Whether you call it the G-Wagen or the G-Wagon, it'd be hard to argue against the notion that the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is one of the most capable all-around vehicles on the market, cramming luxury, status and exceptional on-road and off-road performance into a single iconic package. But it's not without its issues. One big one for the G-Wagen is, of course, fuel economy; boxy bodies and powerful engines rarely make for good gas mileage. Averaging just 14 mpg combined, the Gelandewagen is one of the worst-polluting passenger vehicles on sale in America.
That, however, is about to change. Mercedes is launching a "G" sub-brand, much like Ford has done with the Bronco and Mustang...and part of that G-Class future will be an electric version. Mercedes unveiled a "near production study" of the vehicle called the Concept EQG at IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich. Details remain scarce, but here's what we know so far.
The EQG should still be a G-Class underneath. The Concept EQG employs a ladder frame with an independent front suspension and solid-axle at the rear. It has four electric motors located at each wheel and batteries incorporated into the frame for a lower center of gravity. The Concept EQG also has a two-speed gearbox to aid with "G-specific" off-road requirements.
One of the virtues of the G-Class is how little its straightforward boxy exterior has changed over the decades. Expect that to carry through to the electric era. The Concept EQG sticks very much to tradition, looking very much like a G-Class. The major changes include 22-inch EQG-specific wheels, an illuminated Black Panel grille and illuminated stripes spanning the vehicle's length.
The rear-mounted spare tire is a common feature of boxy, body-on-frame off-roaders like the Ford Bronco, the Jeep Wrangler and the current Mercedes G-Class. The EQG Concept does not have one but offers a visual link to the spare wheel cover with a lockable storage box — perfect for storing the charging cable.
There's at least one electric G-Class already kicking around. Back in 2017, Arnold Schwarzenegger paid $1 million to Austrian tuners Kreisel for a custom electric-converted Mercedes G-Class. He posed with it.
Because you should give your 4Runner or Gladiator the fancy rubber it deserves.