One of the latest expedition vehicles to hit the road and deep, deep backcountry, the EX 435 from Germany's Bimobil is ready to prowl Earth in search of adventure and scenery. With its combination of Bimobil's tough-but-cozy living structure and hard-nosed Mercedes Unimog 4023 underpinnings, the EX 435 promises to roll over and rip through any and all types of terrain standing between you and destinations the world over.
Germany's Bimobil already offers a full line of expedition vehicles built on base vehicles like the Mercedes Sprinter 4x4, Iveco Daily 4x4 and Mitsubishi Fuso Canter 4x4. The EX 435 adds an option built atop the Mercedes Unimog.
We see a fair number of expedition vehicles here at New Atlas, and few look as rugged and ready as those built on Unimogs. And we much prefer the hard-jawed look of the 4023 "extreme all-terrain Unimog" over the long, droopy face of the U 216 - U 530 range. We'd say the 4023 cab proves the perfect complement for the hard lines and angles of Bimobil's camper module.
When it comes to venturing out to distant campsites and exploring areas days from the beaten track, the 23-foot-long (7-m-long) EX 435 benefits from the exceptional capabilities of the Unimog below. This is a vehicle that Mercedes builds up not for joy rides down gravel roads and smooth dirt, but for trekking through deep snow, into flood zones, and over trackless-stretches of rattly, rutted and off-camber earth, to get hard, gut-wrenching work done.
Riding on a 151.5-in (3,850-mm) wheelbase, the Unimog under the EX 435 powers its four wheels with a 228-hp 5.1-liter BlueTec four-cylinder and electro-pneumatic transmission with eight forward gears and six reverse gears. That engine puts out up to 664 lb-ft of torque.
The Unimog's all-wheel drive, front and rear differential locks, and available off-road gear group help in navigating rough terrain. Portal axles lift the vehicle structure up for a 19.7-in (50-cm) ground clearance, which remains unaltered during the EX 435 conversion. The torsional flex of the welded ladder frame, combined with the torque tube axle suspension, provides up to 30 degrees of axle articulation, allowing the Unimog to devour uneven terrain. The driver can quickly adjust tire pressures for changing conditions below, using the standard central tire inflation system.
The Unimog also comes standard with 31.5-in (80-cm) water fording capabilities, which can be upgraded optionally to 47.2 in (120 cm).
In short, the Unimog 4023 chassis gives the EX 435 the terrain-eating chops to master virtually everything short of vertical rock walls and oceans. From there, Bimobil takes what's rugged, mean and utilitarian outside and makes it bright, comfy and well-equipped inside.
Bimobil's standard wall and roof panel construction consists of a sandwich of water-resistant plywood inside, foam core and enameled aluminum outside. Those panels are welded in place with a perimetric frame. The floor has an aluminum frame, foam core and fiberglass underside.
Bimobil makes very efficient use of the space within the EX 435's camping module, offering a kitchen, bathroom, convertible dinette and plenty of storage. In place of a simpler folding or stowaway mattress, Bimobil opts for a lifting, 59 x 78-in (1.5 x 2-m) bed that rises up to the ceiling when not in use. When it's time to retire for the night, the bed lowers and rests over the compacted dinette area.
The kitchen area includes a dual-burner cooktop and sink, continuing on the other side of the entry door with an oven and 110 L compressor fridge. The bathroom is a proper dry bath containing a shower cubicle and a separate area with 19 L cassette toilet and sink.
The EX 435 offers storage all around the interior. There's a central wardrobe, multiple drawers and dinette area storage. Three exterior-access lockers add more space. Primary cabin access is through the side door with electric step, and there's also a pass-through between the Unimog driver's cab and the camping cabin.
In terms of systems and capacities, the EX 435 comes with a 210 Ah auxiliary battery, three 12 V sockets, five 220 V sockets, a 300 L fresh water tank, 100 L waste water tank, Truma Combi diesel heater and 10 L boiler.
Unimog-based expedition vehicles tend to carry supercar-like prices, and the EX 435 is no exception. It starts at €279,590 (approx. US$300K), which gets even more expensive when you realize that, despite its hulking size, the 435 is designed to carry and sleep only two people.
Bimobil debuted the EX 435 at last year's Abenteuer & Allrad (Adventure and All-wheel) show and showed it again at the CMT Stuttgart show, which wrapped up earlier this week.
Source: Bimobil (German)