For many who favor to grind gravel and sure over boulders whereas surrounded by luxurious napa leather-based — and might’t think about emitting even a single molecule of carbon dioxide whereas doing so — the totally electric Mercedes G-Wagen is for you.

The very costly, boxy status image is now even status symbol-ier due to a 116 kWh battery and all-electric drive prepare, full with 4 individually managed motors with a most whole output of 432 kW — or the equal of about 580 horsepower — and a max torque 1,164 Newton-meters.

“I recently joked that it’s like the Birkin bag of Mercedes,” Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius mentioned on the Decoder podcast again in 2022. “Everybody wants one, and the waiting time is really long. It may even be the most desirable car in our portfolio.”

However with nice energy comes nice expense. The Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ know-how (an ungainly title for an unique EV, however I’ll enable it) will begin at €142,621.50 ($152,184.27), whereas the first version trim goes for €192,524.15 ($205,432.89). That’s a premium over the gasoline fashions, which usually begin at round $143,000. At launch, the Version One trim will probably be unique to the US market and can arrive at dealerships in the second half of 2024.

The G 580, or EQG if you’ll, will probably be constructed on a ladder body idea, which the automaker says is key to its off-roading. Like its gas-powered equivalents, the ladder body consists of an impartial entrance suspension with double wishbones, in addition to a newly developed inflexible rear axle for a decrease middle of gravity. The battery will propel the EQG to an estimated 473 km (293 miles) on the WLTP normal, which is able to possible be even lowered when primarily based on the much less optimistic EPA score.

The electric G-Wagen will include an entire caravan of nifty circus tips, together with a tank flip (which Mercedes has branded its G-Flip) for sharper, on-axis rotations. G-Flip will work on free, unpaved roads and trails and solely at low speeds. And a three-speed clever off-road crawl operate will hold the electric SUV at the optimum pace whereas touring over uneven surfaces. And Mercedes boasts that the EQG will stay steady on slopes as much as 35 levels and has a most fording depth of 850 millimeters (33 inches).

In fact, all that off-roading requires additional safety for the battery, which is saved in the ground of the automobile for that low middle of gravity. Each grain of gravel is a possible hazard whenever you’re driving round with a two-tiered lithium-ion battery with 216 cells put in in 12 cell modules between three cooling ranges below your ft.

The underbody skid plate, which is exclusive to the electric G-Class, is created from “an intelligent material mix” that features carbon, which “increases rigidity compared to alternatives made from steel or aluminum,” the firm says. It additionally ensures long-lasting corrosion safety and saves weight. The plate is 26 millimeters thick, weighs 57.6 kilograms, and is connected to the ladder body with greater than 50 metal screws.  

And in what’s changing into an more and more regular factor to do with new EVs, Mercedes has determined to provide its electric G-Wagen a faux engine noise, branded right here as G-Roar. Impressed by the gasoline lineup’s “emotional V8 sounds,” the G-Roar will use exterior audio system to emit a sound that simulates the “deep bass and sonorous tones” of its fuel-sipping sibling. The sounds can change when switching between drive modes: Consolation produces a extra restrained faux engine noise, whereas Sport will hit you proper in the emotions (Mercedes additionally describes it as “emotional”).

Even with an emphasis on off-roading over efficiency, the G 580 with EQ know-how (nope, nonetheless ungainly, going again to EQG) is not any slouch on the pavement. The electric SUV can speed up from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds and will probably be electronically restricted to a most pace of 180 km/h (or 112 mph).

The exterior is sort of equivalent to the present mannequin yr of gas-fueled G-Wagens. You do get illuminated accents on the grille, which additionally could be changed with an elective blacked-out entrance panel. The bonnet is barely raised, and the rear wheel wells embody air curtains for higher aerodynamic efficiency. There’s additionally a brand new A-pillar cladding and a spoiler lip on the roof. However in any other case, it might be tough to pick the EV in an all-G-Class lineup.

A rear-mounted design field appears perfect for a spare tire, however open it up and — shock! — it’s charging cables and different elective goodies, like snow chains. In fact, if you wish to be a traditionalist, you may completely stow your spare tire in there. No judgment.

Inside, the electric G-Wagen is sticking to what works, protecting the passenger seize bar and surrounding every little thing with carbon fiber. There are many bodily buttons, and the air vents are delightfully tactile and round. The pedals are lined in raised rivets as a result of, , off-road. And the 12.3-inch digital show runs on Mercedes’ well-received MBUX infotainment system — but in addition helps Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Rear-seat passengers can take pleasure in quite a lot of media on their private 11.6-inch touchscreens which might be mounted on the again of the entrance seats. Content material could be moved from the rear to the entrance show — however video watching and web searching are reserved for parked mode solely.

The electric G-Wagen first emerged in idea type again in 2021 after which once more in 2022, regardless of the firm’s lack of readability round manufacturing plans. (To compensate, Mercedes launched a ridiculously excessive idea promotional video set in a Seventies-era house opera with aliens.)

However since then, there have been plenty of electric off-roaders, together with the Ford F-150 Lightning, Chevy Silverado EV, Hummer EV, and Rivian R1T and R1S. Whether or not any of those automobiles truly spend a single second doing actual off-road stuff — versus selecting up grass fertilizer at The House Depot — is solely up for debate. The electric G-Wagen will possible be no completely different, as the boxy SUV has all the time been seen extra steadily in the driveways of the über wealthy than on the trails in Moab.

Nonetheless, the EQG is an indication that whereas it has pulled again a few of its early predictions about electrification, Mercedes nonetheless understands that even its tremendous luxurious status symbols might want to go electric.