Automotive

Find the actual ends of the Earth and live comfortably with Unicat's MD77h 6x6 expedition vehicle

Find the actual ends of the Ea...
Unicat MD77h
Unicat MD77h
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Unicat's MD77h expedition truck includes a full exterior camera system wired into the driver cab display
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Unicat's MD77h expedition truck includes a full exterior camera system wired into the driver cab display
The Unicat MD77h's hydraulic steps provide easy entry
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The Unicat MD77h's hydraulic steps provide easy entry
The hydraulic steps retracted back into the bodywork
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The hydraulic steps retracted back into the bodywork
A driver-side control/display area above the windshield has readings from the auxiliary fuel tanks, tire pressure and more
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A driver-side control/display area above the windshield has readings from the auxiliary fuel tanks, tire pressure and more
The bench behind the front seats looks perfect for a quick nap. Below, an icebox and storage chest help keep the driver and passenger organized
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The bench behind the front seats looks perfect for a quick nap. Below, an icebox and storage chest help keep the driver and passenger organized
Unicat shows the new MD77h
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Unicat shows the new MD77h
No fancy digital cockpit here, just some traditional gauges 
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No fancy digital cockpit here, just some traditional gauges 
Unicat has moved the handbrake from the space between the seats to the dashboard, freeing the center of the cab for a third seat, storage and/or easy access to the rear storage bench and cabin pass-through
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Unicat has moved the handbrake from the space between the seats to the dashboard, freeing the center of the cab for a third seat, storage and/or easy access to the rear storage bench and cabin pass-through
When you're driving a huge six-wheeler, we imagine having the option of something small, quick and nimble is nice to have. Unicat offers motorcycle storage on a winch-operated rear lift
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When you're driving a huge six-wheeler, we imagine having the option of something small, quick and nimble is nice to have. Unicat offers motorcycle storage on a winch-operated rear lift
Unicat MD77h close-up
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Unicat MD77h close-up
This particular customer wanted a driver cab roof hatch for fast, easy photography, so Unicat worked to make it happen, including by creating a slide system to move the satellite dish out of the way
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This particular customer wanted a driver cab roof hatch for fast, easy photography, so Unicat worked to make it happen, including by creating a slide system to move the satellite dish out of the way
This rear bedroom includes two single beds, but Unicat also offers a king bed
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This rear bedroom includes two single beds, but Unicat also offers a king bed
A look down the hallway and into the rear bedroom. The wall on the left houses various wardrobes, a spice drawer for the kitchen, and other storage
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A look down the hallway and into the rear bedroom. The wall on the left houses various wardrobes, a spice drawer for the kitchen, and other storage
The front-situated living area and the kitchen on the left - notice the flush Corian countertop, which covers the sink and cooktop completely
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The front-situated living area and the kitchen on the left - notice the flush Corian countertop, which covers the sink and cooktop completely
The kitchen includes a variety of drawers for dishes, cookware, utensils, garbage and more
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The kitchen includes a variety of drawers for dishes, cookware, utensils, garbage and more
The MD77h has a serious, "I'm not playing" expression to it
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The MD77h has a serious, "I'm not playing" expression to it
The latest all-terrain expedition vehicle coming out of Unicat's Dettenheim, Germany headquarters
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The latest all-terrain expedition vehicle coming out of Unicat's Dettenheim, Germany headquarters
Unicat's kitchen drawers are designed to nest tools and dishes, keeping them in place during bumpy rides
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Unicat's kitchen drawers are designed to nest tools and dishes, keeping them in place during bumpy rides
Pop the Corian counter cover and reveal the wood-lid sink, dual-burner induction cooktop and retractable faucet
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Pop the Corian counter cover and reveal the wood-lid sink, dual-burner induction cooktop and retractable faucet
A look at the Unicat MD77h's kitchen area
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A look at the Unicat MD77h's kitchen area
The MD77h also has a fold-up counter extension
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The MD77h also has a fold-up counter extension
The dining/lounge includes seating for four to five people and an entertainment center. The sofa and table convert to a bed
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The dining/lounge includes seating for four to five people and an entertainment center. The sofa and table convert to a bed
The main entertainment system includes Apple TV, a TV receiver, a Blu-ray player and Bose audio
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The main entertainment system includes Apple TV, a TV receiver, a Blu-ray player and Bose audio
Welcome aboard the Unicat MD77h
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Welcome aboard the Unicat MD77h
The skylight over the seating group offers natural light and starlight views
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The skylight over the seating group offers natural light and starlight views
At the dining table of the Unicat MD77h
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At the dining table of the Unicat MD77h
The bathroom has separate toilet/sink and shower areas
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The bathroom has separate toilet/sink and shower areas
Unicat has created a custom Corian sink with adjustable faucet for this particular MD77h
