehicle.
    • NOt very practical for expeditions really. The last thing you want on an serious expedition is
      a large petrol engine, a diesel is a must. Why?
      A) It is more fuel efficient
      B) They are more reliable
      C) They have about 50% more torque for the same engine capacity

      Also this vehicle doesn't appear to have a manual gearbox option. So basically its for posers.
      • I didn't even consider that it wasn't diesel! Crazy.

        I'd add D) They're much more useful when you're driving through deep water. Electrically ignited gas engines have to be very carefully sealed. Diesel engines only need to get air from somewhere. (Hence the "snorkel" on military trucks.)

        • Electrically ignited gas engines have to be very carefully sealed. Diesel engines only need to get air from somewhere. (Hence the "snorkel" on military trucks.)

          Take a look at the specs. This thing is very carefully sealed *and* has a snorkel.

          • This thing is very carefully sealed *and* has a snorkel.

            Great. Now you have to worry about maintaining and replacing dozens of gaskets and seals, on top of all the other high-tech gadgets. Why not just go with the simplest solution?

    • if people just look at the site they would have found out that this truck, bike, UAV, powerboat etc, was entirely build for EXPEDITIONS!

      I sure hope not. I think it has to be just a showcase for all sorts of new technology. Because something that complex would be USELESS for truly rugged work. Can you imagine adding the job of maintaining dozens of computers on top of everything else while on a trek?

      Why on earth would you want an ultra high-performance jet boat that you'd never have a prayer of repairing in the field? Why a huge BMW cruiser bike when a simple dirt bike or four-wheeler would be more flexible and have half as many parts to carry replacements for?

      Heavy duty equipment for remote expeditions has to be VERY easy to maintain in the field. The last thing you'd ever want is a bunch of extra feature-crap that costs you the whole trip when it starts to fail.

      I wish they'd make it more clear that it's just a concept vehicle, because as an actual work platform it's pointless.

    • We can read. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Baba Abhui (246789)
      The vehicle is not for sale... if people just look at the site they would have found out that this... was entirely build for EXPEDITIONS! It isn't meant to be used as a recreational vehicle.


      SUV's in general (Jeep, Range Rover) were originally meant for expeditions and military use - not recreational or personal use. But they are now a menace to drivers everywhere. So... uh, what was your point again?

      By publicizing yet another outsized vehicle, they are doing their part (even if it's only a small one) to accelerate the disturbing trend of using these wasteful and dangerous "cars" as family vehicles. Even if this vehicle isn't for sale, there's little doubt that it will stimilate a few Unimog sales at least. Publicity works.
      • ...the disturbing trend of using these wasteful and dangerous "cars" as family vehicles.

        I know SUV-bashing is very chic these days, but allow me to point out that there are families for whom this type of vehicle makes perfect sense. Mine, for example.

        Show me another vehicle that will seat seven (with seat belts for everyone and no chilren in the front seat), has four-wheel drive and high ground clearance (we spend a lot of time in the mountains) and can pull a 7000 lb. camp trailer.

        As for it's use as a family car, well, unless we wanted to own three vehicles, it must be a family car. I have a Saturn for commuting, and we use the small car whenever possible, but with a large family like mine no sedan is adequate; we'd have to buy a mini-van. The cost of buying, owning and maintaining a third vehicle would far exceed the cost of the extra fuel for the SUV. Alternatively, I could commute in the mini-van, but that would consume far more fuel than my little Saturn, and I rack up a *lot* more miles commuting than we do driving in non-mountainous places as a family.

        I agree that there are plenty of people whose SUVs never get off the pavement, and those people are somewhat silly, IMO, but for a large number of active families, particularly in the mountainous regions, SUVs are a perfect family car.

        • Ford Van (Score:2, Insightful)

          by xtype (41544)
          Full size Ford vans can be ordered in four wheel drive format.
          My parents have one, just a little higher than the normal econoline(sp?), extremely practical for a family living in/near the mountains, frequently taking the children and their friends on ski trips. A lot more storage space and leg/head room than any SUV.
          And excursions are just plain scary. If you need that much room, get a van.
      • I propose (Score:3, Funny)

        by ksheff (2406)

        That we stop referring to these vehicles as SUVs. Only a small minority of the owners actually use then for off road sporting type functions or use them to haul lots of equipment that would classify them as being a utility vehicle. Face it, 80-90% of them are used for commuting, running down to the store to pick up a bag of groceries and the ever popular picking up kids at school. How about these choices:

