UNICAT: Unholy Spawn of RV, Dakar Truck, and Ghengis Khan

Road trips are fun, but there’s hardly any adventure in the typical one (unless you count digestive issues caused by roadside diners). UNICAT offers a solution – leave seeing the world’s largest fizzy denture cleaner to Aunt Marie and try your hand at something fun. Say, the La Paz-Yungas Road in Bolivia? [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIACnxgVQss[/youtube] These aren’t your average retiree land yachts, shuffling people on the verge of death from one insipid novelty tee vendor to another. These bad boys are the automotive equivalent of a drug-resistant strain of ebola – you sure as hell ain’t gonna stop it. (Full disclosure: it will NOT eat your flesh, however, unlike drug-resistant ebola.) UNICAT refers to themselves as a constructor of expedition vehicles, and that’s not hyperbole. There’s a ton of variants, all built from hardcore Euro truck chassis bases. We’re talking Dakar rally trucks and UNIMOGs here. My favorite at the moment is the EX70-HDQ, which is constructed from a MAN TGA 6×6 truck. That’s what MAN has specifically built to handle conditions outside the EU – basically, if you need to run 1800 rifles from Niger to Somalia, this is your truck. It packs a MAN D28 12.8L diesel making 480 HP and a 16-speed ZF transmission, and it holds 198 gallons in the tank. That’s enough to get you from point A to point Q at least. That’s not even the good part yet. UNICAT then bolts on a thick fiberglass citadel onto the back, packing “burglarproof glass” and a pop-up roof. Inside, you get a double bed, a full kitchen (including an espresso maker – need to be caffeinated when dodging lava flows), and of course a shower. No reason to deprive yourself of creature comforts, now is there? And of course, what “RV” would be complete without towing some piss-poor car behind it (Suzuki X90, anyone?) on a dolly as a tender? Well, you can leave the dolly at home, because our little friend here has an integrated storage locker for an ATV on the back. It pops out the back like a dropship from Aliens. I’d perhaps modify it to carry a pair of dirtbikes, but I’m not really complaining. How could you? Just look at it! The bottom line is the UNICAT EX70-HDQ, like most of their creations, is a goddamn work of art. It makes me want drive one from Nome, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, although at that point I’d have to die because my life would be totally fulfilled and thereafter meaningless. That being said, it seems like if you sent UNICAT a suitcase or two full of cashola, they’ll build you pretty much whatever the hell you want. Now, if only I had a cool half million bucks and a Toyota FJ45 laying around …

Image courtesy of www.fj45.com
UNICAT Thanks to Joshuman for the tip!

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