Mercedes G-Class has already evolved from a tough-as-nails 4×4 for civilian and military use into a luxury SUV fashion statement for wealthy urbanites. But later this year we’ll witness the next step in its evolution, as Mercedes is gearing up to launch an all-electric version of its legendary off-roader, called the EQG.
Exactly when the Mercedes EQG will be revealed has yet to be confirmed, but the German brand has begun to build up hype for the debut by bringing a few prototypes to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. As well as having one on display at the expo itself, Mercedes shut down a section of the famous Las Vegas Strip to demonstrate the EQG’s amazing party trick, the G-turn.
Yes, the name is cheesy, but the manoeuvre is undeniably impressive. Essentially, the four electric motors in the EQG allow wheels on the same axle to spin in opposite directions, allowing the EQG to rotate like a tracked vehicle and complete a 720-degree turn, on the spot.
It’s clear from looking at these latest prototypes that very few styling changes have been made to the base G-Class in creating the electric version. The EQG retains the bluff front end, slab-sided body and wheelarches flared to the extreme found on Mercedes’ retro SUV. That said, the EQG appears to feature a blanked-off grille design, revised bumpers and aerodynamically optimised alloys.
Some of the prototypes at CES 2024 do also feature the traditional spare wheel cover on the tailgate, but others have been fitted with a more squared-off box that could be used for storing the charging cable. It’s an idea we first saw on the Concept EQG at the 2021 Munich Motor Show.
Mercedes is keen to stress that the EQG will remain an uncompromising off-roader, stating it’s “ready to set new benchmarks for off-road performance”. We were certainly impressed with the EQG’s off-road capability when we rode shotgun in a prototype.
To deliver that off-road prowess, the EQG is not built on a pure-electric platform. Instead, the tough ladder frame chassis of the petrol and diesel models will be converted to accommodate a pure-electric powertrain, along with independent front suspension and a rigid axle at the rear. The battery is likely to be the same 108.4kWh (usable) capacity used by the EQS SUV, used to power four individual electric motors through four low-range transfer boxes.
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 a similar Hyperscreen infotainment set-up to the one found in the EQS and smaller EQE SUV.
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.