Speaking at the IAA motor show, Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius talks to CNBC’s Annette Weisbach about plans for a “little” G-Class, as well as the path to zero emissions and the future of the brand.
Mercedes to release a ‘little’ G-Class in a ‘few years,’ CEO says
Mercedes confirmed at the Munich Motor Show in autumn 2023 through the voice of CEO Ola Kallenius that it will launch a Mercedes G-Class Baby in a few years known as the “Little G” and at the CES show in Las Vegas, Markus Schafer, Mercedes technical chief, told the British magazine Autocar that it will have electric propulsion only.
The German newspaper Handelsblatt reported in February 2023 that Ola Kallenius, Mercedes CEO, is considering a Mercedes G-Class Baby, in a bid to expand the successful G-Class range, which from autumn 2024 will include a full electric version with four electric motors.
Ola Kallenius officially confirmed in September 2023 at the Munich Auto-Show that Mercedes will launch a Mercedes G-Class Baby, or “Little G”, in a few years. Autocar magazine estimates the new Mercedes G-Class Baby will arrive in 2026.
Kallenius believes that a baby G-Class is crucial to expand the G-Class range and turn the G-Class from a model into a sub-brand, in the same way as AMG and Maybach did.
We’ve been writing since February 2023 that the Baby G-Class could use the new MMA platform intended for the upcoming CLA, CLA Shooting Brake, EQA/GLA, and EQB/GLB compact range. The MMA platform is designed primarily for electric drive but can accommodate conventional and hybrid drives.
Markus Schafer, Mercedes technical chief, told British magazine Autocar at the CES show in Las Vegas that the future Mercedes G-Class Baby will be electric drive only. And Gorden Wagener, head of design at Mercedes, told the same British magazine, Autocar, that “It will have its own character, but it will be a G.”
But surprisingly, Schafer confirmed for the first time that the Mercedes G-Class baby will not use the MMA platform but another platform that will take modules from the larger rear-wheel drive-based models because it is crucial to offer more pronounced off-road capabilities worthy of the G-Class name.
The Mercedes EQG does not use the EVA II platform from the EQE SUV/EQS SUV because Mercedes wanted to keep the separate ladder-frame chassis. Therefore, the Mercedes EQG is based on the G-Class platform with conventional engines and has four motors, one at each wheel, simulating the three lockable differentials.