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Mercedes Sprinter 6x6 Oberaigner driving report: Unstoppable

Andreas Lindlahr
Mercedes Sprinter 6x6 Oberaigner driving report
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The crew of the container ship is amazed: within sight of the gigantic' Grande Abidjan ', a significantly smaller freighter turns over on the opposite quay wall the proving ground. Offroad in the port of Hamburg? Unusual, but it works. In order to correct the wrong dimensions, however, it is sufficient to refer to the municipal-orange M ercedes Sprinter approaching. Suddenly, the three-axle vehicle looks anything but tiny. Oberaigner extended the wheelbase of the Sprinter chassis by 1.1 meters and attached a third axle to the Mercedes universal transporter. The point of this exercise is simply explained: to transport a significantly higher payload in areas that are much more difficult to access than with the standard Sprinter 4x4.

Mercedes Sprinter 6x6 with 190 hp

That you can Job does not transfer the basic diesel with 95 hp, is clear: for the European use with Euro 5 emissions standard, the Oberaigner 6x6 is only available with the most powerful engine, the 190 hp V6. The five-stage automatic is also mandatory in this combination. Apart from the slightly higher entrance, when entering the cabin, nothing at all announces the heavy renovation work that Oberaigner carried out on the Sprinter. The usual Sprinter cockpit actually only receives an inconspicuous update: to the left of the steering wheel there is an additional row of buttons to manage the newly added technology.

If you are of the absolutely correct opinion that a differential lock is the greatest thing in off-road use, you will probably get wet eyes with the Oberaigner Sprinter 6x6. The pilot commands no less than five locks with the additional switches: two interlocks for the transfer case between the axles and three interlocks in the axles themselves. The interlocks and the two rear ones are engaged in pairs.

All of this works although extremely inconspicuous, because in fact only the vastly enlarged turning circle (depending on the wheelbase up to 19.5 meters) heralds the conversion work. But it also allows a conclusion: if the Oberaigner Sprinter 6x6 no longer drives, you should try to get a tracked vehicle. Because the assertiveness of the Mercedes Sprinter 6x6 is simply enormous. With peace of mind, he plows up the deep gravel bed at walking paceleft, strutting with his head held high over the bad twisting stretch. The terrain reduction, which is very briefly graduated with 2.8: 1, has a pause in transmission, the automatic converter conjures up sufficient torque to the six wheels. That makes the idea even more remarkable, because situations in which the Oberaigner 6x6 actually also needs the reduction and the front lock should be extremely exciting.

Oberaigner 6x6 with pendulum axles

For that The pendulum axle suspension patented by Oberaigner ensures that the crew is not uncontrolled through the cabin during the gymnastics exercises (in addition to around 1.5 tons of tree trunks on the loading area). The rear axles are guided by trailing arms known from the Mercedes G and supported by coil springs, which of course also increases the comfort compared to a leaf spring axle. The system of the asymmetrical pendulum axle, inspired by the legendary Puch Pinzgauer, has the advantage, in addition to the great articulation, that the load is evenly distributed on both axles, even on hard terrain. After all, the six-wheel Sprinter can handle a payload of up to four tons.

The output to the rearmost axle is handled by a transfer case flanged to the differential of the central axle. It carries the power to the rear via a cardan shaft, the middle differential is supplied with power via a drive chain (see picture gallery).

However, the pleasure of unconditional and constant movement is not cheap. At least 48,000 euros are due for the extensive renovation work. Plus the required V6 Sprinter base vehicle.


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