Would you buy an electric G-Class? Mercedes EQG on the radar for South Africa

Published Dec 8, 2023


The Mercedes-Benz G-Class, or G-Wagon as it’s often referred to these days, is an icon among 4x4s.

The supremely rugged SUV has become a fashion symbol among the rich and famous and an object of desire and aspiration for everyone that wants to be. Does anyone even care that it’s an immensely capable off-road machine?

But with much of the world soon to be forced into electric vehicles, you might have wondered if the delightfully old fashioned Gelandewagen would survive the transition. But thanks to some cleverly arranged battery packs and e-motors, it most certainly will, and the world will soon welcome the new Mercedes EQG.

More good news is that it’s also on the radar for South Africa, with a source within the local division telling IOL that the boxy new battery-powered wagon is likely to hit our shores by the end of 2024 “if all goes to plan”.

Mercedes has yet to reveal the production version of the EQG, but it is expected to closely resemble the concept vehicle of the same name that was revealed in 2021, which Mercedes referred to at the time as a “near-production study”.

The EQG will also usher in an updated version of the internal combustion engined Mercedes G-Class, which is destined for South Africa too.

Clever four-wheel drive system

The EQG Concept has a very interesting four-wheel drive system, in which four individually controlled electric motors are mounted on each wheel.

While that configuration will no doubt prove excellent for climbing over rocks it also has a cool party trick that will help with things like parallel parking as the EQG is capable of doing a “tank turn” or 360-degree spin on its own axis, as demonstrated in the video below.

The batteries will be packed into an updated ladder frame chassis but at this stage Mercedes hasn’t told us anything about the battery capacity or how far you’ll get on a charge.

Power and performance figures remain under wraps too, but some sources suggest an output of around 500 horsepower (or 373kW). Either way, with a motor mounted on each wheel it’s unlikely to be a slouch.

"In its more than 40-year model history, the G-Class has always used the most modern and suitable drive technology at the time - from the pre-chamber naturally aspirated diesel of the early days to the AMG 4.0-litre V8 in the current top model, the G 63,” Mercedes Managing Director Dr Emmerich Schiller said when presenting the EQG Concept back in 2021.

“Against the background of our 'Electric only' strategy, the electrification of this off-road legend is simply the logical next step – and an absolutely fascinating project. Our icon is and remains 'stronger than time' in every respect."

The Mercedes EQG will join an already extensive range of electric vehicles under the Mercedes EQ umbrella, including the EQA, EQB, EQE, EQS and EQV models.