New Mercedes EQG: all-electric retro-inspired SUV spotted testing

An electric alternative to the Mercedes G-Class is in development and due in 2024

The G-Class is one of Mercedes’ longest-running model names and has become synonymous in recent years with big V8-powered AMG excess, but now there’s an all-electric variant in the works, called the EQG.

We first saw the EQG as the Concept EQG at the 2021 Munich Motor Show and it looks like the production model will stay pretty close to the concept. We’ve already gone for a passenger ride in the EQG, where it impressed us with its off-road capability. The EQG has already been in development for a while but production isn’t likely to start until 2024.

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The G-Class is a tough place to make the switch to electrification. The test car we’ve spotted still has the traditional design traits of Mercedes’ retro SUV with a bluff front end, slab-sided body and of course the spare wheel mounted on the rear door (which on the concept is just a lockable box).

Aside from the blanked-off grille, aerodynamically optimised wheels and revised bumpers, the EQG looks almost identical to its internal combustion-engined sibling. 

The battery is likely to be the same 108.4kWh (usable) capacity as the EQS SUV and it’ll power four individual electric motors through ​​four low-range transfer boxes. This will allow the EQG to perform an amazing party trick in the shape of the ‘G-Turn’: the wheels on the same axle spin in opposite directions to allow the EQG to rotate like a tracked vehicle. 

Mercedes is keen to stress that the EQG will remain an uncompromising off-roader, and as such, it’s not built on a pure-electric platform. Instead, the tough ladder frame chassis of the petrol and diesel car will be converted to accommodate a pure-electric powertrain, along with independent front suspension and a rigid axle at the rear. 

Given the EQG will be positioned (and priced) as a luxury off-roader, we expect the interior to borrow plenty of technology from the EQS SUV. The appeal of the G-Class for many was its history of military use and its solid, almost brutish design inside and out. We expect the EQG to take a step on from the G-Class in terms of luxury, however, potentially offering the same Hyperscreen infotainment set-up used in the EQS. 

Mercedes Concept EQG

Since launch in 1979, the G-Glass has taken on minor and evolutionary visual design changes, even the ‘major’ redesign for the current-generation model in 2018 saw the big SUV retain its outlook as an uncompromising, boxy off-roader. With the EQG Concept, Mercedes hinted that the retro EV off-roader would take on a mild evolution rather than a total redesign. 

The angular silhouette retains many of the model’s most distinctive features, such as the front indicators mounted on top of the front wings, either side of the bonnet. 

Unlike the EQA, EQB and EQC models, the concept EQG will retain the headlights of its combustion-engined alternative, though the round lighting elements are now separated not by a conventional grille, but a black panel, as is the case on other EQ-branded cars. 

Other touches include an LED strip running on the front facing side of the roof rack – a modern interpretation of roof-mounted spot lamps – a ‘G’ logo integrated as part of the rack’s design, and a similar red LED strip at the rear of the roof acting as a brake light. The concept also features 22-inch polished wheels in a unique design.

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