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Unicat has created a custom Corian sink with adjustable faucet for this particular MD77h
Bathroom sink
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Bathroom sink
The shower area includes towel storage and a washer/dryer
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The shower area includes towel storage and a washer/dryer
Unicat MD77h bathroom
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Unicat MD77h bathroom
Unicat MD77h bathroom
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Unicat MD77h bathroom
The toilet's black water storage is directly below, simplifying logistics
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The toilet's black water storage is directly below, simplifying logistics
A peek in the shower room
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A peek in the shower room
The MD77h has an electrical system with 1,050 Ah battery bank, diesel generator and 1,920W solar array
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The MD77h has an electrical system with 1,050 Ah battery bank, diesel generator and 1,920W solar array
The kitchen counter includes folding panels for access to the cooktop and sink
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The kitchen counter includes folding panels for access to the cooktop and sink
The flush-mounted flat-panel TV and Bose audio of the main entertainment system
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The flush-mounted flat-panel TV and Bose audio of the main entertainment system
The TV swings out for access to the electrical panel
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The TV swings out for access to the electrical panel
Imagine that just outside this cozy living room, you could have triple-digit desert heat, frozen tundra or drenched, predator-filled jungle
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Imagine that just outside this cozy living room, you could have triple-digit desert heat, frozen tundra or drenched, predator-filled jungle
Built-in wall controls
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Built-in wall controls
We imagine buyers can add their own preferred entertainment equipment, but this one includes a Bose receiver, Sony Blu-ray player and Apple TV
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We imagine buyers can add their own preferred entertainment equipment, but this one includes a Bose receiver, Sony Blu-ray player and Apple TV
Closer look at the electrical panel
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Closer look at the electrical panel
The sink cover includes a bamboo cutting board on one side, a teak serving tray on the other, and a carbon center insert to add strength and secure them together
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The sink cover includes a bamboo cutting board on one side, a teak serving tray on the other, and a carbon center insert to add strength and secure them together
The satellite dish folds for driving and electrically lifts up into place when needed
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The satellite dish folds for driving and electrically lifts up into place when needed
A look from above shows the full solar array, retracted satellite dish and photography roof hatch
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A look from above shows the full solar array, retracted satellite dish and photography roof hatch
The Unicat MD77h is designed to travel through all types of terrain and conditions, offering comfortable, fully equipped living quarters on arrival
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The Unicat MD77h is designed to travel through all types of terrain and conditions, offering comfortable, fully equipped living quarters on arrival
The mighty MAN 6x6 MD77h from Unicat
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The mighty MAN 6x6 MD77h from Unicat
The tire inflation system includes air hoses at each tire, making for easy adjustment
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The tire inflation system includes air hoses at each tire, making for easy adjustment
Unicat lowers the bike and spare tire down with a simple winch system
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Unicat lowers the bike and spare tire down with a simple winch system
Once on the ground, you can remove the bike and spare tire for use
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Once on the ground, you can remove the bike and spare tire for use
The FLIR thermal imaging camera display pops up over the navigation console
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The FLIR thermal imaging camera display pops up over the navigation console
The upper touchscreen display in the driver cab shows a feed from the exterior cameras and can also be used for entertainment
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The upper touchscreen display in the driver cab shows a feed from the exterior cameras and can also be used for entertainment
A cool box provides cold, fresh drinks and snacks from behind the driver seat
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A cool box provides cold, fresh drinks and snacks from behind the driver seat
Below the driver cab bench, a storage box keeps camera equipment at the ready
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Below the driver cab bench, a storage box keeps camera equipment at the ready
The driver cab roof hatch helps pro or amateur photographers get a clear shot
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The driver cab roof hatch helps pro or amateur photographers get a clear shot
Unicat explains that it put the satellite dish on the driver cab roof to keep it low and out of the way of the solar panels covering the motorhome cabin roof. It developed a slide lift to move it out of the way when the roof hatch is in use
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Unicat explains that it put the satellite dish on the driver cab roof to keep it low and out of the way of the solar panels covering the motorhome cabin roof. It developed a slide lift to move it out of the way when the roof hatch is in use
The satellite dish sliding back for hatch access
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The satellite dish sliding back for hatch access
With the dish out of the way, the roof hatch provides a way to pop out of the cab for a clear photo
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With the dish out of the way, the roof hatch provides a way to pop out of the cab for a clear photo
Unicat MD77h
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Unicat MD77h
View gallery - 59 images

