Mercedes G 580 with EQ Technology

Mercedes Brings Electrification Off Road With Its New G-Wagen

The Mercedes G-Wagen is one of the most iconic off-roaders ever made, and for a long time, I have been wondering about when it’s due for an electrified treatment. After all, the current G-Wagen, a gargantuan gas-guzzler, is hardly the most eco-conscious vehicle around. But luckily, it seems like Mercedes has listened to our prayers, and with the unveiling of the new G 580 EQ, they might’ve just created the most capable electric 4×4 yet. It has everything that we loved in the old G-Wagen, with its off-road prowess and luxury, but it’s now powered by electricity!

The brand-new ‘Mercedes G 580 with EQ Technology’ – not a rather catchy name, is it? – is still, thankfully, built atop a ladder frame chassis. And, best of all, it’s still kept the G-Wagen’s tried-and-true independent front suspension with double wishbones, and newly developed rigid rear axle. Alongside it, and to guarantee a lower centre of gravity, the lithium-ion battery pack was integrated into the aforementioned ladder frame. With a whopping gross capacity of 116kWh, it’s rated for a superb and pretty competitive 473 kilometres of all-electric range (WLTP).

Mercedes G 580 with EQ Technology

The King Of Off-Road Luxury Is Back

Given its hardcore roots, Mercedes wasn’t keen on watering down the G-Wagen, even when it turned to electrification. The G 580 has four electric motors – one for each wheel – where it handily outputs 432kW (around 579hp) in total. In addition, with an eye-watering 1,164Nm of torque, the G 580 sprints from 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds. Not bad for a 3+ tonne off-roader. Since it’s electric, the new Mercedes G 580 EQ doesn’t have a transmission as such, and hence, there’s no old-school low-range gearbox. But, it does retain low-range gear reduction.

In addition to the low-range gearing, Mercedes was able to add two distinct functions to the G 580 EQ… ‘G-TURN’, which basically allows you to turn your G-Wagen, pretty much on the spot, when you’re on loose or unpaved surfaces. Elsewhere, ‘G-STEERING’ enables you to turn with a much smaller turning circle while you’re off-roading. I could also see a lot of use for the new 3-speed off-road crawl function; aka cruise control for off-roading. Combined with clever torque vectoring that mimics the function of differential locks, it makes for a highly capable 4×4.

Mercedes G 580 with EQ Technology

A Recipe For Off-Roading Prowess

As far as dimensions are concerned, the blocky silhouette echoes the G 580 EQ’s off-roadness. With a maximum fording depth of 850mm, that’s 150mm higher than the old G-Wagen. The G 580 EQ showcases a good amount of ground clearance too; 250mm between the axles. And, it gets even better with its high 32° approach angle, 30.7° departure angle, and 20.3° breakover angle. During its intensive testing phase, just like its predecessors have gone through, the new Mercedes G 580 EQ remains stable, even when it’s tilted on sideway slopes up to 35°.

For ease of use during off-roading scenarios, there’s a bunch more tech inside and out to make it way simpler for you. For instance, the 360-degree camera is made to let you practically view through the bonnet, and see what’s under the front of the G-Wagen. Additionally, there’s a huge array of underbody protection too, ensuring that nothing impacts the battery while you’re off-roading. With off-road-specific drive modes and assists, the new G 580 EQ seems to have lived up to its forefathers’ legacy, so once it comes out, let’s see if it really is the king of off-roaders.

Mercedes G 580 with EQ Technology

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