Concept EQG previews Mercedes' iconic G-Class finally going electric

The legendary G-Class is going electric, with the hotly-anticipated reveal of the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG. Taking the go-anywhere G Wagen and giving it an EV makeover, the concept SUV previewed today is instantly recognizable for its blunt-edged heritage, though with some electrification twists to keep things interesting – and relevant.

The possibility of an electric G-Class has been circulating for some time now. What's among Mercedes' most iconic vehicles has been a mainstay of the range for decades, and has continued through that time with relatively few changes along the way.

However with the rise of electrification – and tougher emissions standards faced by internal combustion models – the days of the big-displacement gas engines seemed truly numbered. Mercedes' answer is to use its electric architecture to make sure the big G survives.

We'll have to wait a little longer for the production model, but in the case of the Concept EQG that means two-tone paint with gloss black up top and gloss aluminum beam on the bottom, illuminated stripes, and extra emphasis to the exterior protective strips.

The round headlights are of course carried over, but they now flank a deep black radiator grille. That has an illuminated Mercedes 3D star. A squircle-pattern EQ-blue animation surrounds it.

22-inch polished aluminum alloy wheels are hardly off-road friendly, but they do give the Concept EQG some serious presence. Rather than a spare wheel cover on the back, though, there's a lockable box for the charging cable.

That's to charge the electric platform. Mercedes sticks with independent suspension on the front axle and a rigid axle at the rear, though modified to suit the EV drivetrain; there'll be four electric motors, one for each wheel and individually controllable. A shiftable 2-speed gearbox will be standard.

It's not just about carrying over a model that's much-loved by owners, however. Mercedes is also hoping to use the EQG to demonstrate that there's really no reason not to go electric, if even the G Wagen is capable of it.

"With this strategic step from 'Electric first' to 'Electric only,' including sustainable production and the CO2-neutral life cycle of our batteries, we are accelerating the transformation to a zero-emission and software-driven future," Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and COO of Mercedes-Benz Cars, explains. "We want to inspire our customers to switch to electric mobility with convincing products. An icon like the G-Class fulfills this task perfectly."

Mercedes says this concept is a "near-production study" so we shouldn't expect too much diversion from it when the final model arrives.