The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is one of those universally loved vehicles. Young and old, male and female, car enthusiasts and other silly folks all nod in appreciation at the large SUV. In an age when large SUVs are frowned upon, you think the G-Class’ time was limited, but not if Mercedes has anything to say about it as the G-Class goes electric.

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Electrification charge

Mercedes-Benz is proceeding at a rapid pace with its electrification strategy. Not only are there a raft of new, battery powered models now added to the portfolio, they will soon be heading to South Africa, as you can read here. The model shown here, known as the Concept EQG, is just a concept car for now. It debuted at the IAA Mobility show taking place in Munich this week. It may be called a concept but Mercedes says that it is a near-production study of an all-electric model variant of its utilitarian off-road icon

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Familiar appearance

At first glance the Concept EQG appears very much like the current G-Class. The boxy shape, tall stance and chunky detailing (concept cars are usually quite smooth on the outside) are reminiscent of the well-known G-Wagen. The 22-inch polished aluminium alloys are similar to those offered on newer SUVs. The spare wheel cover on the rear door has been replaced by a lockable box. This can be used for storing the charging cable within easy reach. 

Several design cues have been borrowed from the existing EQ range of battery powered models. Among these are the closed in and illuminated Black Panel Grille with illuminated star with 3D effect. A white LED strip has been integrated into the front edge of the roof rack and is complimented by another LED strip in red at the rear end of the roof rack.

Prooper off-roader

Mercedes-Benz press materials tries to assure us that as the G-Class goes electric it will not compromise on any of its legendary off-road prowess. Its body is also based on a robust ladder frame. The EQG features independent suspension on the front axle and a rigid axle at the rear. 

Four electric motors, ie one per wheel, are individually controllable, which endows the EQG with unique driving characteristics both on- and off-road. There has been no mention of power outputs as yet. A shiftable two-speed gearbox provides a crawler option for extreme off-roading. Mercedes says that the electric G-Class will be tested on the 1 445-metre high Schöckl mountain in Graz where all G-Class versions have to prove their mettle ahead of production sign-off. 

Check out the Concept EQG’s retro-futuristic intro video below: