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Review Mercedes-Benz EQG 2025: Going with the prototype

Look at the dash of a Mercedes-Benz G-Class and you will find three buttons. Each one locks in a different spot – rear, center and front – for when the road really gets tough. Even the thunderous, AMG-tuned G63 has them.

The Mercedes-Benz EQG there are also three buttons on the control panel, but none related to the differential; because EQG doesn’t yes any difference. Instead, this battery-powered G-Class has four electric motors, each driving one wheel.

Pressing the center button on the EQG’s control panel selects the low range, thanks to a reduction gear system on each motor’s output shaft. Pressing the button on the left lets you cycle the EQG – literally.

Hold on to the left or right lever on the steering wheel, depending on which direction you want to go and press the gas.

The EQG will spin in place, transforming into a 2800kg gyro that will leave you gasping and dizzy. Lift the accelerator and the EQG stops obediently, swinging gently on its springs, not moving forward or backward from its starting position.

The chief engineer of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Fabian Schossau, admits that he is not entirely sure whether the “G-Turn” – as the name implies – has a practical application. But as a party trick that showcases the extraordinary capabilities of the EQG’s powertrain, it’s certainly a performer.

not like EQS and SUV EQE, EQG; scheduled for launch in 2024, is not built on Mercedes-Benz’s version of the EVA2 multi-purpose electric vehicle architecture. Instead, the EQG is a bit like one of those Porsche 911s, Ford Mustang or Land Rovers retrofitted with electric powertrains, with all EV hardware packaged under the iconic sheet metal.

The old-fashioned separate chassis that underpins the G-Class makes high-tech EV powertrains possible. With the removal of internal combustion hardware, the area between the axles and inside the chassis rails provides a natural location to pack and protect a large battery, while also providing room at either end for the e-motor. .

The frame has been strengthened to reduce curvature and the battery – which has been waterproofed to ensure the EQG is wading like the regular G-Class – is protected by a high-tech composite panel that stretches between the axles.

Like the internal combustion-powered G-Class, the EQG has a multi-link independent front axle and a non-independent axle at the rear.

Having an e-motor power at each wheel is straightforward with a fully independent suspension setup, but pairing a pair of e-motors with a non-independent rear axle requires some lateral thinking. Positioning the motors on the shaft would add too much weight without the springs.

The solution is an engineering concept that is almost as old as the automobile: The De Dion axle, which appeared circa 1894. De Dion’s design featured a stiff tube connecting the wheel hubs on either side of the car, so the it works like a solid shaft, but drives each wheel through separate halves with common joints at both ends.

This allows the EQG’s rear electronic motors to be securely bolted to the chassis while the axle provides the coupling needed for optimal off-road performance.

Like the regular G-Class, the EQG has three off-road driving modes; Trails, Rocks and Sands, and rolls on steel springs with adaptive dampers. The two prototypes used for our ride along steep and rocky trails near Perpignan in the south of France had Falken Wildpeak A/T 265/60 tires on 18-inch alloy wheels.

From the very beginning, the EQG was envisioned as a four-engine EV and not just so it could shoot as a head for clickbait videos. As every off-road enthusiast knows, the trick to overcoming rough terrain is to maintain grip, and that means controlling torque at the wheels.

The four-motor EV drivetrain allows torque to go to each wheel to be controlled independently in all conditions, and the EQG’s low-altitude system, which provides near-two-to-one downshifts, helps That control is even more precise in extreme conditions. topographic.

The low range enables a feature called Creeper Mode, a type of low-speed cruise control. There are three settings: D- limit the speed to about 2-3km/h; D increases the speed to 5-6km/h; and D+ for a maximum speed of 8km/h.

Switching between settings is done by clicking on the paddles on the steering wheel that are normally used to manually shift the nine-speed automatic in the internal combustion engine G-Class.

At low rpm, you can feel the precision in the powertrain, the controllability at each wheel, even from the passenger seat.

Sometimes, on steep ramps with high engagement events, the EQG will come to a near-stop as the engine at each wheel gently increases torque output to the limit of adhesion. But while each engine operates independently, all four are also working simultaneously to keep the EQG running.

The result is that the EQG has noticeably better grip on rough roads than any internal combustion engine all-terrain vehicle, even those with three lockable differences like the G-Class. What’s more, software means a four-motor setup delivers all the advantages of lockable differentials without the downsides – in other words, you get maximum traction and still be able to steer around. corners.

On downhill sections, Climb Mode feels smoother and more progressive than any conventional off-road Downhill Control system. That’s because speed is controlled by controlling torque at each wheel via each electronic motor, not by applying the brakes. “The electric motor is much more responsive than the brake when it comes to self-regulating,” says Schossau.

Even with manual braking, the EQG feels superior. Like most EVs, braking events of up to 0.3g in the EQG are done entirely through rebound. Therefore, on downhill off-road, all braking is done through the regen and the electronic motors work together to ensure traction is maintained at all times.

At high range speeds on a racing stage, the EQG feels surprisingly agile, turns well into corners and steers lightly under force – the on-board computers monitor the ratio. deflection, steering angle and throttle position to figure out how far away to let things go.

Straight-line acceleration pushes you back into your seat in typical high-powered tram fashion. “Our goal is to make it easy to have fun in the car,” says Schossau.

No output power or torque has been announced yet, nor did Schossau reveal the capacity of the battery or the distance the EQG will travel between charges. However, it’s fair to suggest that the brick-shaped EQG won’t break any EV range records.

Schossau would only say that the EQG’s on-road performance will be “unbelievable”. Perhaps a hint that it will outperform the AMG G63 430kW/850Nm, which is claimed to be able to hit 100km/h from a standstill in just 4.5 seconds.

Traffic jam? “Capability is more important than range,” says Schossau.

For the record, we started our three-hour session with a battery charge of 73 percent and a predicted range of 217 kilometers, ending with a specified battery charge of 61 percent and range. vi 160 km.

There are still two years to go with more software and hardware to tune, but even at the current stage of development, there are no hardcore internal combustion engine off-roaders available today – Toyota land cruiser, Land Rover Defender, Jeep car or even non-AMG versions of the G-Class – can match the effortless handling of the Mercedes-Benz EQG on rough terrain.

And what is the third button on the dash of the EQG for? We do not know. It was sealed with duct tape, and when asked, Fabian Schossau just laughed and said: “That’s the magic button.”

We can’t wait to find out what it does.

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THAN: Everything Mercedes-Benz G-Class


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