In October 2017, Mercedes bid adieu to the V12-powered G-Class with a G65 Final Edition. Fast forward to June 2023, the G500 V8 Final Edition marked the end of the road for the non-AMG eight-cylinder model. While the G63 is still available, the legendary off-roader is not immune to the downsizing bug. Come 2024, there will be a G-Class flavor with no combustion engine at all. Shown in prototype guise at IAA Munich, the electric G is inching closer.
Two years after introducing the Concept EQG at the same show, the German luxury brand is exhibiting a near-production prototype of the zero-emission SUV. An official announcement from Mercedes says IAA attendees can get up close and personal with the electric G “months before its world premiere next year.” Additional details are not available, but we do know the conventionally powered model is sticking around.
Mercedes-Benz EQG Prototype: First Ride
Mercedes has been tight-lipped about the technical specifications, although the EQG is expected to have a quad-motor setup and an optional high-density battery pack benefitting from silicon anode chemistry. That should bring a boost in energy density of 20 to 40 percent to hit 800 Wh/l at the cell level and provide a “significant amount” of extra range. However, the longer-range EQG isn’t due until 2025, so roughly a year after the standard electric variant.
It’s worth noting that the EQG won’t be the first electric Mercedes with four motors as the SLS AMG Electric Drive had a quad-motor setup way back in 2012. It’s estimated the electric go-anywhere SUV will weigh about 6,600 pounds (3,000 kilograms) or even more. Taking into consideration its boxy shape giving it a less-than-ideal drag coefficient, it’s going to need that advanced battery tech to deliver a decent range.
The EQG will utilize a modified version of the steel ladder-frame chassis that has underpinned the gasoline/diesel G-Class (W463). Mercedes has said it’ll give it a double-wishbone front and trailing arm rear suspension. The battery will be housed within a steel case and wrapped in a carbon fiber-reinforced polymer compound to protect it while going off-road and wading through deep waters.
Aside from the usual driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport), it’ll have Trail, Rock, and Sand, plus a creeper mode for going off-road at a pre-established speed. Another party trick will be the G-Turn, which is Mercedes speak for a 360-degree tank turn after using the shift paddles to select whether to go left or right.
It’ll be built by Magna Steyr alongside the ICE model in Graz, Austria. German business paper Handelsblatt wrote at the beginning of the year the electric G-Class might be among the first Mercedes EVs to drop the “EQ” branding but nothing is official yet.
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