Future Cars: The Mercedes-Benz G-Class Hybrid and EQG Electrify the G-Wagen

WHAT IT IS: An electrified version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class luxury SUV, first in hybrid form, then as a fully electric vehicle as part of the Mercedes-EQ brand.

WHY IT MATTERS: Mercedes-Benz’s boxy luxury SUV is a hot-ticket item among the well-to-do. However, some elite circles might see thirsty gas-powered vehicles as a bit of a faux pas. Don’t worry too much, Geländewagen aficionados: the beloved G-Wagen is slated to play a role in the German brand’s lineup far into the future.

Daimler chairman and Benz chief Ola Källenius emphasized a strong commitment to the G-Class back in 2019 and confirmed plans for a zero-emissions version of the vehicle. Indeed, parent company Daimler AG has filed paperwork to trademark the names EQG580 and EQG560. Until the fully electric G makes its debut, we anticipate a hybrid model will fill the gap and be the first electrified version of the SUV to hit the market. With the GMC Hummer EV SUV also headed to production, the macho electric SUV scene is heating up with some compelling contenders.

PLATFORM AND POWERTRAIN: There hasn’t been any word on which gasoline-electric drivetrain configuration will power the upcoming hybrid version of the G-Class. It could use a more powerful plug-in hybrid system than what’s currently available elsewhere in the lineup in order to keep the G-Wagen’s place toward the top of the brand’s product portfolio.

The top-spec Mercedes EQG will likely get its motivation from the same motors producing the same figures as those in the luxurious Mercedes EQS580 4Matic, which is powered by two electric motors that produce a combined 516 hp and 611 lb-ft of torque. Like the EQS, we expect the EQG to feature the brand’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. It’s unclear whether the EQG will ride on the G-Wagen’s existing architecture or if Mercedes will opt to build it on a modified version of its EVA2 platform. Either way, expect the Mercedes EQG to have the same T-square looks of gas- and diesel-propelled Gs.

ESTIMATED PRICE: We estimate the EQG580 4Matic will start somewhere north of the G550’s $132,800 starting sum but less than the AMG G63, which stickers for $157,550. As for the hybrid, it’ll likely wear a base price close to that of the aforementioned G550.

EXPECTED ON-SALE DATE: Winter 2022

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