Within the Mercedes-Benz company, the G-Class is seen as a brand of its own rather than just another model. The idea to electrify this beloved icon was met with skepticism by some; after all, what could be least suitable for electric vehicle conversion than an off-roader with a body that’s as aerodynamic as a brick? Nevertheless, despite such doubts and opposition from fans who prefer their Gs gasoline powered only, it appears that there are plans underway to make an electric version of this legendary Benz.
Emmerich Schiller, the CEO of Mercedes-Benz’s G-Class sub-brand, was initially hesitant to pursue an electric version since it would be a massive engineering feat. Especially considering the offroader needed to have enough strength and capability to tackle Schöckl Mountain in Graz, Austria – where all previous models of this legendary SUV were tested. He deemed that adding batteries and electric motors should not pose as any hindrance when compared with its predecessors’ performance on rough terrain.
Despite his initial hesitations, Schiller joyfully accepted that the production EQG was very achievable. He and his team worked tirelessly to develop it – Schiller himself sat in the driver’s seat both figuratively and literally as he piloted a prototype of the EQG covered with camouflage around Carcassonne, France; its interior obscured by covers to conceal any curious onlookers. While there is no mistaking what powers this vehicle, everything else about it screams G-Class.
While few owners might take the EQG for a rigorous spin, this isn’t too different from other high-end vehicles that are more frequently seen in affluent zip codes instead of race tracks. My experience with an early prototype model was extremely illuminating and although I didn’t gain any specific technical details, I can say without hesitation that this car is sure to be something special when it’s released two years from now. The ride clearly demonstrated its potential as a true G-Wagen.