        • MSW - Macho Station Wagon. It's or the guys that wouldn't be caught dead in a station wagon or minivan, but would drive an MSW to do the same functions.
        • SSV - Status Symbol Vehicle. Face it. No one is going to take their Caddilac, Mercedes, or Lincoln off road. They cost too much. It's to show the neighbors that you have lots of money. Which leads to...
        • MMTBV - More Money Than Brains Vehicle. Given that they cost $250/month more [google.com] than an equivilant luxury car in operating costs, the smart rich dude, while still wanting to show off, knows better than to burn money on such expenses.

        If anyone can think of any more, I'd like to hear them....Looks like I need to change my sig again. Damn

    • Read the site's FAQ??? I started downloading the main page in another window before I started reading comments -- 20 or 30 comments later, still waiting on that download.
      • Just the FAQ's (Score:4, Informative)

        by markmoss (301064) on Monday January 14, 2002 @12:39PM (#2836523)
        OK, finally got enough of the main page to see the FAQ link -- and it downloads instantly. (See how much better text works?)

        WHY WAS IT BUILT?
        The MaxiMog(TM) vehicle and trailer was built because it's owner plans to drive around the world to remote and hard to get to places doing both photography and scientific exploration. Contrary to what many people believe, most of our planet is still relatively unexplored. After a year of research, he determined that a custom vehicle would have to be built to meet his requirements. The MaxiMog(TM) is the first pass at that solution and is a work in progress.
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        WHY A VEHICLE, TRAILER AND MOTORBIKE?
        To provide the most flexibly. The hybrid system allows the vehicle or motorbike to go off exploring while the trailer remains behind as a base camp. The MaxiMog(TM) vehicle alone can be used by itself for small expeditions that don't require sleeping, kitchen or toilet facilities.
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        WHY IS IT CALLED AN EXPEDITION SYSTEM?
        Because the various components including the vehicle, trailer, motorbike, underwater submersible (ROV), remote surveillance aircraft (UAV), Jet Boat, and modular electronics systems are designed to be easily interchangeable, and work together as a coordinated whole.
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        WHAT WAS IT BASED ON?
        The MaxiMog(TM) vehicle is based upon a highly modified Mercedes Benz Unimog U90 chassis. At this point about 30% is original. The MaxiMog(TM) trailer was designed and built from scratch.
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        WHAT'S ITS DRIVING RANGE?
        The vehicle has a design driving cruise range of about 1200 miles without refueling. Obviously this MPG rating is affected up or down based upon speed and terrain.
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        HOW MUCH DOES IT WEIGH?
        The vehicle weights approximately 16,500 pounds loaded, and the trailer weighs about 14,000 pounds.
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        FROM THE PICTURES, IT LOOKS TOP HEAVY.
        While the vehicle has a high profile to provide adequate internal headroom (BTW - It's the same height as the original Unimog U90 chassis on which it was based.), the center of gravity is quite low due to the placement of heavy items such as the Engine, Generator, Batteries and Fuel Tanks. Additionally, the vehicle has front and rear antisway bars and an auto leveling air suspension system to assist in dynamic stability.
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        DON'T THOSE NERF BARS HURT GROUND CLEARANCE?
        The Nerf Bars (side steps) are shown extended in the pictures on the site. When driving, they are pneumatically retracted.
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        WHY SO MUCH CHROME!?
        There is actually no chrome anywhere on the Maximog(TM). Everything you see that looks like chrome (including the 4 front bumper mounted 5 gallon water tanks) is solid 316 stainless steel alloy with a natural polished finish. Beyond corrosion resistance and appearance, the polished finish minimizes adhesion of snow, ice and mud.
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        DOES THE TRAILER HAVE TO BE CONNECTED TO THE MAXIMOG(TM) VEHICLE TO GET POWER AND COMMUNICATIONS?
        While the trailer can be connected to the trailer for power, communications and data, it does not need to. It has it's own water cooled quiet 25KW generator which can supply power, air conditioning or heat, or hydraulic power to operate the wheel motors at low speeds (Both 4 wheel drive and steering) for campsite positioning or power assist for off road mobility.
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        CAN IT STAY IN COMMUNICATION AND CONNECT TO THE INTERNET IN VERY REMOTE AREAS?
        Yes. It has multiple long range communications systems for plain or secure message traffic in addition to short range VHF and UHF transceivers for short and medium range use. The principally long range (non-emergency) communications systems are Inmarsat-B/C/Mini-M, Globalstar LEO, and a HF/ALE (High Frequency/Automatic Link Establishment) transceiver for low bandwidth communications in areas where there is no satellite visibility. Asymmetrical data-only internet connectivity for wideband downloads can be accomplished via a tracking DSS satellite dish if within the satellite footprint. When wideband video Uplink capability is required an independent satellite system is carried on board the Vehicle or trailer.
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        WHAT IF IT BREAKS DOWN?
        The MaxiMog(TM) carries a significant compliment of spare parts and tools to effect field repairs. It is also designed so that critical systems have backups and automatic systems can be isolated and operated manually if needed. However in the event of a serious component failure such as a broken drive-line component, the approach is to take the BMW R1150GS bike and get help, or use the global communications system to get parts and tools driven or flown in.
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        HOW GOOD IS IT FOR ROCK CRAWLING AND EXTREME OFF ROADING?
