Since the beginning of the new millennium, we’ve seen the Mercedes G-Class go sporty with AMG variants, extremely tough with variants like 4×4² and 6×6, armored with the Guard variant, and regal with the Landaulet variant. Two decades later, as the world transitions to zero-emission vehicles, Daimler is showing us a new, never-imagined-before facet of the Geländewagen, one which is clean and classy, with the Mercedes EQG concept.
The Mercedes EQG is one of the most anticipated European electric SUVs since October 2020, when Daimler held the Mercedes-Benz Strategy Update 2020 event. The electric G-Class that debuted at the 2021 Munich Motor Show (IAA 2021) is a concept, but a production version is in the pipeline.
Mercedes EQG design
The Mercedes EQG concept (official name: Mercedes Concept EQG) is a modified second-gen Mercedes G-Class with EV-specific styling bits and an entirely different powertrain. Key changes include a two-tone color scheme consisting of gloss black on the top and gloss aluminum on the bottom, a black panel radiator grille featuring an illuminated star, an animated squircle pattern around the star, and an all-round illuminated band on the edges, 22-inch EV-style wheels, and an EV wallbox charger-inspired lockable box in place of the spare wheel cover.
The second-gen G-Class’ evolutionary design indicates that customers prefer progressive changes built on the original character and aren’t looking for a low-slung aerodynamic car. With that in mind, the media has expected the EQG to look very close to the regular model, and the concept version strengthens that speculation.
The interior of the Mercedes EQG concept doesn’t have too many differences from the G-Class. The overall design and layout are the same, yet the cabin looks rich and clean, mainly because it’s whiter than white. It seems a more peaceful space due to the light color, which can only complement the silent operation of the electric powertrain.
The steering wheel is new, although it doesn’t look noticeably different. The center console trim is also unique to the concept model. The instrument cluster and central display have exclusive graphics, with the former giving EV-specific information and the latter displaying the Mercedes-EQ branding and a three-dimensional star pattern. The hallmark three differential lock switches in the center console are only for show purposes, and so, they don’t have a differential lock icon on them.
On November 8, 2019, at the Automobilewoche Kongress, Kallenius had revealed that a Mercedes G Class Electric is in the pipeline. This was the first time we got to hear from Daimler about complete electrification for its off-roader.
Mercedes EQG platform
Like the F-150 Lightning, the Mercedes EQG will be a conversion of an ICE model (the second-gen G-Class). Daimler is avoiding its electric-only or electric-first platforms in a bid to keep the development & production costs in check, and most importantly, preserve the capabilities of the iconic off-roader. This would mean that it won’t be as good as the Mercedes cars developed as an EV from the outset. So, don’t expect a flat floor or the Hyperscreen display, for instance, on the G-Class Electric.
Before even Daimler announced the Mercedes EQG concept, reports said that the production version would feature four individual motors, a setup that mimics the functionality of the Mercedes G-Class’ three 100‑percent differential locks. We’re talking about conventional motors here, not in-wheel motors. A WLTP range of 500+ km/311+ miles doesn’t seem like an overstretch.
With a short wheelbase of 189.7 inches, the Mercedes EQG probably won’t be able to accommodate the long 107.8 kWh battery pack of the Mercedes EQS, which has a length of 126.4 inches between the axles. Comprising 12 cell modules, this battery pack delivers a range (WLTP) of up to 780 km or 478 miles in the 0.20 cd-boasting EQS. Daimler could go for a new, double-stacked battery pack, although it would need to keep the ground clearance in check.
The instrument cluster in the interior pictures you see above shows about 75% charging and 315 km (196 miles) range remaining in the Mercedes EQG concept. So, with 100% charging, the range could be 420 km (261 miles). However, it wouldn’t be technically correct to assume this as the maximum possible range.
Daimler wants to develop a modular battery system with different cell chemistries and heights, only two differentiating characteristics that impact the range, charging, and driving performance. The company aims to improve its eDrive system also to improve the range of its EVs.
