You can thank Arnie for this new Mercedes EQG


Mercedes-Benz dominated the opening of the IAA auto show in Munich with a deluge of new electric cars. Proving its commitment to replacing fossil fuel power with batteries before the decade is out, the company has displayed two production models and two concepts which, frankly, look production-ready, anyway. The first all-electric AMG makes its debut, while the E-Class also gets the EQ treatment, which was always to be expected. More surprising is the first example of a Maybach that runs only on amps, and the electrification of the iconic G-Wagen.

Mercedes recently pledged to spend more than $47 billion between next year and 2030 on electrifying its line-up and building eight battery plants. The company also confirmed that after 2025 any new models released would be purely electric, but apparently we can thank Arnold Schwarzenegger for the electrification of the G-Wagen. At the 2018 unveiling of the latest iteration of the boxy legend Arnie got Mercedes’ boss Dieter Zetsche to promise that the G would be included in Mercedes’ future all-electric line-up. Now this “near-production study” shows what it will look like.

Thankfully, it’s almost unchanged, with only the deep black radiator grille-replacement and its large illuminated three-pointed star really standing out. There’s quite a lot of gloss black going on, chunky 22-inch alloy wheels, and a few squircles to align it with the rest of the range, but otherwise its all pleasingly familiar.

The EQG’s batteries are integrated into its ladder frame chassis rather than it sharing the brand’s new EV architecture, which is reassuring and will allow the EQG to extend its go-anywhere ability, as each of the four electric motors fitted can be controlled individually to provide optimum traction in any conditions. The front suspension is independent and a rigid rear axle has been developed to work with the electric motors. A two-speed gearbox is fitted for rock crawling and mud plugging.

“We’re travelling into the future with the new EQG! This car epitomises the fusion of state-of-the-art off-road capabilities with the dawn of electric mobility that we all need to strive for. It stands for our relentless pursuit of the utmost desire and luxury. For us, the most important thing was to keep the full G-Class DNA but beam it into the EQ age,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler Group.

The EQG will undergo rigorous testing in the mountains of Austria where it will be expected to tackle 60-degree slopes like every G-Wagen before it. Mercedes has built over 400,000 Gs so far and electrification means that many more are still to come.

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