        Simply stated, it's an expedition vehicle, not a recreational vehicle. While it is designed for severe off road conditions whenever encountered, this is a vehicle that is intended for long duration expeditions, not "seeing what it can do" by traversing technical trails created by off road enthusiasts. However, the Maximog(TM) chassis provides 20+" of suspension travel, 25" inches of ground clearance (worst case, under the differential housings), positive locking differentials, CTIS, variable ride height, adjustable shock absorber compliance, and air shifted transfer case for low range operation. This makes it quite capable in a broad variety of off road conditions.
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        BUT WON'T IT GET STUCK OFF ROAD IF TOWING THE TRAILER?
        The Maximog(TM) trailer is designed for the same off-road operation conditions as the Maximog(TM) vehicle. It has a ruggedized chassis, the same 25" ground clearance, and the same air suspension and adjustable shock which are coordinated in operation with the tow vehicle. Additionally, the trailer is a fully powered 4X4 using computer controlled hydraulic wheel motors so the combined MaxiMog(TM) + Trailer functions as an 8X8 with coordinated drive, suspension ride height and compliance, and CTIS operation. The front wheels are steered so the vehicle and trailer combined has the same turn radius as the vehicle alone.
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        HOW DO YOU CHANGE A TIRE AND WHAT DO THEY WEIGH?
        Fortunately, this size of heavy duty Michelin tire doesn't get a lot of punctures and if it's a slow leak the Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS) can often keep up with it. When you do need to change a tire, the vehicle has a tire lowering winch built into the swing away spare tire holder that easily lowers it to the ground or raises it into the storage position. Depending upon which tire size and tread pattern (highway, off-road or combination) is fitted, the weight is between 325 and 400 pounds each.
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        WHY THE BIG TELESCOPIC MAST?
        The mast has a variety of uses. It can elevate an electro optics package for long range observation and rangefinding (day or night). It is also used to mount communications antennas to increase point-to-point communications range. This is especially useful for flying the UAV (Unmanned Air Vehicle) at long range, and to increase the service area of portable communications devices like walkie talkies (using the onboard VHF and UHF repeaters). A chair can also be fitted to the mast to elevate a person for direct observation. The mast has a tilt-down facility which facilitates loading heavy items on top from ground level. It has a static payload capacity of 350 pounds.
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        WHAT IF IT GETS STUCK?
        It has 20,000lb capacity (continuous duty) front and rear hydraulic winches with 150' stainless steel cables. The winches are dual speed units and may be controlled locally from the drivers cab, or remotely via a safety interlocked radio remote control system. The vehicle also carries a variety of hydraulically powered accessory tools including an submersible chain saw, impact wrench, bolt/cable cutter, grinder, and multi-purpose push-pull jacks.
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        IS IT LEGAL TO DRIVE IN THE USA?
        Yes, once certified and licensed it is fully legal to drive on any road that is rated for it's weight (all major roads and highways) and height (10'6"). It meets California emissions standards and all applicable DOT/FMVSS/EPA regulations. The MaxiMog(TM) is a Truck not an SUV and requires a driver's license for a heavy (over 12,500lbs) vehicle with air brakes.
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        HOW IS THE TRAILER CONSTRUCTED?
        It is a composite panel structure using a sandwich of fiberglass reinforced plastic, thermal insulating foam, and electrical shielding to provide lightning protection. These custom panels are fabricated with internal metal tubes and fittings to provide reinforcement where needed. Unicat in Germany is expert at this construction technique which yields an excellent strength to weight ratio and superior thermal insulation for extreme heat or cold.
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        HOW DOES THE TRAILER FOLD AND UNFOLD?
        The trailer uses a new system which combines a lifting roof with two interchangeable side mounted Swingout® modules (patent pending). These modules are electrically operated with a microprocessor based motion control and safety system doing the motion control coordination. It takes approximately 5 minutes to complete its fold/unfold cycle (limited to this speed for safety). When in its folded state the trailer is fully protected (all glass covered) and the overall size as the MaxiMog(TM) vehicle. When it unfolds, there is approximately double the internal volume. There are seven steps to the fold/unfold process.
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        DOES IT HAVE A TV AND AM/FM?
        Yes to both with DSS satellite TV capability.
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        DOES IT FLY?
        Not intentionally...
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        WHO DESIGNED IT?
        The vehicle was designed by Bran Ferren of Applied Minds Inc in collaboration with Thomas Ritter of Unicat. He can be reached at bran@AppliedMinds.net.
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        WHO BUILT IT?
        Thomas Ritter at his company Unicat based in Hambrücken Germany was selected as the best and most experienced manufacturer to build the vehicle he designed, and the staff at Applied Minds in Glendale California did the technology systems design and integration.
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        WHAT DOES IT COST AND CAN I BUY ONE?
        Well, let's just say that it costs more than a Hummer and Less than a Boeing 777 -- and you can't buy this one. However, you can have one built just like it, or to your precise specifications by the same company, Unicat. For more information please contact Thomas Ritter
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  • Well, the website survived just fine, but the 'MogCam' is down. Guess 'slashdotted' wasn't one of the 'extreme conditions' the vehicle was designed for :)
  • So, other than hunting & killing aliens on mars, or surviving a post-apoctalyptic wasteland version of Earth, what can I use this thing for, exactly?
    • You (not *you* personally, I'm not one to judge) could use it to compensate for a small penis. At least I assume that's why people buy these gas-guzzling atrocities.

