The All-new Mercedes-Benz G 580: The G-Wagon Goes Electric

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class has had a varied life and the all-new Mercedes-Benz G 580 adds to that. From a military workhorse to a favourite with influencers and navigating the roads of urban jungles, the boxy brute has grown a cult following. No wonder then that Mercedes has opted to make it an EV. While losing the personality of a stonking V8 under the bonnet, the G 580 keeps its retro looks and off-roading ability – perfect for the school run.

New Mercedes-Benz G 580

How Much Is Too Much?

The G 580 features four individually controlled electric motors. These combine to produce an impressive 580 horsepower and a stonking 1,164 Nm of torque. This torque is instantly accessible, leading to a 0 to 100 km/h time of 4.7 seconds. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that this new G-Wagon has a kerb weight of more than 3 tonnes. The 116 kWh battery is protected for offroad use and provides up to 473 kilometres (293 miles) of range. It can be charged with AC and DC and fast charging can take charge from 10% to 80% in 32 minutes.

Keeping the Faith

The G 580 keeps the traditional G-Class look but updates it for EV efficiency. Modern is mixed with retro, as the face is reminiscent of G-Classes of the past. A slightly raised bonnet and spoiler lip on the roof adds to the aerodynamics. The G 580 comes with 20-inch alloys and adaptive MULTIBEAM LED headlights as standard. The electric G-Wagon also comes with a unique design touch: the rectangular box at the rear. In place of the spare wheel, it will most likely be used to store charging cables. The launch spec EDITION ONE comes with the AMG Line trim. These add flared arches, 20-inch AMG alloys, blue brake calipers, and running boards. The Night Package adds a more sporty appearance. The EDITION ONE is available in five special colours: MANUFAKTUR south sea blue magno, obsidian black metallic, MANUFAKTUR opalite white magno, MANUFAKTUR opalite white bright and MANUFAKTUR classic grey solid.

More of the Same

The electric G-Class’s interior remains familiar. The passenger grab handle and square-edged air vents are a nod to the G-Wagon’s utilitarian past. Leather seats and steering wheel are standard, as is Merc’s signature ambient lighting. The SUPERIOR Line Interior, included in the EDITION ONE, features extra elements in nappa leather and the Active Multicontour Seat Plus package, which features massage functions. The EDITION ONE also features trim finished in blue-tinted carbon fibre. As expected, the G 580 features the MBUX infotainment system, in the form of a 12.3-inch screen which includes the driver and media display. The system includes the voice control system, activated by saying “Hey, Mercedes” and there are 20 G-Class specific voice commands. The augmented reality navigation system provides guidance, by showing traffic information on the media display and the colour of traffic lights for when there is limited visibility. The Burmester 3D surround-sound system should immerse the driver when listening to music or podcasts.

Taking Electric Vehicles to New Extremes

The all-new Mercedes-Benz G 580 is one of the first electric off-roaders on sale. Whilst many will likely never test the limits of it, purists may be slightly relieved to know that it hasn’t lost any of its ability when the tough gets going. The traditional ladder frame chassis remains, although it has been reinforced to cope with the additional weight from the electric infrastructure. The front suspension is double-wishbone and independent, whilst the rear is a rigid De Dion design. These culminate in some very impressive figures: a wading depth of 850mm, approach and departure angles of 32° and 30.7° respectively, and a breakover angle of 20.3°. It’s also stable driving on sideward slopes of up to 35°. It’s not just the chassis and suspension that keep the G-Class’s off-road capability going though. ELECTRIC DYNAMIC SELECT allows the driver to change the vehicle’s characteristics, depending on the situation. For off-roading, there are “Trail” and “Rock” modes available. The LOW RANGE off-road gear reduction gives the car better traction on tricky terrain and is available in the “Rock” driving mode.

All-new Mercedes-Benz G 580

Plenty of Toys

The all-new Mercedes-Benz G 580 features plenty of tech not seen on any other vehicle. Most notable is G-TURN, a system allowing the vehicle to turn almost on the spot. It can do up to two complete revolutions and is certainly a sight to behold. The similarly named G-STEERING allows this G-Wagon to turn more tightly off-road, whilst the intelligent off-road crawl function can propel it forward at slow speeds without any input from the driver. This is automatically engaged in LOW RANGE. The appropriately named G-ROAR system supposedly replaces the V8’s brutish noise. Using deep bass, it changes with acceleration to mimic an engine, and the noise level changes depending on the driving mode, just like a valved exhaust. G-ROAR also plays sound when approaching the G-Wagon and at other key times, like turning on and off the motors and leaving it. The new OFFROAD COCKPIT shows key off-road information on the displays and has quick access buttons for important features whilst exploring. Finally, the “transparent bonnet” function allows the driver to see boulders and other obstacles.

All-new Mercedes-Benz G 580

Big Shoes to Fill

The G 580 appears to have all the characteristics of a G-Wagon: the classic, boxy design and impressive off-road capabilities. However, the loss of the V8 will be felt and synthetic sounds can’t replace the raw feel of a combustion engine. Still, if it means the G-Class can stay who are we to complain?

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