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Unicat MD56c, the Monstrous Motorhome That Takes You to the End of the Earth

Honey, pack your bags. Pack the kids and a couple of friends, and either two bikes or a side-by-side (SxS) as well. We’re going completely off-grid for at least a couple of weeks.
The MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeks 19 photos
Photo: Unicat
The MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeksThe MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeks
That could be you, if you had a little over $1.6 million to splurge on the latest from Unicat, the Germany-based company that specializes in expedition and specialized vehicles. With Unicat, the bigger and tougher, the better and, while there’s no clear way to distinguish between the items on its impressive catalog, the MD56c fits the bill.

The MD56c was unveiled this past spring, to less fanfare than it deserved. Blame the international health crisis for it, like you would everything else bad happening right now.

Its name comes from the 5,600 mm (220 inches) length of the motorhome module secured to the chassis of a 2019 MAN TGS 26.540 6x6 chassis. Its not the most poetic, resounding or otherwise memorable moniker, but Unicat is in the business of functionality.

And the MD56c is knee-deep in it.

The MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeks
Photo: Unicat
Weighing a massive 19,800 kg (43,650 lbs) when filled with water and fuel, and with a payload of 3,175 kg (7,000 lbs), this Unicat expedition vehicle is powered by a 532 hp diesel engine mated to a 12-speed transmission and all-wheel drive. For improved maneuverability, it comes with rear-axle steering, central tire inflation system and tubeless beadlock tires.

Made to go anywhere in the world as long as it has enough room to fit through, the MD56c can also stay there – for at least two full weeks, completely off the grid. The roof is lined with 1,850-W solar panels that feed a 1,200-Ah/24.6-kWh lithium battery bank, and there’s also an inverter and full monitoring system. A portable generator from Honda serves as backup, should the two-week stay at the proverbial end of the word extend unexpectedly.

To that same end, of extended autonomy, there’s a dual water tank for freshwater and waste water (the freshwater tank holds a 600-liter / 158.5 gallons supply), while the fuel tank allows for expeditions as long as 3,300 km (2,000 miles) before needing to refuel again.

Access to the living module is done in two different ways, either by lowering a three-step staircase or through the crawl space that connects it to the driver’s cab. The module is made with self-supporting fiberglass-composite sandwich panels and steel, and is proofed for both torrid and freezing temperatures. As expected, there is also air conditioning and heating throughout.

The MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeks
Photo: Unicat
Accommodation is possible for up to six people, with five being at their most comfortable. There’s a sleeping area in the back, which includes a queen-size bed with plenty of storage, and another bed for two in the dining area. The table can seat six and can be lowered to the ground completely, to fold out another bed. Inside the driver’s cab, there’s seating for the driver and a passenger, and two more seats in the back that can also fold out to make another small bed.

The kitchen is spacious and well-fitted: there’s an induction cooktop and a stove with an incorporated microwave, sink and generous fridge, and cupboards with wood dividers for each item separately, so that nothing breaks while crossing rougher terrains.

The bathroom is spacious for a motorhome but would probably classify as a half-bath in a non-moving home. It has anything from a toilet and porcelain sink with vanity, to a shower with a heated towel rack. An outdoor shower is for those moments when you get back too dirty to set foot in your motorhome.

The MD56c from Unicat can go off the grid completely for 2 weeks
Photo: Unicat
In short, there’s nothing missing for a comfortable life on the road. It doesn’t seem like Unicat put any entertainment options on this one (no HD display is seen in photos or mentioned in the official description), so it was clearly made for a more nature-loving type of owner.

The rack in the back seems to confirm that: where other Unicat vehicles feature a rack for a motorcycle, the MD56c has room for either two bikes or an SxS / ATV. Looks like you won’t be needing that many books to pass the TV-less time, after all.

Unicat MD56c costs €1.389 million to buy, which is approximately $1.6 million at today’s exchange rate, before tax.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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