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Electric Mercedes G-Class to be revealed on 24 April, and it’s not called the EQG

The “all-new G 580 with EQ Technology”, as its official called, will use four individual electric motors

The all-electric version of the legendary Mercedes G-Class 4x4 will finally be unveiled on 24 April in Beijing, and it turns out, it won’t be known as the Mercedes EQG after all. Instead, the electric G-Wagen will be sold as the ‘G 580 with EQ Technology’, which is more in line with the rest of the G-Class model line-up.

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The regular G-Class has just been updated, so now every model in the range features dual 12.3-inch screens running Mercedes’ latest MBUX infotainment system, a new steering wheel design and touchpad on the centre console. More off-road modes were also added and adaptive suspension is now standard across the range.

The electric G 580 should benefit from the same upgrades, and won’t look too different from its combustion-engined siblings either, based on the latest images we’ve received. They show the G 580 will retain the bluff front end, slab-sided body and wheel arches flared to the extreme found on other versions of Mercedes’ retro SUV, but with a blanked-off grille design, revised bumpers and aerodynamically optimised alloy wheels. 

Some of the prototypes at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024 in Las Vegas also featured the traditional spare wheel cover on the tailgate, but others have been fitted with a more squared-off box that could be used for storing the charging cable. It’s an idea we first saw on the Concept EQG at the 2021 Munich Motor Show.

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As well as having one on display at the expo itself, Mercedes shut down a section of the famous Las Vegas Strip to demonstrate the EQG’s amazing party trick, the G-turn. Yes, the name is cheesy, but the manoeuvre is undeniably impressive. Essentially, the four electric motors that the G 580 uses allow wheels on the same axle to spin in opposite directions so the car can rotate like a tracked vehicle and complete a 720-degree turn, on the spot.

Mercedes is keen to stress that the all-electric G-Class is an uncompromising off-roader just like its ancestors and siblings, stating it’s “ready to set new benchmarks for off-road performance”. We were certainly impressed with its off-road capability when we rode shotgun in a prototype.

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To deliver that off-road prowess, the G 580 is not built on a pure-electric platform. Instead, the tough ladder frame chassis of the petrol and diesel models will be converted to accommodate a pure-electric powertrain, along with independent front suspension and a rigid axle at the rear. The battery is likely to be the same 108.4kWh (usable) capacity used by the EQS SUV, which will power four individual electric motors through ​​four low-range transfer boxes. 

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Mercedes has revealed the G 580 has an average energy efficiency of 2 to 2.2 miles per kilowatt-hour, which would equate to a range of around 238 miles at best from the same battery as the EQS, however an exact range figure has yet to be announced. 

Mercedes Concept EQG

Since launch in 1979, the G-Glass has taken on minor and evolutionary visual design changes, even the ‘major’ redesign for the current-generation model in 2018 saw the big SUV retain its outlook as an uncompromising, boxy off-roader. With the EQG Concept, Mercedes hinted that the retro EV off-roader would take on a mild evolution rather than a total redesign. 

The angular silhouette retains many of the model’s most distinctive features, such as the front indicators mounted on top of the front wings, either side of the bonnet. 

Unlike the EQA, EQB and EQC models, the concept EQG will retain the headlights of its combustion-engined alternative, though the round lighting elements are now separated not by a conventional grille, but a black panel, as is the case on other EQ-branded cars. 

Other touches include an LED strip running on the front facing side of the roof rack – a modern interpretation of roof-mounted spot lamps – a ‘G’ logo integrated as part of the rack’s design, and a similar red LED strip at the rear of the roof acting as a brake light. The concept also features 22-inch polished wheels in a unique design.

Now read our review of a Mercedes EQG prototype

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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