Reports are circulating that Mercedes’ electric counterpart to the G-Class SUV – the EQG – is set to go into production in 2024.
First reported by MotorTrend, production is said to have been confirmed during a round table discussion between North America motoring journalists touring Mercedes’ newly opened battery plant in Alabama and the German brand’s chairman, Ola Kallenius.
A concept version of the EQG, presented as a “near-production study” of Mercedes’ 43-year old SUV nameplate, made its debut at last year’s Munich Auto Show as a “promising preview of what a Mercedes-Benz G-Class with battery-electric drive will be capable of.” While production was not absolutely confirmed during the unveiling, Emmerich Schiller, head of Mercedes’ off-road division, explained at the time that “the electrification of this off-road legend [was] simply the logical next step,” and was considered an ideal “convincing product” to help Mercedes customers make the switch from internal combustion to electric vehicles.
Interestingly, rather than utilizing the EV-dedicated ‘EVA2’ architecture at the heart of the EQS and EQE model families, the near-production EQG was instead built atop the same ladder chassis as its ICE contemporary with the batteries mounted inboard. This looks set to continue into the production model as well, given that the EQG featured a modified version of the ‘boxy’ design as its vaunted counterpart – suggesting aerodynamics is not the priority – and Mercedes’ statement last September that an electric version of the G-Class would have to be “an uncompromising off-roader.”
Notable elements of the exterior design included the conventional round headlights, two-tone paint, accented roof rails (complete with a ‘G’ stencil on the roof), exclusive 22-inch wheels, and the Black Panel Grille, the latter of which has since become the ‘face’ of Mercedes’ new ‘E’ electric sub-brand. In deference to its forebear, first unveiled in 1979, the EQG also featured a rear-mounted ‘wallbox’, where once the spare wheel was housed but which now looks set to be joined by charging cables.
Four electric motors control each wheel for added maneuverability, a facet that is also expected to continue into production with, potentially, the 107.8 kWh battery that also powers the EQS.
Though a definitive timeframe was not revealed, it’s believed a production EQG will be built at Mercedes’ EV-dedicated assembly plant in Alabama alongside the mid-sized EQE and upcoming EQS SUVs, despite their differing architectures. Production of the EQS is said to start soon, with EQE landing later year and the EQG set to follow in 2024.