Electric Mercedes G-Class brings four motors and ‘uncompromised’ off-roading

Mercedes has revealed the first all-electric G-Class, promising the zero-emissions 4×4 is just as capable as its combustion-powered counterparts.

The Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology (to give it its full name) is based on the same ladder frame chassis as the G450d and boasts a host of systems designed to ensure it upholds the G-Wagen’s off-road reputation.

The ladder frame – long the choice for serious off-roaders – has been modified and reinforced for the electric model and the G-Class uses independent double wishbones at the front and a new rigid rear axle for maximum capability. The massive 116kWh battery slots into the centre of the chassis and is protected by a special underbody tray that shields it against off-road impacts and water or dust ingress.

In a first for Mercedes, the G580 uses four individual motors mounted into the chassis and driving each wheel independently. In total these produce 579bhp and 859lb ft and can be controlled individually. The drive system uses torque vectoring to create ‘virtual’ diff locks for heavy duty off-roading, along with a specific low-range off-road gear reduction to carefully marshal all the power and torque.

The clever four-motor design also allows the electric G-Class to perform a ‘G-Turn’ – spinning up to 720 degrees on the spot, while a G-Steering feature allows it to pivot around the inside wheel for manoeuvres in tight spaces. There’s also an adaptive rock crawl function and ‘transparent bonnet’ that uses cameras to project an image of the ground beneath the car onto the infotainment screen.

2024 Mercedes G580

While the electric model’s ride height is slightly lower than the ICE version, its wading depth of 850mm surpasses the ICE car’s by 100mm. Mercedes also says the G580 can cross sideways slopes at up to 35 degrees and has approach, departure and breakover angles of 32, 30.7 and 20.3 degrees respectively.

On the road, the 579bhp means the G-Class can get from standstill to 62mph in just 4.7 seconds, accompanied by the ‘G-Roar’ sound, which is intended to mimic a V8 rumble. The 116kWh battery should be good for up to 294 miles, with 200kW DC charging as standard.

Externally, the electric G-Class doesn’t look much different from the diesel version but subtle changes have been made to aid the aerodynamics of the brick-like 4×4. A smooth grille, slightly raised bonnet, new A-pillar trim, spoiler lip on the roof and ‘air curtains’ in the rear wheel-arch flares help air flow and also reduce cabin noise. The traditional rear tyre holder can also be replaced with a box for storing charging cables or off-road tools.

Inside, it’s the same blend of functional and luxurious found in other G-Classes. There’s a chunky design aesthetic and the traditional G-Wagen grab handle on the dash but also twin 12.3-inch digital displays, a Burmeister sound system, nappa leather upholstery and climate-controlled cupholders.

At launch, only the top-end Edition One will be sold in the UK. Prices will be announced shortly but we’d expect it to come in north of £150,000.

2024 Mercedes G580 interior

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.