Some more details about the upcoming 2H2011 Technic sets have surfaced at a German online toy store, namely their descriptions and prices. These help us have a better guess about their potentialities.
First, the 8071 Lift Truck. Currently there is no picture at its page, but we already know well what it looks like. It costs 33.33€, which I believe is a quite good price.
This is what the automated translation of the description tells us:
With the truck and its platform is the limit! Manage it in position, drive from the boom and use the freely moving and rotating arm to position the platform correct. This truck can also open the doors. Can also be converted into a tele-loader.
With the service truck and its platform is the limit!
- Moving and rotating arm with platform
- Telescopic boom and opening doors
- Moving Steering
The description confirms what was guessed from the available pictures: functionally it's equivalent to the 8289 Fire Truck, but with new construction techniques and opining doors. What is new is the B-model: I suspect the "tele-loader" is a telehandler, perhaps with a size between the 8283 Telehandler and the 8295 Telescopic Handler.
Next is the 8109 Flatbed Truck. It costs 79.99€, maybe a bit high for a set of its size with a single motor and battery box.
If a vehicle has to be transported, the trailer is the right choice! Put him in the right position, use the Power Functions to raise the motorized loading area or lower and using the winch to charge a vehicle. Or go from the towing eye to tow another vehicle. Can be transformed into an airport catering truck.
With the tough trailer you can really carry it all!
- Power Functions raise and lower the truck and the tow eye
- Realistic steering and winch
This confirms us that it indeed has two motorised functions: tilting the bed (and, from the pictures, most probably sliding it as well), and raising and lowering what I interpret as a wheel lift, similar to the one at the rear of the 8285 Tow Truck. Also, it has a manually-operated winch.
I wonder what a Technic airport catering truck would look like and do… unless the translation isn't 100% correct and the B-model is instead an airport fire truck like the 8454 Rescue Truck (but the wheels and tyres are too small to look good in such a vehicle, in my opinion).
Last but definitely not least, the 2011 flagship, the 8110 Unimog U400. According to its page, the 'Mog will cost 155.54 €, which, comparing with the 8053 Mobile Crane also there for sale, should cost (excluding early-adopter inflation) almost 195€. Even excluding the increase due to licensing by Mercedes-Benz, there is no doubt that this will be a real wallet-bursting behemoth!
Applying an automated translation to the description text, we get the following:
This versatile Mercedes-Benz Unimog U400 you are up for any challenge! He is not only the largest Technic model - but also the first that combines pneumatic power functions and in a model. It is equipped with a pneumatically powered, fully steerable, almost 360 degree rotating crane with gripper arm and a front winch - all driven by power functions. The unique design also features a fully functional control system, a highly detailed engine with moving pistons, a new gear box for high ground clearance and four-wheel-drive and suspension for extreme off-road ability. Crane and winch can be converted into a giant snow plow.
With the combination of power and pneumatic functions you master the Unimog U400 every challenge!
- Pneumatically powered, fully portable crane with gripper arm - driven by power functions.
- Control of realism with 4-wheel drive and suspension for extreme off-road conditions
- Detailed engine with moving pistons
- New transmission block for additional ground clearance
Besides the tasty details we already could guess from the few photos available (one showing the bottom of the model would have been much appreciated), there are some news.
First, the confirmation that the model has four wheel drive and suspension, and a piston engine. Fans were already practically sure those would be present, since the opposite would be unthinkable on such a huge model, but it's always good to have the confirmation.
Second and most important, there's the mention of a new "gear box"/"transmission block" for higher ground clearance. Now, what could this mean? To me, one of three possibilities:
- New parts that allow for easy construction of portal axles, something Unimogs are known for;
- The CV joints that premiered on the 8070 Super Car;
- Some other new part(s) to connect the wheels to the engine (differential, transmission, ...?)
Judging from the image, I'd say that, unfortunately, all the kibble between the front wheels makes portal axles unlikely. Yet, all speculations are valid until the real thing starts falling into the hands of avid fans!
However, there still are no signs of the elusive 8081 Extreme Cruiser...