Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler recently held an investor conference, as many a publicly traded company does from time to time. But according to Autocar, Daimler used the occasion to announce some massive upcoming changes to its lineup — ones affecting everything from its zero-emission EQ electric fleet to the awesome but notoriously emission-producing G-Class SUV.
As it turns out, the company will take a cue from Ford with the Bronco by breaking out the G-Class into a sub-brand, one on par with AMG and Maybach. According to Mercedes-Benz, “the demand for the G is ahead of current capacity.” In addition, Mercedes said that G-branded vehicles — along with the Maybach and AMG sub-brands — “will go electric.”
(It’s not clear whether Mercedes-Benz will go full Bronco with a G-branded Amazon merch shop and an endless fountain of G-Class puns in promotional materials. That said, we certainly can hope for a stripped-down, more attainable G-branded off-roader.)
Mercedes-Benz also announced three new full-electric EQ models. An EQS SUV will arrive in 2022 to join the upcoming EQS sedan. Mercedes will also build smaller EQE sedan and SUV models; the EQE will come in 2022, followed by the EQE SUV at a later date. Those cars will expand the EQ portfolio to eight EVs; Mercedes-Benz hopes to reveal 10 of them by 2025.
It’s still uncertain how these changes will shake out for the U.S. Mercedes-Benz lineup. But we should see a dramatic expansion of electric and electrified options. The company has made excellent use of mild-hybrid systems, but the GLC 350e 4MATIC is the only plug-in hybrid in the current American lineup. Mercedes-Benz intended to launch the EQC 400 4MATIC as its first American EV in 2020 but delayed its launch until 2021.