Much like Action Mobil, Unicat builds some of the biggest, meanest, most diesel-tastic expedition vehicles on the planet. Powerful, oversized truck exteriors finished with soft, feature-packed interiors, these vehicles bring the comforts of home to the most barren, uncomfortable geographies on the planet, including those not really equipped for sustaining human life. The company's latest rig, the MD77h MAN TGS 6x6, packs three axles, 530 hp of pure diesel muscle, and a comfy modern interior with multipurpose kitchen, two sleeping areas, a washer and dryer, and multiple entertainment systems scattered about from the driver's cab to the rear bedroom. Explore whatever obscure corner of the world speaks to you without losing a single warm night of sleep ... or missing out on your favorite Netflix programming.

Based on the MAN TGS 33.540 6x6, the MD77h has the powerful stance of a 177 + 55-in (4,500 + 1,400-mm) 6x6 wheelbase. A 532-hp Euro 5 diesel engine and 12-speed ZF transmission push it over hard bumps, soft muck, smooth pavement and everything between and beyond. A transfer case can take things from front-wheel drive to full 6x6, and locking differentials on the front and rear axles help the driver get out of tricky off-road situations. A tire pressure adjustment system with retractable air hoses at each wheel helps optimize tread for the ground directly beyond the windshield.

The tire inflation system includes air hoses at each tire, making for easy adjustment
The tire inflation system includes air hoses at each tire, making for easy adjustment

The MDh77 is part of Unicat's "individual" expedition vehicle range, a line-up of models built to customer specification. Our article is based on the model that features in Unicat's videos, photos and written materials, but many of the options, including bedroom layout and interior materials, can be switched around according to customer preferences. We reckon half the fun of buying a truck like this is seeing what the company has come up with and the other half is seeing how that company reworks the design around your every need and whim.

The MDh77's driver cab is surrounded by burly branch deflectors and a sturdy roof rack. A set of large auxiliary lights helps to properly illuminate pitch darkness.

The bench behind the front seats looks perfect for a quick nap. Below, an icebox and storage chest help keep the driver and passenger organized
The bench behind the front seats looks perfect for a quick nap. Below, an icebox and storage chest help keep the driver and passenger organized

Since this truck is engineered to rack up hundreds and thousands of miles a stretch, Unicat ensures that the driver's area is as comfortable as can be. This starts with acoustic insulation to block road noise and includes soft leather and Alcantara upholstery wrapping the space. The bench behind the air-cushioned Recaro driver and passenger seats offers a place to sit or lie down and includes an integrated compressor fridge compartment and a storage chest designed to hold camera equipment.

Having immediate access to a camera is important because this vehicle is built to explore singular places that make for once-in-a-lifetime photo ops. Should it stumble upon such a picture-perfect moment - say a herd of gazelles scurrying across the savanna or the vivid reds, pinks and oranges of alpenglow lighting up the mountains - a hatch in the cab roof provides a way to quickly pop up like a prairie dog and grab the video or still photo.

The satellite dish rests directly over top the roof hatch, so Unicat has developed a slide system to move it out of the way when the hatch is in use. As impressive as the sheer size, power and basic equipment of an MDh77-like vehicle are, it's the little engineering solutions like this dish slide that make it a true modern marvel, creating a seamless experience for occupants.

With the dish out of the way, the roof hatch provides a way to pop out of the cab for a clear photo
With the dish out of the way, the roof hatch provides a way to pop out of the cab for a clear photo

The driver cab also includes an Alpine stereo system with MP3 connection and a central 17-in touchscreen, which can display feeds from the exterior cameras and also includes inputs for components like Apple TV and a DVD player, offering passenger entertainment on long rides.

The driver should obviously not be paying attention to a movie playing on the touchscreen, but should periodically check the other digital displays, such as the Garmin navigation screen on the dash and the tire pressure readout in the control center above the upper edge of the windshield. That upper control center also includes auxiliary fuel tank readings and control switches, while the navigation console has a pop-up screen for the thermal imaging camera.

The FLIR thermal imaging camera display pops up over the navigation console
The FLIR thermal imaging camera display pops up over the navigation console

That's an awfully cozy driver's cab, and things only get more cozy when you step inside Unicat's 25.3-foot-long (7.7-m-long) fiberglass-sandwich-wall living module, a space where bitter outside temperatures, bleak landscapes and recent memories of mechanical trials melt away, replaced by the warm embrace of home-like comforts. The cabin can be accessed via a driver's cab pass-through or the side door with hydraulic steps and auto-retract insect screen.

