Big trucks and luxury SUVs aren’t going away—they’re just going electric. And that even goes for that boxy icon of off-road excess, the Mercedes-Benz G Wagon. Even before AMG announced its hybrid and EV plans, Mercedes confirmed that an electric G-Class was in the works. Now, the first tangible sign of the G Wagon EV to come is here: the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG.
The G Wagon is going electric—and you can thank Arnold Schwarzenegger for it
Although Arnold Schwarzenegger has a penchant for Unimogs, he’s also a G Wagon fan. Why are we bringing this up? Because when the current-gen G-Class debuted in 2018, he persuaded Daimler-Benz’s chairman at the time to incorporate the SUV into Mercedes’ EV plans, Roadshow explains. And now, three years later, the Concept EQG is that promise put into metal.
Technically, the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG is a “near-production study” of the final product. So, some details may change, such as the light-up protective strips on the side panels. But overall, this is essentially what the upcoming electric G Wagon will look like. And that look is a blend of the SUV’s iconic boxy shape and the design elements from current Mercedes EQ products. For example, the EQG’s grille is a black panel with LED elements, just like the EQS’s grille.
The Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG also retains the G-Class’s rear-mounted spare tire carrier—kind of. It’s square rather than circular to mimic the shape of wall-mounted home chargers. And in a way, that’s sort of why it’s there. Rather than a spare tire, the lockable box holds the SUV’s charging cords. There’s no word if the production version will retain the illuminated strip, though.
The Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG is ready to off-road in electric silence
As of this writing, Mercedes-Benz hasn’t revealed how much horsepower, torque, or range the Concept EQG offers. That’s understandable, given that it’s a study, rather than a full production preview. However, the automaker claims the EQG is just as capable off-road as the current G-Class, including its ability to scale 100% grades. And that’s thanks to what the electric G Wagon will and won’t share with its ICE counterpart.
As Magna’s eBeam shows, it’s perfectly possible to turn vehicles with ladder frames and solid rear axles into EVs. And those are two of the things the Concept EQG shares with the current G-Class, along with independent front suspension and 4WD. The ladder frame is particularly helpful because it’s a handy place to store the batteries, The Drive notes.
One thing, or rather three things that aren’t on the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG are the G Wagon’s trademark three locking differentials. But that’s because the EQG has four electric motors, one per wheel. With each motor providing instant torque and torque-vectoring capability, locking differentials are unnecessary, Roadshow explains. However, the SUV still has a transfer case—sort of—in the form of a shiftable two-speed gearbox. It’s unclear, though, if there’s one gearbox or one per wheel, though MotorTrend presumes the latter.
When can you buy an electric G-Class?
As of this writing, the electric G Wagon doesn’t have an official release date. Car and Driver, though, speculates that a production-ready version could debut “within a year.” And presumably, Mercedes-Benz will release photos of the Concept EQG’s interior before then.
So, for now, the Concept EQG is the next best thing to an electric G-Class. But even if it’s just a small taste, it’s proof that Rivian and the Hummer EV will have some electric off-road competition.
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