Couch Off-Road Engineering Revitalizes the Legendary Mercedes-Benz Unimog

Giancarlo Perlas June 17, 2023

The Mercedes-Benz Unimog has long held its ground as an iconic and capable off-road vehicle. Originating in the late 1940s, this massive machine served a variety of roles, from military operations to agricultural work. While the Unimog has gained popularity in recent years for its off-road prowess and participation in events like the Dakar Rally, acquiring one in the United States has often been a challenge. However, Couch Off-Road Engineering, led by the experienced Jay Couch, has emerged as a game-changer in the industry, offering turnkey restomods that bring the Unimog into the modern era.

Unimog Transformation: The N.O.R.A.D. Project

Couch Off-Road Engineering, driven by Jay Couch’s passion for the Unimog, specializes in revamping older models to provide modern features while retaining their legendary charm. These projects, known as the Nomadic Off-Road Adventure Design (N.O.R.A.D.) Unimogs, are meticulously crafted to ensure not only exceptional off-road capabilities but also the ability to navigate public roads comfortably.

Power and Performance

One of the key upgrades lies under the hood of the N.O.R.A.D. Unimog. By enhancing the original inline-six diesel engine, Couch Off-Road Engineering boosts the power output from a modest 150 horsepower to a commanding 320 horsepower. Torque is also significantly increased, reaching an impressive 800 pound-feet.

To complement the enhanced power, a unique gearbox with an impressive 32-speed configuration is installed, allowing the N.O.R.A.D. Unimog to reach a top speed of 80 mph.

Off-Road Dominance

The heart of the Unimog’s off-road prowess lies in its mechanical capabilities. Couch Off-Road Engineering ensures that the N.O.R.A.D. Unimogs retain the original portal axles, further enhancing their ruggedness.

In addition, locking differentials and a central tire inflation system are incorporated to tackle the toughest terrains. The Unimog’s extraordinary capabilities are further augmented with the option of 42- or 46-inch tires mounted on beadlock wheels, providing exceptional traction and stability.

Comfort and Reliability

While the focus of the N.O.R.A.D. Unimogs is on off-road performance, Couch Off-Road Engineering recognizes the importance of comfort during long journeys. Air conditioning is added to the revamped Unimogs, ensuring a pleasant experience for the occupants.

Moreover, the mechanical simplicity of the Unimog, combined with its lack of modern computerized components, ensures exceptional reliability and ease of maintenance, instilling confidence in its owners.

Versatile Configurations

Couch Off-Road Engineering offers the N.O.R.A.D. Unimogs in two- and four-door configurations, catering to the diverse needs of off-road enthusiasts. The flexibility allows for customization and personalization, ensuring that each Unimog is tailored to the individual’s specific requirements.

Price and Worth

Revitalizing a legendary vehicle like the Unimog comes at a price. The N.O.R.A.D. Unimogs by Couch Off-Road Engineering start at around $385,000.

For those seeking a fully-equipped overlanding rig complete with a camper box, the price can reach up to $600,000. While these figures may seem substantial, the remarkable capabilities and undeniable coolness of these revitalized Unimogs justify the investment.

Final Thoughts

Couch Off-Road Engineering, led by Jay Couch, has breathed new life into the legendary Mercedes-Benz Unimog. Through their N.O.R.A.D. Unimog projects, they have transformed these off-road giants into modern, powerful, and reliable vehicles capable of conquering any terrain.

With a blend of enhanced performance, off-road dominance, comfort, and customization options, these revitalized Unimogs offer an unparalleled driving experience. Though the price tag may be hefty, the value and admiration that come with owning one make it a truly worthwhile investment for off-road enthusiasts.

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About Author

Giancarlo Perlas

Giancarlo Perlas is an economist by profession with a career spanning nearly two decades. His professional journey has seen him assume vital roles in various government and private organizations, particularly in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors. Alongside his civic and corporate pursuits is his love for cars, particularly those made by Mercedes-Benz. In 2012, he found himself with like-minded individuals within BenzInsider. From then on, he used the platform as a way to share his passion with the automotive community. Follow his Facebook page at, X (formerly Twitter) @giancarloperlas, and IG @benzinsider. View all posts by Giancarlo Perlas →

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