The front electric motors are mounted low at each side within the axle. The rear electric motors are integrated more inboard within a newly developed de Dion-style rear axle conceived specifically for the EQG and chosen to provide “good traction and flexibility of the suspension”.
Each electric motor is able to provide individual drive to each wheel through a mechanical two-speed gearbox, offering both high and low-range gearing.
Together with traditional on-road driving modes (Eco, Comfort and Sport), the new G-Class will offer three off-road modes – Trail, Rock and Sand. An additional creeper mode allows the driver to set a pre-determined speed in off-road driving.
To facilitate off-road performance, the four electric motors are also able to simulate the three locking differentials (one in each axle, and one in the transfer case) of internal-combustion-engine G-Class models. In extreme conditions, the collective drive can be channelled to a single wheel to retain traction and ensure progress.
Schiller cites throttle dosing among the primary advantages of the four-motor layout. “It is incredibly precise. The individual control of drive to each wheel provides a whole new level of ability. We have even more possibilities off road. It is really fun every four weeks to drive the latest prototypes. I think we have the best electric off-roader,” he says.
Additionally, a so-called G-Turn function, activated by a dashboard-mounted button, makes the electric motors on one side turn the wheels forward and those on the opposite side turn the wheels in reverse, allowing the EQG to perform spectacular, on-the-spot 360deg tank turns. The driver can select whether to turn left or right via shift paddles on the steering wheel.
Compact packaging of the front electric motors within the front axle permits a greater turning angle for the front wheels, leading to a turning circle that is described as being “considerably better” than that of other internal-combustion-engine G-Class models.
The new driveline is allied to a battery mounted within the floor and beneath the rear seat. The lithium ion unit, with a usable energy capacity that Mercedes-Benz puts at “around 100kWh”, shares its cell technology with that previewed by the EQXX concept. A new silicon anode is claimed to boost energy density and efficiency beyond that of the battery used by the newly unveiled EQE and EQS SUVs, while also providing a reduction in weight and overall size.