Mercedes-Benz’s Unimog U 5023 truck has set a new world altitude record for wheeled vehicles by ascending 21,962-feet above sea level. The goal was to install four emergency radios at high-altitude campsites around the Ojos de Salado in Chile, currently the tallest active volcano on the planet, and summit at 22,615-feet. A pair of specially modified Unimogs with extreme off-road tires and big winch units were used. Read more for a three-part video series about the journey and additional information.
To accommodate the Atacama Desert’s steep, mountainous terrain without falling over, the trucks were equipped with a system that enabled them to move weight forward and backward, thus modifying the vehicles’ centers of gravity on-the-fly. Matthias Jesche of Extrem Events led the expedition and managed to break his own altitude record, which was set in an older Mercedes Zetros during 2014.