2025 Mercedes-Benz EQG review: Prototype ride-along

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Look connected the dash of a Mercedes-Benz G-Class and you’ll find 3 buttons. Each 1 locks a diff – rear, centre, and beforehand – for erstwhile the going truly gets tough. Even the thundering, AMG-tweaked G63 has them. 

The Mercedes-Benz EQG has 3 buttons connected the dash, too, but nary of them has thing to bash with a differential; due to the fact that the EQG doesn’t have immoderate differentials. Instead, this battery-powered G-Class has 4 electrical motors, 1 driving each wheel.

Pressing the centre fastener connected the EQG’s dash selects debased range, courtesy of a simplification cogwheel strategy connected the output shaft of each motor. Pressing the near fastener allows you to instrumentality the EQG for a rotation – literally.

Hold successful the near oregon close paddle connected the steering wheel, depending connected which absorption you privation to go, and punch the accelerator.

The EQG volition rotate connected the spot, transforming into a 2800kg whirling dervish that volition permission you slack-jawed and dizzy. Lift disconnected the accelerator and the EQG obediently comes to a halt, rocking mildly connected its springs, having travelled nary further guardant oregon backwards from its archetypal starting position.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class main engineer, Fabian Schossau, admits he’s not wholly definite whether the “G-Turn” – arsenic it’s called – has a applicable application. But arsenic a enactment instrumentality that demonstrates the bonzer capableness of the EQG’s powertrain, it’s surely a showstopper.

Unlike the EQS and EQE SUVs, the EQG; scheduled to debut successful 2024, is not built connected a mentation of Mercedes-Benz’s versatile EVA2 electrical conveyance architecture. Rather, the EQG is simply a spot similar 1 of those classical Porsche 911s, Ford Mustangs oregon Land Rovers retrofitted with electrical powertrains, with each the EV hardware packaged nether iconic expanse metal.

The old-school abstracted chassis that underpins the G-Class makes the high-tech EV powertrain viable. With the interior combustion hardware removed, the country betwixt the axles and wrong the framework rails provides a earthy determination successful which to bundle and support a ample battery, and there’s country astatine either extremity for e-motors.

The framework has been strengthened to trim flex and the artillery – which has been waterproofed to guarantee the EQG has the aforesaid wading capableness arsenic the regular G-Class – is protected by a high-tech composite sheet that stretches betwixt the axles.

Like the combustion-powered G-Class, the EQG has a multi-link autarkic beforehand axle, and a non-independent axle astatine the rear.

Having an e-motor powerfulness each instrumentality is straightforward with an all-independent suspension setup, but combining a brace of e-motors with a non-independent rear axle required immoderate lateral thinking. Locating the motors connected the axle would person added excessively overmuch unsprung weight.

The solution was an engineering conception astir arsenic aged arsenic the car: The De Dion axle, which dates to astir 1894. The De Dion plan features a rigid conduit connecting the instrumentality hubs connected either broadside of the car, truthful it behaves similar a coagulated axle, but the thrust to each instrumentality is via abstracted half-shafts with cosmopolitan joints connected either end.

This allows the EQG’s rear e-motors to beryllium bolted securely to the chassis portion the axle delivers the articulation needed for eventual off-road performance.

Like the regular G-Class, the EQG has 3 off-road thrust modes; Trail, Rock, and Sand, and rolls connected alloy springs with adaptive dampers. The 2 prototypes utilized for our thrust on steep, rocky trails adjacent Perpignan successful the southbound of France had Falken Wildpeak A/T 265/60 tires connected 18-inch alloy wheels.

The EQG was envisioned arsenic a four-motor EV from the outset, and not conscionable truthful it could rotation similar a apical for clickbait videos. As each superior off-roader knows, the instrumentality to negotiating utmost terrain is maintaining traction, and that means controlling the torque astatine the wheels.

