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The All-Electric 2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen Is an Off-Road Game-Changer

More party tricks than you'll know what to do with

Mercedes-Benz G_580 with Technology prototype
  • Individually powered wheels and massive axle articulation could make this the best G-Class off-road
  • Mercedes-Benz has finally named its battery-powered G-Class, but you won't like it. It's called the G 580 with EQ Technology
  • Aerodynamic improvements pioneered in the electric G-Class filter to the rest of the lineup

EVs hate the cold, right? Well, apparently, nobody told Mercedes-Benz, because we’re riding in the battery-powered G-Class in Sweden, and it’s cold enough that we're hightailing it across a frozen lake. The ice is feet deep — enough to support even the weighty electric G-Class, which, when it’s officially unveiled soon, will be wearing the "G 580 with EQ Technology" badge. That’s not as snappy as the EQG, which we’ve been calling it until now, but it does give us an idea of where it’ll sit in the G-Class range.

That G 580 badge means the battery-powered, quad-motor G-wagen sits above the G 550 in the lineup, the new version of which we recently drove in prototype form. Power in the G 580 with EQ Technology is around 577 horsepower and at least 811 lb-ft of torque, according to the engineer we spoke to. It’ll need that, too, because four electric motors and the sizable battery pack to power them all fitted into the ladder chassis rails means that Merc’s iconic off-roader will tip the scales at around 6,000 pounds.

Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology prototype driving in Sweden

Range anticipated to be around 250 miles

It’s the question we’ve been asking since Mercedes-Benz announced it’d make an electrified G-Class: How far will it go on a full charge? Nobody’s actually confirmed it officially, but Mercedes-Benz has announced an economy figure of 27 to 30.3 kWh per 100 km (62 miles), and with a bit of help from a calculator, and the expectation that it uses the same 118-kWh capacity battery from the recently announced revised EQS, means a range between 241 and 271 miles. Let’s call that 250 miles on a good day.

It may go farther, too, as in our testing we’ve found Mercedes-Benz EVs to overdeliver in relation to range, with an impressive four of its cars featuring in our EV Range Leaderboard top 10. We drove in convoy with two electric G-Class models among the combustion prototypes. We left in the morning with a cold battery at roughly 80% charge and, with a short top-up mid-journey, the electric G-Class performed flawlessly, arriving at our destination 170 miles done, with a sizable amount of battery in reserve. That’s in arctic conditions, with the heating on inside and being driven without any regard to economy on fast country roads. We’re told, and experienced it previously, that you're unlikely to suffer range anxiety off-road due to the huge regeneration possible. Obviously, we’ll test the soon-to-be-announced official range as soon as we get our hands on one in the U.S., as well as take it onto the trails for the odd G-Turn party trick.

Mercedes-Benz G-wagen prototype

Slipperier than before

We’re not talking underfoot, which is treacherous on the snow and ice in Sweden, but the way the G 580 cuts through the air. The G-Class might share its aerodynamic properties with a barn, but Mercedes-Benz’s engineers have been busy trying to make it a bit less slab-sided without changing the looks. We’re told the aerodynamicist in Mercedes-Benz’s wind tunnel found it to be unlike any of the company’s other vehicles, but that’s kind of the point. Engineers love a challenge, and with some minor tweaking of the G 580’s shape, this is the slipperiest G-Class ever.

The outgoing vehicle has a coefficient of drag (or Cd) of 0.54, but one engineer admitted they’d managed to knock almost an entire point off that. That’s still not fantastic; for comparison, the EQS SUV has a rating of 0.26, but that’s built off a dedicated EV platform and doesn’t come with any legacy and iconic styling expectations.

What’s impressive is that you’ll need to be a committed G-Class spotter to note the differences. Mercedes-Benz reprofiled the front pillars, added a small spoiler in the gutter above the windshield, reshaped the hood, and added cutouts in the rear wheel arch protrusions. That not only helps reduce the Cd figure but also makes for a marked improvement in refinement, with wind noise dramatically improved in the G 580’s interior — so much so that all new G-Class models adopt some elements of the EQ model’s aero tweaks, though not going so far as the cutouts in the rear wheel arches, or the unique hood.

Mercedes-Benz G-wagen prototype front three-quarter

Quieter inside, but with the possibility of added G-Roar!

Those engineers who’ve taken the time to ensure the G 580 with EQ Technology is hushed and serene inside as only EVs can be have also given customers the option to add sounds to their drive with the "G-Roar" feature. The G-Roar’s tones change depending on what driving mode you’ve got it set on — Comfort or Sport — and thankfully don't have quite the artificial tones of some EVs. Speaking of driving modes, there are more than before, with added modes for off-road capability. You can also select from five brake regeneration modes that vary from D+, where there’s none, to D -- which will be effectively one-pedal driving due to the high level of regeneration.

Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology prototype on the snow and ice in Sweden

One more trick still to be revealed …

You’ll not have read this far without knowing about the G 580 with EQ Technology’s party trick, the G-Turn. This is possible thanks to counter-rotating electric motors that rotate the G 580 around its center axis in the time it takes to say its lengthy new name. The G-Turn is apparently an off-road-only possibility, but that didn’t stop Mercedes-Benz doing many on the Las Vegas Strip (admittedly closed for them) during CES in January. Thing is, the company’s apparently holding out on us, because there’s a button beside the G-Turn one, and nobody’s revealing what it’ll do. We’re guessing that it’s another off-road mode, possibly a crab-walk function à la the GMC Hummer EV, but we won't find out until the car is officially revealed.

Certainly, those four-wheel motors do allow plentiful new possibilities dynamically, with engineers saying torque vectoring by individually controlling wheel speed allows the G 580 greater agility than its combustion-engine relations. It feels it too on the road, where, despite its weight, it drives with surprising verve, that we admittedly experienced from the passenger seat. We’ll confirm all that from the correct seat soon, but from recent experience in the G 580 with EQ Technology (and previously off-road in what we called the EQG), Mercedes' iconic off-roader feels as mighty as ever, and, arguably, even more capable than ever before.

Mercedes-Benz G-wagen prototypes

Edmunds says

Riding along in the excellent new electric G-wagen has us itching to get behind the wheel ASAP.