Mercedes-Benz has been putting its most rugged electric vehicle yet through its paces in snowy Sweden.
The Mercedes-Benz EQG offers the familiar boxy styling of the G-Class but with a quad-motor electric powertrain. It’s scheduled to debut in 2024.
While the EQG’s distinctive square spare wheel cover doesn’t feature on this prototype, we can tell it’s an EQG and not a regular G by its closed-off grille.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an EQG testing, as Mercedes-Benz gave us a ride-along in a prototype model late last year.
The EQG features an electric motor for each wheel, and pressing a button on the EQG’s dash selects low range courtesy of a reduction gear system on the output shaft of each motor.
It will eschew Mercedes-Benz’s new dedicated Electric Vehicle Architecture for a version of the G-Class’s traditional body-on-frame underpinnings, with multi-link independent front suspension and a live axle at the rear. It rides on steel springs with adaptive dampers.
No power or torque outputs have been announced yet.
Mercedes-Benz also announced last year it’s also working on silicon-based battery technology to be manufactured by US startup Sila Nanotechnologies from 2025.
The company’s high-silicon anode material is claimed to have a 20 to 40 per cent increase in energy density compared to commercially available battery cells with a comparable format.
The EQG was first previewed in concept rendering form in 2021, with classic G-Class styling augmented with futuristic touches like an illuminated, closed-off grille, illuminated rub strips and, yes, that squared-off wheel carrier.
The production version will be built alongside the combustion G-Class at partner Magna Steyr’s plant in Austria.
While the EQG is still at least 12 months away, a boxy, quad-motor electric SUV will soon reach production.
The U8 from BYD’s new upscale Yangwang brand will produce around 820kW of power, and features similarly bluff, boxy styling to the G-Class or Land Rover Defender – down to the external spare wheel carrier.
Rivian is also introducing this year a quad-motor version of its R1S SUV with 622kW of power and 1231Nm of torque, good for a 0-60mph (0-96km/h) time of “as quick as 3 seconds” according to the US startup.