Revamped G-Class Takes on 280GE in Retro Showdown

A vintage 280GE’s durability is tested against a modern contender.

Mercedes-Benz is currently assessing the effectiveness of the electric G-Class, also called the EQG, prior to its debut. And what could be a more fitting method of evaluating its abilities than by pitting it against its ancestor in a time-traveling confrontation?

A recent release showcases a throwback to the 1980s with an electric model of the beloved G-Class. This modern version is pitted against its predecessor, the 280GE that was originally introduced in 1980. With a vintage ’80s filter, nostalgic graphics, and catchy tunes reminiscent of Magnum PI, these two Mercedes models race each other up the iconic Schockl mountain.

The Schockl, a popular mountain pass in Austria, has been a favorite testing ground for Mercedes’ G-Class for many years. This explains why each new version proudly displays the ‘Schockl Proved’ emblem, serving as a constant reminder of its outstanding performance. According to the German car manufacturer, the electric G-Class boasts unparalleled off-roading capabilities thanks to its impressive rigidity and remarkable climbing prowess.

Electric G-Class Prototype Testing - Vol. 01

Despite its amusing nature, there is a solid purpose behind Mercedes-Benz’s decision to create this video. Despite the G-Class’ evolution into a luxurious status symbol in recent decades, it still maintains its capabilities as an off-road vehicle underneath all the lavishness and extravagance. The Gelandewagen can arguably be regarded as one of the greatest 4x4s ever created.

Although some may doubt the idea of equipping the G-Class with an electric drivetrain, Mercedes wants to prove that this change will not compromise the vehicle’s capabilities. In fact, they are determined to demonstrate that the EQG could potentially excel even further in challenging terrains.

Mercedes is confident that the upcoming electric G-Class will surpass its predecessors as the ultimate off-roading vehicle. The company is reportedly focused on developing a new drivetrain for this model, equipped with individual electric motors at each wheel. This innovative feature enables the distribution of torque to the specific wheels, enabling the G-Class to perform its signature G-turn maneuver flawlessly.

Fortunately, Mercedes-Benz has not tampered with the winning design formula of the G-Class. The electric variant still boasts the iconic boxy and upright silhouette that has been well-received since its debut in 1979, although there are some subtle variations. Firstly, the spare wheel cover at the back has a squared shape, while the front sports a sealed radiator grille.

The design of the interior will remain similar to that of the ICE-driven G-Wagon as Mercedes does not want to risk losing its loyal customers. Though the brand can push boundaries with new models like the EQS and EQE, the G-Class holds a special place in its heritage and cannot be altered drastically.

At this time, Mercedes has not disclosed any specific technical information about the electric G-Class. However, we do know that it will utilize an advanced silicon anode battery technology. This innovative battery chemistry was developed in collaboration with Sila and is projected to provide a remarkable 40% increase in energy density compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries.

Anticipate the unveiling of the EQG in the upcoming months, as it will be announced alongside the refurbished G-Wagon.

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