Geländewagen goes electric: Mercedes’ G580 revealed with four motors, 432kW

Published Apr 24, 2024


The iconic Mercedes G-Class enters a new era with the debut of the new G580 with EQ Technology. The battery-powered Geländewagen is not set to replace the recently facelifted internal combustion G-Class, upon which this new EV model is heavily based.

Last we heard, the electric G-Class was on the radar for South African introduction towards the end of 2024, although final timing has yet to be confirmed.

Interestingly Mercedes has decided to badge the new EV as a G-Class, rather than using the EQG name that was earlier mooted.

But let’s get to the exciting stuff.

The new G580 with EQ Technology is a potent machine featuring four electric motors, one for each wheel, producing total system outputs of 432kW and 1,164Nm. Consider that the ‘regular’ ICE G63 is good for 430kW and 850Nm.

Powering the new EV is a massive lithium-ion battery with a total capacity of 116 kWh, which enables a claimed (WLTP) range of up to 473km.

The battery is housed in a torsion-resistant casing to protect it from water and dirt intrusion when you’re in the bush. In fact its 850mm fording depth means it can go 150mm deeper than its ICE counterparts.

But that’s not the coolest off-roading trick up its sleeve. The G580 has a “G-TURN” function that effectively allows it to perform tank turns “almost on the spot” according to Mercedes, even on loose or unpaved surfaces.

It also has a three-speed intelligent off-road crawl function for intense off-roading. What’s more, intelligent torque vectoring mimics the function of conventional differential locks for those axle-twisting trails.

The vehicle can also remain stable on sideways slopes of up to 35 degrees, the carmaker claims.

Interestingly Mercedes feels its G customers might appreciate fake powertrain noises, and thus created a variety of soundtracks for the new model, including “G-ROAR” as well as an “aura” sound and a variety of “event” sounds.

Clients can look forward to a new “Offroad Cockpit” with additional digital functions.

In terms of spec, the Edition One is equipped with a 12.3-inch (31.2cm) MBUX driver and media display, multi-function steering wheel in Nappa leather, ambient lighting, “transparent bonnet” and a Burmester 3D surround sound system.

Look out for more details on the new Mercedes G580 with EQ Technology closer to launch time. But be warned. With the current G63 petrol model listed at R4,3 million, it’s not going to be cheap.

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