      -Legion

  • Funny, it uses the LS-1 360HP engine, the same as the GM Corvette. So there should be tons of stuff to "overclock" to more HP's :)
  • I quote

    On exhibit at the New York MoMA Feb 8 - May 6 2001

    I saw this website months and months ago. Is Slashdot really 'news for nerds' or is it just 'links from people who didnt see this stuff ages ago'?


    The vehicle itself seems to just be a promotional vehicle for www.unicat.net, a company that seem to make custom Unimogs. The various modules for the Maximog - plane, boat, time-machine, are as much vapourware as a 100:1 lossless compression program.

  • My MaxiMod was hacked and defaced by some Hummer activists!
  • To ride in style, you need a stretch limo SUV [atlanticlimo-ga.com].
  • Wonder if it is an autobot or decepticon.

    Whatever it is its ugly as sin.
  • by hrieke (126185)
    the air horn for my car.
    And I want it to play both "Dixi" and "La Cucaracha"
  • I have a friend who has an older UNi-Mog [xtroot.com]. I gotta tell ya, that thing is damn fun to go for rides in. I haven't done any off roading with him, but my first ride in the thing was in a mild hurricane. That was weird...

    Needless to say I've done a fair amount of looking into these things, and have found a few things [carradine.net] out there [unimogmagazine.com] that may be of intrest [unimogusa.com] to someone who may want to know more [mercedes-benz.com] about these things. Sweet machines, they are.
  • I used to have a Mercedes Jeep. Origionally designed as Mercedes bid for supplying UN vehicles. It looked about like this thing, except it has a convertable soft top. The body is made by Mercedes truck division and the drivetrain by the car division. It had nifty featrues like a special lever to lock the universal joints in the drivetrain so sou can rock a stuck vehicle without damaging the universals.

    I owned the Jeep for two years in the Mid-East. I spent many a day two-tracking though the desert. I slammed it into rocks. I drove it through sandpits. I even jumped it quite a distance. The skidplate underthe motor was like 1/4 inch thick. The only proble I ever had with it was the throttle cable coming off after jumping it about 15 feet. I'd love to own one again.
  • and we couldn't find him for an hour!

    The Miabatsui Monstrosity... "Mine's Bigger".

