Check Out The Mercedes Sprinter 6×6 By Oberaigner — A Van With Some Serious Off-Road Traction

Overlanding is huge, and this Mercedes conversion is just one way to get into it

Images: Oberaigner

Mercedes Sprinter 6×6 by Oberaigner were based on second generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinters

Based on the NCV3 second-generation platform, the Mercedes Sprinter 6×6 by Oberaigner was an off-road upgrade with a variety of configurations. Cargo vans, ambulances, pickup trucks, overlanders and military vehicles are some of the many variations based on this setup. All of these vehicles have permanent 6×6 drive and a low range gearbox. 

While production stopped with the 2017 model year, many examples had rolled off the line – most of which still reside in Europe. The Mercedes Sprinter 6×6 by Oberaigner was an unusual conversion. Sprinter frames (both long and shot wheelbase) remained essentially unchanged. The customization consists of a subframe that acts both as a reinforcement and as the mounting location for the new rear suspension.

The Mercedes Sprinter 6×6 by Oberaigner is all about the rear axles

Both rear axles hang from coil springs, with the top of these springs connected to an arm that pivots. The load’s minimized for the rear axle, which helps maneuverability. Among the two rear axles, 40-percent of the weight sits on the back axle, and 60 percent on the middle axle. Basically, it allows the rear wheels to scoot a bit as the middle axle provides a point where it can pivot. Among other things, it reduces the turning circle – although that can change depending on the load. The same goes for power delivery: it’s a 60/40 split.

All three axles have their own transfer case, and a variety of differential locks were available. Setups and lockers vary. Lockers for all three axles were available. It’s basically the same type of system used on the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6. In fact, Oberaigner was the subcontractor that designed the second axle for the G63 6×6.

Powertrains consisted of the stock four and V6 diesels with manual and automatic transmission options. Maximum payload on the regular models was just under 9,000 lbs. A casual glance at previously sold models shows prices ranging from about $50,000 USD (a stripped model formally used by the Polish Army) to over $200,000 USD for an overlander.

Honestly, the idea of driving one of these off-road is compelling. Just about everyone at TFL Studios has driven a regular Sprinter 4×4 off-road, with mixed results. Still, this looks like a seriously capable off-roader – one that’s worth exploring Moab, Utah and beyond.

Oberaigner is still building rugged off-road conversions for European-based vans. The newest, third-generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is not part of their production list.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.