We are aiming for a modular battery system that consists of uniformly designed components and a standardized interface to the entire vehicle. Only two differentiating characteristics will create the necessary variance in terms of range, charging and driving performance: cell chemistry and the height. Besides a very innovative battery technology, an improved eDrive system contributes to further increasing the range and efficiency of electric vehicles.Markus Schafer, BoM member responsible for R&D, Daimler, and Chief Operating Officer, Mercedes-Benz Cars (Mercedes-Benz Strategy Update: electric drive)
Like the ICE G-Class, the pure electric G-Class concept has independent suspension on the front axle and a rigid axle at the rear. The concept version’s four electric motors, each close to a different wheel, are individually controllable. The driver can activate the vehicle’s off-road reduction via a two-speed gearbox.
Daimler promises an “enormous pulling power and controllability” for the production model that will follow the Concept EQG. It says that, like the ICE G-Class, the all-electric G-Class will boast “a climbing capacity of up to 100 percent on suitable ground.” Towards the end of its development, the company will test it on the 1445-meter high Schöckl mountain in Graz.
Daimler is likely to ensure that the EQG can conquer the Schöckl than the Berlin to Stuttgart trip (629 km/391 miles via A9) on a single charge. Though purists would want to drive the G-Class manually, electric, or otherwise, the company may offer optional autonomous driving capability in the EQG, for EQ models stand for futuristic travel.
The Mercedes EQG will prove that all-electric off-road SUVs can be as capable as any conventional off-road SUV. Daimler had given a fine demonstration in 2020 in the Mercedes EQC 4×4², an extreme off-roader concept based on the EQC 400 4MATIC.
Thanks to multi-link portal axles, the one-off EQC 4×4 Squared concept offers more than double the production model’s ground clearance – 293 mm (EQC: 140 mm). The approach, departure, and breakover angles increase by 11.2 degrees, 13.0 degrees, and 12.6 degrees, respectively, to 31.8 degrees, 33.0 degrees, and 24.2 degrees. Another highlight is an increased fording depth of 400 mm (+250 mm). Increased track width and chunky 285/50 R20 Cooper Zeon tires are also among the various modifications. Daimler could use the learnings from this concept in the development of the EQG.
Mercedes EQG variants
On April 1, 2021, Daimler filed trademark applications at EUIPO for two new names which it may use for the Mercedes EQG: EQG 560 and EQG 580. The company had registered the EQG name at EUIPO in 2016 and owns that trademark now. On April 3, it revealed the use of 580 on a Mercedes EQS variant (EQS 580 4MATIC+).
An AMG high-performance variant (Mercedes-AMG EQG) should also be a part of the planned model line.
Daimler has confirmed that it plans to launch the Mercedes EQG in 2024, two years after the Mercedes EQS SUV.
In 2024 we will launch our full-electric G-Class as well. It will continue the great story of our G-series.Britta Seeger, BoM member – Marketing and Sales, Daimler AG and Mercedes Benz AG (Mercedes-Benz Strategy Update: electric drive)
Daimler EV strategy
Daimler has changed its EV strategy from electric-first to electric-only. The company will launch only electric-only architectures from 2025. In the first year alone (2025), the company plans to introduce three electric-only architectures. Customers will have an EV alternative to every Mercedes-Benz model.
By 2025, our customers will be able to choose an all-electric alternative for every model we make. We will introduce 3 new EV-only architectures. And by the end of this decade we will be ready to go 100% electric – where market conditions allow.Ola Kallenius, CEO, Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG (Mercedes-Benz Strategy Update: electric drive)
Mercedes EQG (Mercedes G-Class Electric) FAQs
What is the Mercedes EQG (Mercedes G Class Electric) release date?
Britta Seeger, Mercedes BoM member responsible for Marketing & Sales, has confirmed a 2024 release date for the Mercedes EQG.
Featured image: Daimler