This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a Mercedes-Benz EQG prototype in public in its electrifying blue/black camouflage. However, this is our first look at the chunky interior of an off-road EV. And unsurprisingly, it looks like a combustion-powered G-Class on the inside. But there are some important differences.
Caught parked during cold weather testing, the driver of this EQG prototype left the dashboard open showing a wide digital display extending from the driver’s side to the center stack. It appears that the same layout is used in the current G-Class, but turn your attention to the controls underneath. The cluster with the rounded vents and the button in the center is similar, but we can see new functions including EQG Tank Turn, which allows the SUV to rotate in place. It comes from four electric motors, one driving each wheel.
Moving further down, the analog clock and the buttons that surrounded it disappear. The thin strip with switches appears to be the only other tactile control bank on the dash. The center console also has fewer controls, although the layout remains the same as the G-Class. The flatbed steering wheel left us wondering if this test vehicle could be the performance variant.
The outside is covered in the same “digital” camouflage we saw on the early January prototype. Mysterious rectangular vents on the rear fender flares are also at the back, with one photo offering a clear view of the rear tires. We theorize it might have something to do with brake cooling, but could this be a clever aero trick to help the EQG slice air more efficiently, like the EQXX?
Whereas other Mercedes EVs have a distinctive design versus their combustion-powered counterparts, the EQG will still rock an upright square shape that fits the G-Class. The ladder frame supports the body, although there are notable changes under the skin to accommodate the beefy battery pack. Specifics about the total power to each motor are unknown at this time, as are approximate ranges.
That should change later this year. We hope the EQG will debut before 2023 is out, going on sale next year as a 2024 model.