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.

MORE: 2025 Mercedes-Benz EQG review: Prototype ride-along
MORE: Everything Mercedes-Benz G-Class

William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

Buy and Lease
Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
Also on CarExpert