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New Mercedes-Benz EQG Concept

With the Concept EQG, Mercedes-Benz presents the near-production study of an all-electric-model variant of its utilitarian off-road icon. Visually, the concept car combines the unmistakably-striking look of the G-Class with selected design elements typical of all-electric models from Mercedes as contrasting highlights.

The 4×4 qualities of the “G” – that have always set the highest standard – will not only find their way into the age of electric mobility, but will be developed even further in some areas. Therefore, the Concept EQG offers a promising preview of what a Mercedes-Benz G-Class with battery-electric drive will be capable of.

At the world premiere of the current model generation of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class in Detroit, in January 2018, Hollywood-great Arnold Schwarzenegger, star guest and ardent “G” fan, elicited a promise from the then Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Dieter Zetsche, that was unexpected for many at the time: The upcoming electrification of all model series would, of course, also include the G-Class. Just under three-and-a-half years later, Mercedes-Benz is making good on this promise and presenting the Concept EQG: a near-production study of an all-electric G-Class.

Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and COO of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: “Wherever market conditions permit, Mercedes-Benz will be ready to go fully electric by the end of the decade. With this strategic step from ‘Electric first’ to ‘Electric only’ –  including sustainable production and the CO2-neutral life cycle of our batteries – we are accelerating the transformation to a zero-emission and software-driven future. We want to inspire our customers to switch to electric mobility with convincing products: an icon like the G-Class fulfils this task perfectly.”

The origins of the successful G-Class model date back to 1979. For more than four decades, the “G” has embodied the luxury off-road vehicle from Mercedes-Benz. The exterior appearance of the Mercedes-Benz off-road legend has changed only marginally over the entire period. Even as part of the extensive redesign in 2018 – that brought with it the biggest technological leap in the model’s history – Mercedes-Benz only cautiously developed the unmistakably striking design further. For good reason because it was once purely-functional components have long since become iconic style elements. For example, these include the distinctive door handle and characteristic closing sound, the robust exterior protection strip, the exposed spare wheel on the rear door, and the eye-catching front turn indicators.

Classic G-Class design language with quotes from Mercedes-EQ design

The Concept EQG is also very much in the design tradition of the model series and can be recognized at first glance as a G-Class. The near-production study adopts the G-Class’ angular silhouette – including its iconic elements. Illuminated stripes make the robust exterior protective strips stand out visually. The separating edge of the attractive two-tone paint finish – gloss black on top, gloss aluminum beam on the bottom – runs in the area of the front end directly under the overlying bonnet; therefore, emphasizing this design feature even more clearly.

The front view of the Concept EQG looks familiar – not least because of the typical round headlights. Instead of a radiator grille – as on the conventionally-powered model versions – this all-electric variant features a continuous deep black radiator grille. In this Black Panel Grille, the illuminated star with 3D effect sets a striking accent. Around it, the animated pattern of “round squares” (squircle pattern) in the familiar blue of the Mercedes-EQ models creates a visual link. An all-round illuminated band wraps the Black Panel; that, alongside the white illuminated circles in the exterior mirror housings, complements the daytime running light graphic of the headlights.

The Concept EQG rides on 22-inch polished-aluminum alloy wheels in an exclusive design. Instead of the usual spare-wheel cover, there is a lockable box with white illuminated accents on the rear door, whose design is reminiscent of a wallbox. For example, this could be used to store the charging cable within easy reach. Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler Group, said: “We’re traveling into the future with the new EQG! This car epitomizes the fusion of state-of-the-art off-road capabilities with the dawn of electric mobility which we all need to strive for. It stands for our relentless pursuit of the utmost desire and luxury. For us, the most important thing was to keep the full G-Class DNA, but beam it into the EQ age – like the G-Class, but different. Modern accents, like the white LED technology and a wallbox on the rear of the vehicle, illustrate the difference.”

Another highlight of the exterior design is the flat roof rack in high-gloss black. The central element of its minimalist design is the centrally-shaped “G”, that is unmistakable in the top view. The white LED strip integrated into the front edge of the roof rack is a modern interpretation of the searchlight indispensable for demanding off-road adventures – therefore, underlines the seriousness of the Concept EQG in this area: not despite of, but precisely because of its all-electric drive. Another LED strip in red finish forms the rear end of the roof rack.

Dr Emmerich Schiller, Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz G GmbH and Head of the Off-Road Vehicle Product Division at Mercedes-Benz AG, said: “We are proud of the more than 400,000 ‘G’s we have produced to date. In its more than 40-year model history, the G-Class has always used the most modern and suitable drive technology at the time – from the pre-chamber naturally aspirated diesel of the early days to the AMG 4.0-liter V8 in the current top model, the G 63. Against the background of our ‘Electric only’ strategy, the electrification of this off-road legend is simply the logical next step – and an absolutely fascinating project. Our icon is and remains ‘stronger than time’ in every respect.”

An uncompromizing off-roader – precisely because of the electric drive system

The Concept EQG is clearly a “G” not only in terms of design, but also because of its inner values: making it an uncompromizing off-roader. Also, its body is based on the robust ladder frame. The chassis design remains extremely off-road capable – typical of the G-Class: with independent suspension on the front axle and a rigid axle at the rear, newly developed for the integration of the electric drive. With four electric motors close to the wheels and individually controllable, the vehicle will offer unique driving characteristics both on- and off-road. As with any real 4×4, the Concept EQG’s off-road reduction can be activated via a shiftable two-speed gearbox in order to meet the high “G”-specific off-road requirements with confidence.

Equipped in this way, the fully-electrical-powered version of the G-Class will, of course, face the legendary test track on the 4,740-feet-high Schöckl mountain in Graz at the end of its development into a series model. Peppered with gradients of up to 60 degrees, the 3.5-mile route has always been regarded in the international off-road scene as one of the world’s greatest challenges for man and technology. After successfully conquering it, the electric “G” will also be able to adorn itself with the “Schöckl proved” quality certificate which is obligatory for the 463 series. And, like its conventionally-driven siblings, it will also shine with a climbing capacity of up to 100 per cent on suitable ground.

The design advantages of the electric drive also play into its favor: making it ideally suited for off-road vehicles and ambitious off-road operations. The batteries integrated into the ladder frame ensure a low center of gravity. Since the electric motors provide their maximum torque practically with the first revolution, an all-electric off-road vehicle, like the Concept EQG and the later production model, boast enormous pulling power and controllability – that also proves to be an advantage on steep slopes and deep terrain.