Home Car News Mercedes EQG, G Class EV, electric G Wagen, Beijing motor show 2024

Mercedes EQG, G Class EV, electric G Wagen, Beijing motor show 2024

by caradmin
Mercedes EQG, G Class EV, electric G Wagen, Beijing motor show 2024

Mercedes will reveal the long-awaited final production version of the electric G-Class at the Beijing motor show later this month. Previously known as the EQG concept and showcased in our country under that name earlier this year, the electric 4×4 will be sold as the G580 with EQ Technology after it launches in India later this year, following its reveal on April 24 at Auto China.

  1. Electric G-Class will not get a ‘frunk’
  2. G580 likely to get roughly 100kWh battery; about 350km real-world range
  3. Unique 4×4 tech to enable it to be as capable off-road as its ICE counterpart

Mercedes G580: design highlights

It will be Mercedes-Benz’s ninth dedicated electric model, kicking off a whole new chapter of electrification for the traditional hardcore off-roader, a mainstay of the German car maker’s line-up since 1979. The electric G-Glass is also earmarked to act as a technological spearhead for Mercedes-Benz’s newly created G (for Gelandewagen) sub-brand, promising what G brand boss Emmerich Schiller describes as an “unparalleled combination of luxury and off-road ability for electric vehicles”.

He said: “From the start, it was decided the electric G-Class should be at least as good as the internal-combustion-engine model both on road and off road. We didn’t want to compromise on capabilities.” Based on the latest iteration of the G-Class – codenamed and known within Mercedes-Benz engineering circles as W463 – it builds off a modified version of the steel ladder-frame chassis used by internal-combustion-engine (ICE) models, alongside which it will be produced at long-time partner Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria.

Early road-going prototypes confirm it will retain the same characteristic square-rigged exterior styling as other existing G-Class models. Although disguised, they feature standard body panels together with a number of small but unique details, as hinted at on the earlier concept, including a new-look front bumper and a blanked-off grille.

“We have two skateboards with the same hat on top,” said Schiller, in reference to the ladder-frame chassis and familiar G-Class styling. “As with the internal-combustion-engine models, the body is connected to the ladder frame at eight points.”

Like Mercedes-Benz’s other EQ models, there is no front luggage compartment or 'frunk'. The charging cable will be able to be stowed in a lockable box similar to that previewed by the concept, mounted in the place traditionally taken by the spare tyre on the sideways-opening tailgate.

Mercedes G580: range, battery, powertrain

The G580 was revealed in concept form at the Munich motor show in 2021, with a radical quad-motor powertrain that allows for unstoppable go-anywhere abilities – in keeping with the reputation of the G-Class – and means the EV can turn on the spot like BYD's similarly conceived Yangwang U8 4×4. Preliminary technical specifications were revealed in 2022, but the brand has yet to confirm its new EV's headline performance specifications.

It has revealed that the new electric G-Class will consume between 27.7-30.3kWh of energy per 100km travelled, reflecting an official efficiency figure of 2-2.2kWh. Based on a previously disclosed battery capacity of roughly 100kWh, this means the electric G-Class will have a range of around 320-350km. The battery is mounted within the floor and beneath the rear seat, and a new silicon anode is claimed to boost energy density and efficiency beyond that of the battery used by the EQE and EQS SUVs, while also providing a reduction in weight and overall size.

At the centre of the EQG’s technical development is a new electric drivetrain consisting of four electric motors – one powering each individual wheel. Unique among Mercedes-Benz’s current line-up of EQ models, it mirrors that of the SLS E-Cell produced by Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance car division in limited volumes in 2013. The four-motor layout, also used by US electric vehicle start-up Rivian for its R1 SUV and pick-up, is aimed at providing the EQG with what Schiller describes as an unrivalled combination of off-road performance and refined on-road qualities.