    ;)

    =tkk
  • To only be purchased by someone with an extremly small penis.
  • Did you read the specs page? It's got redundant GPS mapping with tiebreaking dead-reconing and aviation nav systems, marine radar, satellite internet, tv, phone, computer-powered everything (some running QNX), xenon headlights, worklights, joystick-adjustable search lights, front-, side-, and rear-mounted remote pan/tilt/zoom/focus-able cameras, a power-driven mast on which you can raise all kinds of communication antennas, a remote-controlled camera dome, or a chair, displays in the cabin will tell you the distance between your bumpers and the nearest solid object, it's got a coffee maker, a fridge, a bathroom in the trailer (which has a command center accessible via what appears to be a Mac with dual 17" LCD monitors), if you want to see over a hilltop or something you can launch an electric recon plane and watch realtime wireless video with a 30-mile flight range, you can set up the zero-to-sixty-in-four-seconds jet boat and go up against four-foot white water rapids with, of course, full GPS navigation and forward-looking night-vision with GPS waypoint overlay, and if you get bored with this you can take the Beamer cycle off the back and go zipping through the countryside with high-resolution GPS and a sat-phone, packet modem, etc...

    It's just freaking inspiring that someone with the resources to pull this thing off is going to get to go on adventures with it all over the world, which is obviously his life-long dream which, judging by the fact that he says the whole thing costs a bit less than a Boeing 777, is probably a well- deserved vacation from all the wealth-building he's been doing up until now to be able to afford not only the lifestyle of a free-roaming expeditionist, but a free-roaming expeditionist with the ultimate custom-built geek adventure vehicle of all freaking time.

    It almost brings a tear to your eye...::sniff::
  • Interesting blip... (Score:3, Informative)

    by psych031337 (449156) <psych0.wtnet@de> on Monday January 14, 2002 @12:25PM (#2836457)
    ...about the Unimog. This vehicle, dubbed to be one of the best All-terrain vehicles in the world (with exception to the recent Humvees maybe), was one of the first Mercedes-Benz products after WWII was over. As Germanys industry was was under control of the allieds everything they built needed prior permission. As it seems the allieds took the vehicle for what it was advertised a powerful tractor/transporter for agricultural and civilian construction uses (it was perfect for building roads as the vehicles had cruise control from day one, allowing them to go with very constant 2mph).

    Ironically, after the Germans were allowed to establish a military force again they ordered Unimogs and rated them as "military vehicle class A" which means that it is "able to follow a heavy combat tank through heavy terrain with medium speed under all conditions". Created for civilian use it received its well-deserved military honors. Even the US army uses some of them. (Among many many others).

    You can check out the vehicle history at the link below, along with some pictures. You can also take a look at the new U400 which looks way ugly in comparison to the older models. Maybe I just like them better because I have driven one of 'em for so many miles.

    Unimog History [mercedes-benz.com]

    Ironically for Mercedes-Benz, the sales are going very bad in the last years, that was part of the reason for the facelifted U400 but it is not the competition that's digging MB. Everyon who could possibly use one (military, agricultural, construction, ...) already have bought one. And it runs. It is not uncommon to see 1960s models in the streets doing their work. So why buy a new one ?
  • Gee, why don't we send a cartload of these vehicles to Afgahnistan. They sure need off-road SUVs, especially after we bombed the last two paved roads they had. Plus, they are much closer to the oil fields, so filling the tank won't be a problem.

    I suggest only a few modifications:

    • A converter to allow running on crude.
    • A grenade launcher instead of the left miror (nobody gonna overtake you anyway).
    • A mine protection belly shield.
    • A waterproof illustrated retractable Koran instead of the "entertainment center".

    Oh, and if we there are no more buyers in Afgahnistan, no problem! Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, manhole-in-the-desert-stan, plenty of places that will appreciate the next level in guerrilla transportation.

  • by anothy (83176)
    my favorite bit on this site is right on the front page, down towards the bottom: it's on display at a modern art museum! that's just wonderful. i like.
    well, that and the intent of exploring this "or similar" planets...
  • During the snowy winter months, Unimogs are just about the only way for researchers and astronomers to access the Meyer-Womble Observatory [du.edu] atop Mount Evans, Colorado [du.edu]. 14,148 feet above sea level.

    An image of the Halloween '99 DU Astronomy Unimog expedition is here [du.edu].

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (1) Gee, I wish we hadn't backed down on 'noalias'.

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