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October 14, 2020

Mercedes-Benz Made an EV Built for Extreme Terrains

Mercedes-Benz is looking to electrify their entire line-up, including its all-conquering G-Glass. While that it still a few years away, the German automaker did show a technology platform of what an electric car designed to go on extreme environments could look like with this, the EQC 4x4².

This is already the third model of the 4x4² family. The G 500 4x4² was actually made into a production car from September 2015. And in 2017, with the E 400 All-Terrain 4x4² study, Mercedes-Benz showed many an SUV its limitations when off-road.

For the EQC 4x4², Mercedes-Benz wanted to show that electric vehicles could be used not just for urban, but also off-road as well. At 293 mm, the EQC 4x4² rides more than twice as high as a production EQC (140 mm). Even a G-Class rides 58 millimeters lower. The fording depth is increased by 150 mm to 400 mm.

Just as impressive are the approach and departure angles: 31.8 degrees at the front and 33 degrees at the rear. By way of comparison, a conventional G-Class has an approach and departure angle of 28 degrees. The Off-Road driving mode was also reprogrammed to improve torque when starting on loose ground.

The tremendous ground clearance is made possible by the conversion to portal axles: unlike conventional axles, the wheels are not at the height of the axle center, but are instead situated much lower down on the axle hubs owing to the portal gears. Or conversely, the entire vehicle moves up. The 4x4² suspension is attached to the same body mounting points as the standard suspension. This is in combination with the giant 285/50 R 20 tires resulting in sure-footedness in any terrain.

Required by law, the ECQ uses an external noise generator to reproduce sounds (EVs run silent). The EQC 4x4² has a more powerful AVAS composed specifically for it and uses the headlamps as external speakers for this purpose. The reason being that the sound experts of Mercedes-Benz have made creative use of the available installation space in the headlamp housings – the “lampspeaker” was born.

So far, Mercedes-Benz has no plans to put the EQC 4x4² into series production, but they did confirm that an all-electric version of the G-Class is “just a few years away.” There’s little doubt that it’ll benefit from the technologies that were first debuted here.

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