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New electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class unveiled

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled an electric version of its G-Class 4x4, which is powered by four electric motors and features aerodynamic improvements

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Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its long-awaited electric ‘Geländewagen’ – a battery-powered G-Class 4×4 with uniquely developed electric motors and aerodynamic improvements.

Officially named the ‘G 580’ – as Mercedes-Benz opt the ‘EQG’ moniker the 4×4 held during development – this new electric G-Class is essentially identical to the combustion-powered G-Class at first glance, apart from the new-look front grille and a re-sculpted bonnet.

The latter has helped to improve the car’s aerodynamics, which will slightly boost the G 580’s battery range. On the topic of range, the 4×4 can reportedly muster up to 292 miles on a single charge, thanks to its large 116kWh battery which also powers the brand’s luxurious EQS saloon.

The battery works in tandem with four electric motors developed specially for this model – one for each wheel. The car’s total output is 587hp, and while top speed is electronically capped at 112mph, this G-Class can accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds.

The car can charge at speeds up to 200kW, and at this speed, the battery can be charged from empty to full in a reported 32 minutes.

One of the first battery-powered 4X4s to be announced for the UK market, the G 580 can comfortably handle off-road terrain with a maximum fording depth of 85 centimetres and the ability to climb steep slopes of up to 35 degrees.

The car also comes with three off-road driving functions. ‘G-Turn’ can reportedly turn the car 720 degrees “almost on the spot”, the ‘G-Steering’ function reduces the reduces 4×4’s usual turning circle of 14 metres while on the move and an off-road crawler function can slow the vehicle down to speeds as low as 1.2mph for particularly difficult off-road surfaces.

Mercedes adds that using the ‘G-Turn’ and ‘G-Steering’ functions on public roads is in “no way authorised, promoted or condoned”, however.

With its large boxy shape and big battery, the electric G-Class is certainly heavy. Curb weight stands at 3,085kg – that’s more than the weight of two A-Class hatchbacks combined. For customers that would miss the engine soundtrack of the ICE-powered G-Class, Mercedes says that the G 580 comes with a special ‘G-Roar’ function that offers an “emotive sound experience” in the cabin.

A single trim choice is now available to order – the ‘Edition One’. Inside, the 4×4 comes with a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and 12-inch infotainment touchscreen pairing on the dashboard, and two more entertainment screens for the rear passengers mounted to the back of the front seats.

Various bits of the dashboard and door panel trim are finished in blue-tinted carbon fibre, and the multi-function steering wheel is wrapped in Nappa leather.

A infotainment voice assistant is also included, as is a new ‘transparent bonnet’ camera view that projects a view underneath the car’s nose onto the infotainment screen. Pricing now begins at just under £181k.

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Sean Rees
Sean Rees
Sean is the Deputy Editor at The Car Expert. A enthusiastic fan of motorsport and all things automotive, he is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association, and is now focused on helping those in car-buying need with independent and impartial advice.