A wraparound seating/dining unit for four to five people is located at the front of the cabin, just behind the driver-cab pass-through. Its table drops down to convert the sofa into a 4.6 x 6.6-foot (1.4 x 2-m) bed, and a skylight with retractable cover above lets sleepers enjoy a look at the stars as they nod off. A flush-mounted flat-panel TV provides entertainment driven by a Blu-ray player, TV receiver and Apple TV, with a Bose sound system providing audio. That TV is held in place by a swivel mount and swings aside to access the electrical control panel built into the wall.

The dining/lounge includes seating for four to five people and an entertainment center. The sofa and table convert to a bed
The dining/lounge includes seating for four to five people and an entertainment center. The sofa and table convert to a bed

At the other end of the cabin, the rear bedroom houses buyer's choice of two single beds or a king-size bed. The two single beds on Unicat's demo model are split by a night stand with entertainment system hardware wired to the wall-mounted TV. A dedicated air conditioner and floor heaters keep the climate comfortable.

The kitchen and bathroom are located across from each toward the center of the MD77h. The latter includes separate shower and toilet areas, and there's a washer/dryer combo in the shower room. A custom sink made from Corian is attached to the toilet room wall.

Many a motorhome kitchen has glass tops that sit over the sink and cooktop to increase countertop space when those appliances are not in use. Unicat takes the concept one step further with a hinged Corian top that blankets the entire kitchen block top to create a clean, flush countertop, hiding the sink and stove completely. So when the kitchen is not in use, it can serve as a sizable table top or general workspace.

Pop the Corian counter cover and reveal the wood-lid sink, dual-burner induction cooktop and retractable faucet
Pop the Corian counter cover and reveal the wood-lid sink, dual-burner induction cooktop and retractable faucet

The sink below the left countertop panel includes its own wood cutting board cover that flips over and works as a serving tray. The induction cooktop on the other side has two hobs. Directly next to the kitchen block is a full-height 284L refrigerator with 27L freezer, and on the opposite wall, a steam oven.

The MDh77 has a lot of appliances to power, and it does so with an onboard power station that includes a 1,050 Ah battery bank fed by nearly 2,000 watts of roof-mounted solar. A Fischer Panda diesel generator can augment that solar system in creating electricity. A hot water interior heating system and air conditioning keep things comfortable inside. The truck carries 1,170 L of fresh water in four separate tanks and 1,050 L of diesel fuel. A 125-L gasoline pump station at the rear delivers fuel to other vehicles, such as the motorbike on the 1,100-lb (500-kg)-capacity winch-operated rear platform.

When you're driving a huge six-wheeler, we imagine having the option of something small, quick and nimble is nice to have. Unicat offers motorcycle storage on a winch-operated rear lift
When you're driving a huge six-wheeler, we imagine having the option of something small, quick and nimble is nice to have. Unicat offers motorcycle storage on a winch-operated rear lift

Unicat has released much written and video information on the MDh77, but it doesn't list a price. We're sure that price fluctuates wildly, given how much of an open-ended custom build each truck is. Some quick comparison shopping with other 6x6 off-road monster motorhomes suggests that potential buyers are looking at a purchase that runs near or in the seven-figure range.

Unicat announced the MDh77 back in August and added some very good YouTube walk-around videos last month, complete with clear, detailed English narration by engineer Thomas Ritter. The interior video is below, and the exterior and driver cab walkthroughs round out the comprehensive video tour. The videos run between 7 and 10.5 minutes, so you'll need a little time to get through all three, but they are well worth the watch if you're interested in looking over the small details of this larger-than-life truck.

UNICAT Expedition Vehicles MD77H MAN TGS 33.540 - 6X6 - Part 2 Inside

Source: Unicat

View gallery - 59 images
5 comments
tapasmonkey
Isn't the idea of driving something that's clearly worth half a million dollars into remote regions, crewed only by a couple of high net-worth individuals, just asking for trouble?
guzmanchinky
While this is an AWESOME machine, I can't imagine actually being able to take this down any kinds of trail narrower than a semi truck. And the best trails that lead to the best backwoods camping spots are MUCH narrower than a semi truck. Get a Sprinter from Sportsmobile.
RoGuE_StreaK
There are ACTUAL ends of the Earth?! The flat-earthers were right!!
ljaques
These are ugly yet utterly cool. (Christmas is coming, guys, so remember me, please.) Tapa, what they didn't show was the accessory page containing the autonomous MaDeuce defense module. Rogue, it's the string Earth people who were right. There are two ends of the Earth. I think this would be the ideal way to attend Burning Man and _survive_ it.
dougspair
...59 pictures and none of the engine/powertrain, generator...?