2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class works on its quads (motors, that is)


It has four motors, 579 hp, and an off-road heritage that goes back further than the Rivian R1S, GMC Hummer EV, and Tesla Cybertruck. With the electric version of its military-grade G-Class, Mercedes-Benz promises even more freedom from pavement than all those American-built flagwavers, and it does it all with batteries.

And it’s a sort of bellwether for a brand that had committed to going fully electric, but now says it will sell ICE vehicles into the next decade. The electric G-Class didn’t have to happen, based on the latest thinking—but it does, and it could nail Mercedes’ argument that electrification suits every kind of vehicle.

“If the G can go electric,” Mercedes marketing vice president Bettina Fetzer told Green Car Reports and other journalists in late April prior to our drive, “any car can go electric.”

Going electric doesn’t just bring the G-Class up to date. It makes the G-Wagen a better off-roader, as I experienced during our first test drive of the G 580 with EQ Technology in southwestern France, just a couple of weeks ago. The electric G’s not just capable, it’s in many ways the most capable G-Class of them all.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

G-Class EQ: The floor is battery

The electric G sports its usual ladder-frame construction, but instead of an ICE under the hood, it rides atop a 116-kwh lithium-ion battery mounted in its floor. Housed in a flex-resistant case, the battery pack integrates with the frame and wears thick metal protection as a skid plate. The pack combines 216 cells into 12 modules in two layers, cooled with three circuits. There’s no mention of the silicon-anode battery chemistry that Mercedes has been keen to introduce to speed charging times.

With a quad-motor setup, each generating a maximum of 108 kw, the G 580 EQ nets out at 579 hp and 859 lb-ft of torque. Each motor has its own transmission, which enables a low-range mode for off-roading and relieves it of the need for its gas cousin’s three locking differentials. Mercedes promises a 0-62 mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 112 mph, while it fills the cockpit with G-Roar, a programmed set of sounds associated with drive modes or events. It’s more noticeable to outsiders than to anyone inside the plush leather-lined cockpit.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

An aerodynamic brick wall weighing 6,800 pounds never was going to do great in range testing, and it’s little surprise that the EPA estimates for the G 580 should land around 240 miles. It’ll come with a CCS charging port and soon adopt the NACS standard. WIth 200-kw charging, Mercedes quotes 20-80% charging in just over a half-hour. The company has only said it will study future off-road charging stations with its current partners, and it points out that off-roading itself offers plenty of opportunity to recharge through regeneration (a point which, while technically correct, seems starkly unaware of the G-Class’ role as urban showpiece in the U.S., at least).

That recuperation is governed by the G 580’s paddle controls. Auto mode chooses regen levels based on cornering angle, speed, and other data; D+ lets the front motor uncouple and the vehicle sail often for the best efficiency. Normal, D-, and D– dial up the regen, but the G 580 can’t stop itself by releasing the accelerator; it’s just shy of one-pedal capability, as I found on a bucolic street drive before putting the electric G-Class’s hardware to the dirt and mud test.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

Electric G-Class: Good on pavement too

On a necklace of roads that circle prime off-road territory near Narbonne, France, I drove the reinvented G-Class and its barely revamped body. A bumper fairing here, a windshield header spoiler there, it hasn’t changed much outside in its transformation.

It has been modestly updated in its suspension, which combines front double-wishbone arms with a DeDion rear axle that’s needed to clear the rear motor. Its brakes remain hydraulic-assist, and the G-EV cruises on 265/60R18 tires. In its default drive modes it takes a very SUV-like 44.6 feet to make a U-turn. 

The G 580 packs a hefty battery, which recenters its weight lower in the vehicle. It’s more stable as a result, and even without the electrohydraulic suspension now available on the gas-powered AMG model, its adaptive dampers perform backup while it mutes almost every road surface. The powertrain’s surge and its whuffling “G-Roar” synthetic sounds goaded me to go quicker constantly, but good damping aside, the G-Class doesn’t encourage that kind of driving. 

It slows almost as well as it goes. It filters regen-braking settings through information about vehicle speed and cornering angle, then decides how much energy to redirect to the underfoot pack, in Auto mode at least. Through Normal, D-, and D– modes it adds more regen until it nears—but doesn’t provide—full one-pedal driving. Flipping its paddles for the opposite result, D+ eliminates almost all regen for a sailing mode.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

G 580 with EQ: Tough on dirt

But trails are where the G 580 shines most brightly. With the windows rolled down as I approached a dozen kilometers of rocky pitches, muddy trenches, and pure slop, the G 580 glided through a 2-foot-deep riverbed filled by recent rains, with only the sound of sloshing water to accompany the slog. It’s better for fording than the standard G-Class, at 33 inches of depth versus about 26 inches.