“There were intensive discussions surrounding the four-motor layout. It is incredibly complex. It is also very expensive. But with two electric motors you have differential locks, which means a combination of electronic and mechanical systems. With three motors – one up front and two on the rear axle, you don’t get the full performance in off-road conditions,” he said.

Mercedes-Benz is holding back on disclosing power and torque figures for its latest electric model. However, Schiller hints there will be varying models with differing outputs, including an AMG flagship claimed to provide a level of on-road performance, including straight-line acceleration, to match the existing 585hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol-powered Mercedes-AMG G 63 4Matic.

Mercedes G580: off-road capability

The front electric motors are mounted low at each side within the axle. The rear electric motors are integrated more inboard within a newly developed de Dion-style rear axle conceived specifically for the electric G-Class and chosen to provide “good traction and flexibility of the suspension”.

Each electric motor is able to provide individual drive to each wheel through a mechanical two-speed gearbox, offering both high and low-range gearing. Together with traditional on-road driving modes (Eco, Comfort and Sport), the new G-Class will offer three off-road modes – Trail, Rock and Sand. An additional creeper mode allows the driver to set a pre-determined speed in off-road driving.

To facilitate off-road performance, the four electric motors are also able to simulate the three locking differentials (one in each axle, and one in the transfer case) of ICE G-Class models. In extreme conditions, the collective drive can be channelled to a single wheel to retain traction and ensure progress. Schiller cites throttle dosing among the primary advantages of the four-motor layout. “It is incredibly precise. The individual control of drive to each wheel provides a whole new level of ability. We have even more possibilities off road. It is really fun every four weeks to drive the latest prototypes. I think we have the best electric off-roader,” he said.

Additionally, a so-called G-Turn function, activated by a dashboard-mounted button, makes the electric motors on one side turn the wheels forward and those on the opposite side turn the wheels in reverse, allowing the EQG to perform spectacular, on-the-spot 360-degree tank turns. The driver can select whether to turn left or right via shift paddles on the steering wheel.

Compact packaging of the front electric motors within the front axle permits a greater turning angle for the front wheels, leading to a turning circle that is described as being “considerably better” than that of other ICE G-Class models. As in other Mercedes-Benz EQ models, a regeneration system allows the harvesting of kinetic energy in three different steps – D+, D and D-.

To protect the battery in extreme off-road driving conditions, it is housed within a sturdy sealed case that enables the electric G-Class to wade through deep water. The steel casing also receives an additional layer of carbonfibre-reinforced polymer compound to protect against rock strikes and other impacts. “The outer layer is made of an extremely resilient material that is designed to protect the battery at all times,” said Schiller.

One advantage of mounting the battery within the floor is the model's centre of gravity, which is described as being considerably lower than that of the ICE G-Class. It comes at the cost of weight, though. “Weight is a challenge – as it is in any electric vehicle,” said Schiller. “We haven’t got a final figure yet but it is below 3,500kg.” Underneath, a double-wishbone front and trailing arm rear suspension uses similar linkage points to ICE G-Class models.

Mercedes-Benz is not prepared to talk too much about factors such as ground clearance or approach, departure and break over angles just yet, though Schiller suggests the electric G-Class will not only match diesel- and petrol-powered G-Class models in off-road conditions but also, in certain situations, outperform them.

Despite the car’s ability to provide selective drive to each wheel, though, it appears prospective owners will have to forgo towing. “It is an absolute killer for the range, said Schiller. “We’re not sure at this stage if it will be offered on initial generation.”

Mercedes-Benz at Auto China 2024

The G580 will headline a flurry of Mercedes reveals and debuts at the China show, with the new plug-in hybrid version of the AMG GT coupé and heavily updated EQS sedan also due to make their public debuts. Mercedes will show the radical Concept CLA Class in China for the first time at the show too, ahead of the production version's global debut later this year.

Also see:

Mercedes G-Class facelift revealed with mild hybrid engines

Electric Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door to have over 1000hp

Mercedes A-Class to soldier on till 2026

Mercedes-Benz Cars

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