In a surprising turn of events, Mercedes-Benz is set to release an all-electric version of its iconic G-Class SUV. The German luxury brand showcased a near-production prototype of the electric G-Class, known as the EQG, at the IAA Munich in September 2024.
Mercedes had previously hinted at its electric ambitions with the introduction of the Concept EQG at the same show two years prior. However, the latest prototype brings us even closer to the production model, as Mercedes claims attendees at the IAA Munich will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the electric G-Class “months before its world premiere next year.”
While specific technical details remain closely guarded by Mercedes, it is widely speculated that the EQG will feature a quad-motor setup and an optional high-density battery pack utilizing silicon anode chemistry. This advanced battery technology is expected to increase energy density by 20 to 40 percent, resulting in a cell-level energy density of 800 Wh/l and providing a significant boost in range.
However, fans of the G-Class will have to exercise some patience, as the longer-range variant of the EQG is not expected until 2025, approximately a year after the standard electric version hits the market. Nevertheless, this signifies an important step in Mercedes’ electrification strategy and showcases their commitment to offering sustainable mobility options.
In terms of design and construction, the EQG will retain the iconic boxy shape that has defined the G-Class for decades. It will employ a modified version of the steel ladder-frame chassis used in the gasoline and diesel G-Class models (W463). This sturdy foundation will be complemented by a double-wishbone front and trailing arm rear suspension, enhancing both on-road comfort and off-road capability.
Given the heft and less-than-ideal aerodynamics of the G-Class, the EQG’s weight is estimated to be around 6,600 pounds (3,000 kilograms) or possibly more. However, this weight is expected to be offset by the advanced battery technology, allowing the electric SUV to achieve a respectable range.
To ensure its off-road prowess remains uncompromised, the EQG will feature a robust steel case to house the battery, as well as a carbon fiber-reinforced polymer compound to protect it during challenging off-road excursions and water crossings. The EQG will also offer various driving modes, including the standard Eco, Comfort, and Sport modes, along with Trail, Rock, and Sand modes for off-road adventures. Additionally, a unique creeper mode will enable the vehicle to tackle off-road terrains at a pre-established speed.
One of the most intriguing features of the EQG is the G-Turn, which allows the SUV to perform a 360-degree tank-turn maneuver. By using the shift paddles to select the desired direction, the vehicle can effortlessly spin on the spot, showcasing its exceptional maneuverability.
Production of the EQG, like its internal combustion engine counterpart, will take place at the Magna Steyr facility in Graz, Austria. However, it is worth noting that the “EQ” branding, commonly used for Mercedes’ electric vehicles, may be dropped for the EQG, though no official confirmation has been made on this matter.
Mercedes’ move to electrify the G-Class is a significant step towards a more sustainable future for the automotive industry. By combining the timeless appeal of the G-Class with cutting-edge electric technology, the EQG aims to attract environmentally conscious consumers who refuse to compromise on luxury, style, and off-road capabilities.
As the world eagerly awaits the official debut of the EQG, Mercedes has shown that even legendary off-roaders can adapt and thrive in an increasingly electrified automotive landscape.