Think going all-electric means having to do without Mercedes’ G-Class? Think again. Mercedes-Benz presented a near-production study of an EV version of its iconic 4×4 wagen.

The study adopts the familiar angular silhouette, including its iconic elements. Illuminated stripes make the robust exterior protective strips stand out visually. The separating edge of the attractive two-tone paint finish – gloss black on top, gloss aluminum beam on the bottom – runs on the front end directly under the overlying bonnet, thus emphasizing this design feature even more clearly.

The front view of the concept looks familiar, not least because of the typical round headlights. Instead of a radiator grille, this all-electric variant features a continuous deep black radiator grille. In this grille, the illuminated star with 3-D effect sets a striking accent. Around it, the animated pattern of “round squares” (squircle pattern) in the familiar blue of the Mercedes-EQ models creates a visual link. An all-round illuminated band wraps the black panel, which, alongside the white illuminated circles in the exterior mirror housings, complements the daytime running light graphic of the headlights. Riding on 22-inch polished aluminum wheels in a unique design, the EQG sports a lockable box with white illuminated accent on the rear door instead of the usual spare wheel cover. The box looks like a fusebox and could allow the owner to store charging cables.

The EQG’s body is based on its robust ladder frame. Batteries are integrated into this frame for a low center of gravity. The chassis retains its off-road capability – independent front suspension up front and a rigid axle in back, revamped for electric drive integration. Each wheel will have its own nearby electric motor that is individually controllable, permitting driving characteristics that can be tailored for on- or off-road driving. A two-speed transfer case will be retained, as with any actual 4×4.

This study version must face its ultimate test – a 3.5-mile test track near Graz, Austria on Schöckl Mountain, elevation 4,741 feet. Pocked with 60-degree gradients, the route has long been regarded as one of the greatest challenges on Earth for man and technology. This will enable the EV version to earn its “Schöckl-proved” quality certificate, obligatory for the 463 series.

“We are proud of the more than 400,000 ‘G’s we have produced to date,” emphasizes Dr. Emmerich Schiller, Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz G GmbH and Head of the Off-Road Vehicle Product Division at Mercedes-Benz AG. “In its more than 40-year model history, the G-Class has always used the most modern and suitable drive technology at the time – from the pre-chamber naturally aspirated diesel of the early days to the AMG 4.0-liter V8 in the current top model, the G 63. Against the background of our ‘Electric only’ strategy, the electrification of this off-road legend is simply the logical next step – and an absolutely fascinating project. Our icon is and remains ‘stronger than time’ in every respect.”