2024 Mercedes-Benz EQG prototype | Edmunds

Presentation of the electric G-wagen

The EQG will be Mercedes-Benz’s battery-electric choice in the G-Class lineup, set to go on sale in 2024 as a 2025 model. As the company electrifies and decarbonizes, even an icon as the G-Class is not neglected, although creating an electric G-wagen is certainly not the work of a moment.

That’s because the EQG “is not an SUV” insists Emmerich Schiller, CEO of Mercedes-Benz’s G-Class sub-brand — it’s a 4×4 and a true G-Class. As such, the EQG is subjected to the same arduous testing regime as its gas-powered counterparts. That means this battery electric has endured the torturous 1,240-mile off-road test course around the Schöckl mountain, home of the G-Class in Graz, Austria.

A real G-Class

Because the EQG is still a prototype and a few years away from production, we don’t know the specifics of the powertrain. Naturally, there’s a battery, and it was a challenge to install it, because in the G-Class it’s expected to survive off-road. This creates problems unusual in battery electric vehicles – dust, water, twisting forces and rock impacts, etc.

To enable this, the G-Class engineers didn’t just adopt one of Mercedes-Benz’s existing EQ platforms and put a G-Class body on top. Instead, they used a solid ladder frame chassis and designed the batteries and motors to fit. The battery itself is actually part of the ladder frame structure, so it’s a little stiffer than the underpinnings of the combustion engine car. Regardless of battery capacity and chemistry, we can reveal that it powers four electric motors.

How does the EQG work?

We’d love to tell you exactly how the EQG feels behind the wheel, but such early access dictates that we’re currently passengers in this EQG prototype. It’s a very telling ride, though, and it helps that it’s on the same test drive that Mercedes-Benz used to launch the current generation G-Class for the 2019 model year. road earlier in the day at the wheel of the monstrous Mercedes-AMG G 63 4×4 Squared with portal axle. We know how demanding the course is.

There’s a G 550 Professional in front containing the photographer, and while it would be wrong to say he’s struggling, the driver doesn’t have such an easy time as mine in the EQG prototype. Schiller and his team’s insistence that the EQG drive with at least the same ability as its off-road combustion engine relatives is underscored here. Indeed, the way the EQG can harness the instant torque of those four electric motors as well as distribute its drive faster and more precisely than a conventional four-wheel-drive system means it feels completely unfazed by the difficult terrain on which it rides.

No one is revealing how much power the engines produce, but with an output of 536 horsepower for an EQS 580 SUV, a figure in the 600 horsepower range for the EQG seems reasonable and in line with the performance we’ve drawn from it.

There’s a low-end transfer case – in fact, there are four, one for each engine. Combined with selectable G ride choices (including a Creeper mode), the hardware gives the EQG an unstoppable off-road feel. It does it all in silence, too, the only sounds coming from the ground under the tires being crushed into submission as the EQG conquers the rugged topography.

2025 Mercedes Benz EQG prototype rear 3/4

A little rough and tumbling at this phase

This prototype lacks some of the convenience of its production relationships, primarily because the cabin has the kind of test equipment required in this phase of its development. Similarly, there is also fabric that covers much of the interior, although this does not hide the eventual production EQG will be as comfortable, comfortable and luxurious as you would expect at this high level of purchase . The EQG is expected to cost around $200,000 before any options, more than the current top-of-the-line AMG G 63.

While some might miss the bluster and brilliance that comes with the V8s that power the rest of the G-Class lineup, the EQG’s electric powertrain brings a serenity that helps add luxury and comfort. That’s true, whether effortlessly climbing or descending a ridiculously steep mountainside, or taking on more conventional, slightly less adventurous on-road riding.

Typical Mercedes highlights and a few tricks up their sleeve

We know the interior of the G-Class from the current range, and we have nothing to complain about. Indeed, the lack of masking noise from a combustion-engine powertrain only underscores how well-built the interior is – there’s no creaking or rattling in the cabin, even when driven in extreme off-road conditions.

Hard side of the 2025 Mercedes Benz EQG prototype

Mercedes-Benz is certain to make visual and specification changes to the interior (and exterior) of the EQG for the eventual production model, which will serve to highlight the different propulsion it offers. . Basically, however, it will retain the quality finish, Mercedes-Benz’s latest MBUX infotainment and the abundant space of the current G-Class models.

As the eventual top of the G-Class lineup, the EQG should come with all the bells and whistles. Expect it to be packed with all the active driving and safety aids, connectivity and Mercedes-Benz comfort and convenience features. As with the existing EQ models, there will be additional functionality in the MBUX infotainment system, in terms of load scheduling, preheating, etc., and the EQG will also benefit from a few unique EQG buttons, including only one from Mercedes-Benz. the engineers were ready to reveal during our early access.

Where off-road buttons exist in the regular G-Class’ center console, there’s an extra pair in the EQG. One is hidden for now, but the other enables what Mercedes-Benz describes as the “G-Turn.” Press it, off-road only, and the individual electric motors spin one way on the driver’s side and the opposite on the other side. This allows the EQG to turn on its own length, turning much like a tracked vehicle. This capability is a capability quirk of the four individual motors, and while potentially useful in tight off-road situations, what the G-Turn really demonstrates is the unique handling potential its electric drivetrain offers, which can be extremely beneficial. both on-road and off-road.

Rear of the 2025 Mercedes Benz EQG prototype

No money, no problem

The G-Class engineers seem to have integrated all those electric motors, the battery and all the associated control electronics as well as the heating and ventilation equipment into the space usually occupied by the internal combustion engine, the gearbox and 4×4 equipment. Unlike some electrified models that free up space under the hood, so there’s no frunk storage. But the EQG still offers the huge trunk and generous interior of the current G-Class.

300 miles of range is a possibility

No one is ready to argue about battery capacity or chemistry, but we do know that, consistent with the rest of the EQ offerings, the EQG will choose items from existing parts and adapt them accordingly. It’s reasonable to expect the G-Class to feature the largest battery currently offered in the EQ range, the 108kWh one used in the EQS and EQS SUVs. Given the expected weight, which we estimate at around 6,600 pounds, and the less slippery aerodynamics of the G-Class, we suggest a potential maximum range of around 310 miles. During our long off-road ride, it only used around 7-8% of its charge, with the energy consumed on the climbs being offset by useful regeneration on the descents.

Mercedes-Benz is known for developing higher density batteries, with up to 20% more capacity, and rumors are circulating that the G-Class could be the first EQ production model to receive these new cells. Certainly, given the volume and aerodynamics of the EQG, any advantage these batteries might bring would be put to good use here.

As for charge times, the fastest chargers allow current EQ models to charge from 10% to 80% capacity in around 30 minutes. It is inconceivable that the EQG would be offered with less capacity and, indeed, could benefit from even faster charging technology. After all, current EQ models use a 400-volt architecture, while rivals like the Porsche Taycan use an 800-volt system for faster charging.

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