CarBuzz picked up on a report in Business Insider Germany about movement in the Mercedes-Benz G-Class lineup. The German pub says it got hold of a letter sent from Mercedes’ sales organization there to the country’s dealers on September 14 informing dealers (translated from German) “The production of the current G-Class will expire in Q1 2024.” What arrives to take its place sometime next year is a facelifted model that’s also the first electrified G-Class the world has ever seen, and it will be accompanied by the first-ever battery-electric G-Class called the EQG.
2024 marks the 45th anniversary of customer sales of the G, subcontractor Magna-Steyr today producing the truck in the same city of Graz, Austria where the old Daimler-Benz and Steyr-Daimler-Puch commenced development work on the G-Class in 1972. The current W463 G has only been on the market since 2018. The automaker says a lot of changes are coming for the birthday boy, many if not most of which are the result of EQG development. Mercedes’ man in charge of the G-Class, Dr. Emerich Schiller, told Autocar that numerous design details will be new, although “[most] Most customers won’t see it, even if they stand in front of the car.” Fine tuning the box in subtle ways for the EQG “had a really dramatic improvement to the aerodynamics,” he said. “We really improved the aerodynamics without changing the shape, and what we’ve learned with the electric version we will put to the combustion engine car. So when the facelift comes next year, the cars will have most of the aerodynamic improvements as well, with a tremendous reduction in fuel consumption.” In case you’re wondering, the EPA rates the 2023 G550 and AMG G63 at 13 miles per gallon in the city, 16 mpg on the highway, 14 mpg combined. The AMG G 63 4×4 Squared drops that to 10 city, 12 highway, 11 combined.
The subtlety among the changes, and revising the ICE-powered G to look like the EQG has been the point. Schiller said, “It comes with our philosophy: it’s not an electric car, it’s a G-Class, and you can have it with a petrol engine, a diesel engine, or electric power.”
Spy shots have revealed the same unmistakable G silhouette for the EQG, plus circular DRLs wrapping rectangular projector headlights. Otherwise, considering the detail work we’ve been told about, we can’t make out bodywork alterations under the camouflage beyond tweaked intakes and grille mesh. Underneath, photos have showed one prototype with a skid-plate-like panel below the rear bumper, and two of the prototypes that seemed to have different rear axle configurations. They were both clearly solid axles like the gas model, but perhaps nods to different powertrains available for the all-electric version. And in the battery pack, the EQG supposedly adopts silicon anode chemistry for significant range gains.
After the G-Class makes waves in 2024, smaller G-shaped waves are inbound for 2026 when the baby GLG debuts.