A four-motor EV drivetrain allows the torque going to each instrumentality to beryllium independently controlled nether each conditions, and the EQG’s low-range system, which offers astir a two-to-one simplification successful gearing, makes that power adjacent much precise successful utmost terrain.

Low-range enables a diagnostic called Creeper Mode, a benignant of low-speed cruise control. There are 3 settings: D- which restricts velocity to astir 2-3km/h; D which ups it to betwixt 5-6km/h; and D+ which gives a maximum of 8km/h.

Switching betwixt the settings is done by clicking the paddles connected the steering instrumentality that are usually utilized for manually shifting the nine-speed automatic successful the combustion engined G-Class.

In low-range you tin consciousness the precision successful the drivetrain, the power astatine each wheel, adjacent from the rider seat.

At times, connected steep ascents with high-articulation events, the EQG would astir travel to a halt arsenic the centrifugal astatine each instrumentality mildly ramped up its torque output close to the bounds of adhesion. But portion each centrifugal is moving independently, each 4 are besides moving successful unison to support the EQG moving.

The effect is the EQG has demonstrably amended traction successful the unsmooth worldly than immoderate interior combustion-engined off-roader, adjacent ones with 3 lockable diffs similar the G-Class. What’s more, the bundle means the four-motor setup delivers each the advantages of lockable diffs, without the disadvantages – successful different words, you get maximum traction, and are inactive capable to steer astir corners.

On downhill sections the Creeper Mode feels smoother and much progressive than immoderate Hill Descent Control strategy successful an accepted off-roader. That’s due to the fact that the velocity is controlled by controlling the torque astatine each instrumentality via each e-motor, and not by applying the brakes. “E-motors are truthful overmuch faster to respond than brakes erstwhile co-ordinating themselves,” Schossau says. 

Even erstwhile braked manually, the EQG feels superior. Like astir EVs, braking events up to 0.3g successful the EQG are done wholly via regen. On a downhill off-road conception each braking is truthful done via regen, and the e-motors enactment unneurotic to marque definite traction is ever maintained.

At velocity successful precocious scope connected a mock rally stage, the EQG felt amazingly agile, rotating nicely into corners, and oversteering mildly nether powerfulness – the on-board computers monitoring the yaw rate, the steering angle, and the accelerator presumption to fig retired however acold to fto things go.

Acceleration connected straights pushes you backmost into the seats successful emblematic big-horsepower EV fashion. “Our extremity was to marque it casual to person amusive successful the car,” says Schossau.

No powerfulness oregon torque outputs person been announced yet, nor would Schossau uncover however large the artillery is, oregon however acold the EQG volition question betwixt charges. It’s just to suggest, however, that the ceramic shaped EQG volition not interruption immoderate EV scope records. 

Schossau volition lone accidental that the EQG’s on-road show volition beryllium “incredible”. A hint, perhaps, that it volition outperform the 430kW/850Nm AMG G63, which is claimed to beryllium capable to deed 100km/h from standstill successful conscionable 4.5 seconds.

Off road? “Capability is much important than range,” Schossau says.

For the record, we started our three-hour league with the battery’s authorities of complaint astatine 73 per cent and a predicted 217km of range, finishing with an indicated artillery complaint level of 61 per cent and 160km of range.

It’s inactive 2 years distant from being finished with tons much bundle and hardware to tune, but adjacent astatine its existent signifier of improvement nary of today’s hard-core interior combustion motor off-roaders – Toyota LandCruiser, Land Rover Defender, Jeep Wrangler oregon adjacent the non-AMG versions of the G-Class – tin lucifer the effortless controllability of the Mercedes-Benz EQG successful utmost terrain.

And what’s the 3rd fastener connected the EQG’s dash for? We don’t know. It was covered with duct tape, and erstwhile asked, Fabian Schossau simply smiled and said: “That’s the magic button”.

We can’t hold to find retired what it does.

Click the images for the afloat gallery

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