Mercedes expands its EQ range with the EQG (Wagen) concept.
Mercedes-Benz does as it pleases. Whether that is creating an 843-horsepower four-door coupe or turning old airbags into fashion, the company has a balanced approach between tradition and flying in the face of convention. One of its most recognizable vehicles and arguably one of its best-ever is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, a boxy SUV that has been a mainstay of the brand's lineup for a very long time. But as the luxury automaker moves towards electrification, even the most traditional of vehicles needs a fresh approach for the new age. Thus, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the Concept EQG, a "near-production study" of an all-electric G-Class.
Despite the fact that an electric G-Class is something fresh and new, Mercedes realizes that part of the SUV's appeal is that its styling has remained relatively unchanged over the years. Thus, this new Concept EQG is instantly recognizable as a G-Class, while illuminated stripes make it clear that there's something different. It boasts a two-tone finish featuring a gloss black top with "gloss aluminum beam" on the bottom. The radiator grille has been replaced by a continuous deep black grille with an illuminated three-pointed star. An animated pattern of squircles in Mercedes-EQ blue ties in nicely with the illuminated band running all the way around the grille.
On the profile, illuminated accent strips feature again, as do 22-inch polished aluminum alloy wheels in an exclusive design. The traditional spare wheel cover on the back has been replaced with a lockable box featuring white illuminated accents, which Mercedes says could be used to store the charging cable.
On top, the flat roof rack in high-gloss black has a white LED strip at the front and a red LED strip at the rear. Mercedes says that the white strip at the front "is a modern interpretation of the searchlight, indispensable for demanding off-road adventures - and thus underlines the seriousness of the Concept EQG in this area: not despite of, but precisely because of its all-electric drive."
Mercedes managing director Dr. Emmerich Schiller says that electrification is the natural evolution for a 40-year-old SUV that has always boasted the latest drive technology, "from the pre-chamber naturally aspirated diesel of the early days to the AMG 4.0-liter V8 in the current top model, the G63."
But this is more than just a dressed-up concept - Mercedes wants us to know that it's a serious off-roader just like every other G-Class before it. It boasts a ladder frame with independent front suspension and a solid rear axle that was newly developed for the electric drivetrain. Four electric motors close to the wheels will offer "unique driving characteristics", while a shiftable two-speed gearbox allows you to manage output when you're navigating tricky terrain.
The SUV will be tested on the 1,445-meter high Schockl mountain in Graz before it becomes a series production model, thus proving its abilities as an off-roader. It was only a matter of time before this legendary SUV went electric, and with the battery keeping its center of gravity very low, it may yet be the best G-Class for off-roading yet.