The Mercedes G-Class is a powerful force in the automotive world. Mercedes-Benz unleashed the first Gelandewagen in 1979. It was a fearsome, off-road-ready 4×4. Though the overall shape of its boxy body is the same, the G Wagon is now only available in the US as a six-figure luxury car. Some call it a classic, others call it dated. But that is all about to change with the incredible electric G Wagon specs. At the International Mobility Show in Munich the world first saw the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG. We examined the near-production prototype, its competitors, and Mercedes’ other electric vehicles to dive into possible specs of the upcoming electric G Wagon.
Mercedes’ G Wagon EV Is Retro-Futuristic
The Mercedes G-Class is a decades-old midsize SUV. For this reason, Mercedes leaned into the retro-futuristic vibe with the EGQ launch. The G-Class debuted in 1979, so Mercedes filmed a 1979-themed SciFi to introduce this “near-production concept” of its electric SUV–the EQG concept.
The Mercedes-Benz EQG will join the EQ family. Existing EQs include three crossovers: the EQA, EQB, and EQC. The EQ family also features the EQV van and two sedan/SUV chassis: the EQS and EQE. In addition, the company announced plans for an entry-level EQG and an AMG-tuned version; Mercedes has trademarked EQG 560 and EQG 580.
The concept car looks very much like a production G-Class, including the interior and infotainment system of a 2021 model. Mercedes finished the electric G Wagon in a Maybach-inspired two-tone paint job. In addition, they replaced the rubber rail running the length of the G-Class with an LED light bar. This SUV wears another lightbar on its roof, reminiscent of off-roading trail lights.
The most striking feature of the EQG concept is its front fascia: Mercedes has replaced the G-Class’s grill with a solid front piece and a dramatic, light-up logo.
Electric G Wagon Power and Weight Specs
Most electric vehicles are heavier than their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts. However, they wear their weight well: Frame-mounted batteries and low motors keep their center of gravity down. In addition, regenerative braking extends these heavy vehicles’ range.
Mercedes-Benz assures us the EQG will be a full-frame SUV. The 2021 G Wagon weighs in at a hefty 5554 pounds. We can expect an even higher curb weight in the electric G Wagon’s specs.
The current ICE Mercedes G 550 features a 416 horsepower “Biturbo” V8. The AMG G63 enjoys a 577 horsepower engine. Existing Mercedes EQ electric motors produce between 200 and 288 horsepower–and the G-Wagen will have four engines. As a result, the upcoming electric G Wagon’s specs should reveal one of the highest horsepower models in the Gelandewagen’s history.
Electric G Wagon Features
One unique feature of the electric G-Wagen concept is a two-speed transmission. Many electric vehicles do not have a transmission; Mercedes’ choice may confuse some buyers. But while building its new Model S Plaid, Tesla found the engines’ top speed limited the car; Tesla engineered carbon-fiber sleeves to bump the engines’ top speed higher. In the near-future, Mercedes’s two-speed transmission solution may become standard for high-speed EVs.
Markus Schäfer, Mercedes’ Chief Operating Officer, revealed the EQG will not use the motors and batteries from the existing EQS. Instead, what the EQG may share is the EQS’s advanced charging system.
Mercedes’ EQ platform leverages an advanced 200kW rapid charging system: Mercedes claims the EQS sedan will charge from 10-80% in just 31 minutes or top off 174-186 miles of range in just 15 minutes. A novel detail of the EQG concept is a square box holding its charging cables in place of the rear-door spare tire holder.
Mercedes’ Quad-Motor-Drive EGQ
Electric 4x4s will be better off-road than traditional SUVs. The new G Wagon may be the best off-road yet. Mercedes’ decision to endow the electric G-Class with four separate engines will make it one of the only 4x4s on the market boasting quad-motor drive.
Schäfer hinted that the EQG can ‘turn on the spot,’ thanks to this drivtrain. Rivian released a video of its quad-motor truck completing “tank turns” by putting two of its four motors into reverse. Such a capability could be invaluable off-road, and we can expect it from the new G-Wagen.
Quad-motor drivetrains also excel at torque-vectoring. Motor Trend reviewed Rivian R1T, with its the quad-motor drive. The team concluded that the truck could handle S-curves better than most sports sedans. The reviewers turned the truck sharply while cornering and slammed the throttle and were shocked by its response. The team felt the outside rear wheel accelerate, pulling the nose around and blasting the truck through the curve. They concluded that few cars could offer this sensation, and no truck could match it.
We can expect the quad-motor EQG to be a beast off-road and deliver surprising agility on the pavement. We will have to wait for Mercedes to drop the new electric G Wagon’s specs to find out exactly how well it will perform.