It bounds out of ruts better, too. With at least 9.8 inches of ground clearance, it’s up a few tenths on the gas G—and offers a competitive breakover angle of 20.3 degrees, an approach angle of 32 degrees, and a departure angle of 30.7 degrees. WIth its carbon-reinforced breastplate underneath, the G 580 bounded over outcrops with the blessing of my co-pilot. After all, it’d already been tested on the same mountain trails at the Schöckl as the standard G-Class.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

If off-roading has become a much simpler pursuit now that we have electronically controlled locking differentials and all-terrain traction programs, the electric G-Class brings down even more knowledge barriers to safe, preservation-minded off-roading. Its off-road cruise control system engages carefully measured speed through low, variable, and fast crawl modes that let it pick through terrain safely at up to 5 mph, all through precise motor control. The vehicle can essentially be driven with steering and paddle controls, no locking diffs required. I met so few ruts and obstacles that generated any wheelspin—a combination of sophisticated motor control and well-chosen off-road tires—that the trail behind seemed nearly the same as when I encountered it.

Cycling into its specific Trail mode permits higher speeds, but Rock mode is where I spent most of my trail time. It engages Low mode, which deploys the transmission paired with each motor to reduce the gear ratio 2:1, and limit speed to about 53 mph.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

That mode also slips the G 580 EQ into two stunt-drive modes. G-Steering enables all-wheel steering that reduces turning radii on low-friction surfaces, which reduces the chance of ruining the trail for others when hairpins present themselves. Rivian’s similar Tank Turn feature was canceled due to environmental concerns, though the GMC Hummer EV and the related Sierra EV have a CrabWalk setup for diagonal driving. This one allows far more steering angle, and spun the G 580 around a narrow dirt path between a literal rock and a hard place, with zero drama. No gas-powered SUV can do this, thanks to geometry.

But it’s G-Turn that takes the electric platform’s potential to its ultimate party-trick zenith. In Rock and Low modes, steering wheel fully cranked and steering-column paddle pulled, all it takes is a full-on matted accelerator to spin the truck in two complete circles at a time, like a Bobcat with a brick on its gas pedal. Mercedes allows the function only on level low-friction surfaces, and guides drivers to do so only where it’s permitted and reasonable. Check all those boxes and you’ll never forget—as I haven’t—the feeling of being inside a leather-lined Speed Queen commercial dryer, minus the heat and noise. Sure, it’s a stunt. But it’s one that draws attention to the battery-electric version of the G while the ICE models get consigned to history.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

G-Class with EQ Technology: Looks about right

About seven inches shorter than the 2024 model-year ICE G-Class, the G-Class EQ is otherwise very close in style. It sports a black-panel “grille,” a higher hood line, flares on the rear fenders that act as air curtains, and a rear roof spoiler.

Riding on a 113.8-inch wheelbase, at 182.0 inches long, 76.0 inches wide, and 78.2 inches tall, the G EQ ladles on the electronica among its usual power features, open-pore wood and leather trim, and ambient lighting. It lights up a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 12.3-inch touchscreen for infotainment, with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Standard safety features include adaptive cruise control, active lane control, active steering with blind-spot monitors, and automatic parking. Its available surround-view camera system generates stitched-together views that show the area directly around the vehicle for picking around trails. Burmester sound, twin 11.6-inch rear-seat displays, a dashcam, and a wireless charging pad are available, as are 20-inch wheels, running boards, and a package that lights the star logo, the model name, and the EQ badge.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

The electric G-Class arrives at dealers late this year. Prices have not been announced, but think big. In Euros, the standard G 580 with EQ Technology costs more than $150,000, and the Edition One costs more than $200,000. Even if you can’t buy one, find a good friend who can and take it for a spin. Two spins, when conditions permit.


NOTE: This story has been updated from a preview piece to one with dynamic on- and off-road driving impressions.

Mercedes-Benz paid for travel expenses so that we could spin ourselves silly in the G 580 and get our New Balances stuck in muck.

 



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