Mercedes-Benz is gearing up to revolutionize the iconic G-Class with an all-electric variant, and CEO Ola Kaellenius claims it could outshine its traditional counterpart in off-road prowess. In an outdoor video featuring the electric G-Class, Kaellenius, along with chief engineer Fabian Schossau, shed light on the vehicle's development and unique features. Four years have passed since Mercedes-Benz's initial announcement of an electric G-Class, and much remained shrouded in mystery - until today. Today we got a closer look at the electric G and its off-road capabilities - cue the video:
One glance at the electric G-Wagon, and you'd be hard-pressed to miss its signature boxy silhouette. Kaellenius proudly states that this electric incarnation retains the unmistakable appearance of a true G-Class. While the video's prototype was camouflaged, Mercedes-Benz had previously unveiled the Concept EQG in 2021, offering a glimpse of the essential design elements.
For rigorous testing, the development team headed to the Schoeckl mountain in Graz, Austria - the very place where the G-Class was born. The electric off-roader underwent a grueling regimen, ascending and descending the mountain 336 times. It showcased its off-road prowess thanks to a novel drivetrain concept featuring four electric motors, one at each wheel. Smart software managed torque distribution, enabling remarkable off-road capabilities, including a G-turn.
Mercedes is not just focusing on off-road capabilities; it's also pushing the envelope in battery technology. The electric G-Class will employ a cutting-edge silicon anode battery, expected to boost energy density by 20 to 40% compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries. This advancement could substantially extend the vehicle's range, a crucial factor for electric off-roaders.
The G-Class is known for its ruggedness and has a cult following. The electric variant's potential to match or even surpass the traditional model in off-road capabilities is a significant point of interest. It marks a notable shift in the automotive landscape towards electrification without compromising on performance.
While purists may raise their eyebrows at the notion of an electric G-Class, Kaellenius assures them that the traditional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) version will continue alongside the electric variant. This dual approach ensures that fans of the iconic off-roader can still experience the roaring power of a gasoline engine.
One detail that remains elusive is the exact release date for the electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class. However, industry watchers speculate that it could hit the market in 2024, likely as a 2025 model-year offering.