Darcy Foster • Mercedes-Benz has confirmed an electric G-Class is on the horizon, and says there’s a long future ahead for the long-running off-roader.
Sascha Pallenberg, head of digital transformation at Daimler, last week confirmed a battery-powered version of the Mercedes-Benz’s iconic off-roader is coming on social media.
Pallenberg quoted Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius, who said “there will be a zero-emission #EV version of the #MercedesBenz G-Class”.
“In the past there were discussions whether we should eliminate the model, the way I see things now I'd say the last Mercedes to be built will be a G-Class," Kallenius said.
Talk of an electric (EV) Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen has been circulating since Mr. G-Class himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, used the new model’s launch to inquire about whether an electric version was in the works.
There’s no talk of when or in what form the all-electric G-Wagen will appear, but it may share internals with Mercedes-Benz's existing EQC SUV.
The three-pointed star’s first all-electric crossover has an 80kWh lithium-ion battery and two electric motors outputting 300kW and 760Nm.
The current G500 is powered by a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 engine making 310kW and 610Nm, while the G400d outputs 243kW and 700Nm from its inline-six.
Range is around 350km on the WLTP test cycle for the EQC (below), although how that would translate to the bigger, boxier G-Wagen remains to be seen.
Mercedes-Benz isn’t alone in electrifying its iconic off-roader: Ford is readying a pure-electric F-150, while companies like Rivian are using electric power to create a new breed of off-road ready ute.
The idea of electrifying a G-Class might seem like blasphemy to some, but it’s been done before: Kriesel Electric has actually built a plug-in 373kW G-Wagen for Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.
With deliveries of the G-Class in the USA almost double those of last year, the incoming electric version should boost sales in eco-conscious markets like California.
It should also help the G-Class retain its status as an automotive icon long after the final drop of oil is drained out of the earth.