The all-electric version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class — aka the EQG, aka the Electric G — shut down a section of the Las Vegas strip this week to show off a new party trick: the 720-degree G-Turn, the perfect feature for anyone who really needs to GTFO.
We expect the 2025 Mercedes-Benz EQG will be properly unveiled later this year, but in the meantime the brand is keen to give us a glimpse of what its quad-motor off-road beast can do. The company shut down a section of the Vegas strip at night, during the insanity of the CES electronics show, and covered the road in something (water?) to make it a little more slippery.
Then, the countdown came over the radio in German, “drei, zwei, eins, los!” Three, two, one, go: a quartet of camouflaged EQG prototypes began spinning on the spot, like a dreidel driven by some great cosmic force. Each EQG did a full 720-degree turn before coming to an abrupt halt and then driving off.
As a spokesperson for the company explained, such automotive ballet is made possible, “mainly thanks to the four individually-controlled electric motors situated close to the wheels, which enable exclusive functions like the game-changing ‘G-Turn’ — a full 720-degree turn for an unrivalled driving experience.”
Practical? No. Cool? Absolutely. Getting into a G-wagon and doing a 720 spin would make a great way to leave an event, or pull out of a tight porte cochere at a posh hotel, right? Not so fast. Mercedes states, the “G-Turn must not be used on public roads.” (We can’t imagine your local police would take too kindly to seeing a three-tonne SUV perform a tank turn.)
Nevertheless, we’re stoked to see that Mercedes is making good on its promise to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Back in 2018, Arnie made Dieter Zetsche — then the boss of Mercedes-Benz — promise to electrify the G-Wagon. Schwarzenegger has had to wait a little longer than he probably would’ve liked to get his hands on one, but the brand is holding up its promise.
The initial prototype was shown way back in 2021. Then, Emmerich Schiller, the man in charge of the company’s off-roaders, told us, “When we started discussions about electrifying the G-Class, I was a little skeptical myself.” But any hesitation disappeared once his team started looking into the possibilities afforded by electric propulsion. A two-speed transmission offers a low-range gear for rock-crawling and the battery pack — integrated into the ladder frame — lowers the SUV’s centre of gravity, meaning it could theoretically tackle even steeper climbs and angles than the gasoline-powered G. And, instead of the usual 4×4 system which runs off shafts from a single gas motor, the EQG has one motor per wheel for more precise control on the roughest, most slippery surfaces — and for maneuvers like that G-Turn stunt.
“In some respects, the all-electric G-Class’s off-road capabilities will even exceed those of its predecessors,” a spokesperson for the company told us. And, that’s saying a lot, because the G-Class is not just one of the most luxurious off-roaders money can buy, but one of the toughest too. It was originally built in the 1970s at the behest of the Shah of Iran who wanted a rugged 4×4. By the time the Gelaendewagen project (“Cross-country vehicle”) was ready, the Shah had been overthrown, but Mercedes decided to go ahead and sell this truck to the public, as well as militaries around the world.
Thankfully, Mercedes has had the good sense to leave the truck’s utilitarian design largely unchanged since the ‘70s. You don’t mess with a classic, and that appears to be the case even as it G-Class goes electric. A camouflaged prototype of the new all-electric G-Class is also making its North American debut during CES, at the Las Vegas Convention Centre.
The company still hasn’t released any details about prices, range, battery size or even exactly when the EQG will go on sale, but it does look unmistakably like a G-wagon.
Expect to see more news about the 2025 Mercedes-Benz EQG later this year.