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Sunday, September 10, 2023

Mercedes-Benz Announces Affordable Electric G-Class SUV for 2026

New EV - Mercedes-Benz is making waves in the electric vehicle (EV) world with the announcement of a more budget-friendly sibling to its highly-anticipated G-Class all-electric SUV. CEO Ola Kallenius dropped the exciting news at the IAA Mobility 2023 event in Munich, revealing that this new EV will be a smaller and more affordable version of the iconic G-Wagon, promising a "fun to drive" experience.
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class EQG Concept made its debut at the IAA Mobility 2021. (Picture from: Engadget)
 This development is a direct offshoot of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class EQG concept introduced at IAA Mobility 2021. It's worth noting that Mercedes-Benz has been quietly planning a compact, all-electric G-Wagon for quite some time, and it might even bear the moniker "g-Class," emphasizing its smaller stature with a lowercase "g." Kallenius, in an interview with CNBC, likened this new model to the "daughter or son of the big-G."
Mercedes-Benz has been planning a smaller all-electric G-Wagon for several years, and suggests that the variant could go by the name "g-Class" with a purposeful lowercase "g.". (Picture from: CarAndDriver)
While specific details are somewhat scarce at this stage, one thing is clear: the "baby" G-Class EV will embrace a fully electric powertrain and is likely to offer all-wheel drive. Kallenius's assertion that it will be a thrill to drive hints at the exciting performance it's set to deliver. 
The Concept EQG is fitted with a lockable box in place of the traditional spare wheel housing, to store the charging cable and provide some additional storage but we still expect the EQG to offer a rear-mounted spare tire, unlike the concept. (Picture from: CarAndDriver)
As for the price point, the current Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV starts at a hefty $140,000, making it clear that there's ample room to introduce a more affordable alternative. However, for mass-market appeal, a modest reduction to the $100,000 to $120,000 range may not be enough. The exact pricing strategy remains shrouded in mystery.
The EQG is expected to be powered by four electric motors, one near each wheel, that will be individually controllable, which should improve on- and off-road driving performance. (Picture from: CarAndDriver)
Excitement is building for this diminutive wonder, but patience is required. The vehicle's powertrain will likely be built upon the forthcoming MB.EA platform, an in-house battery technology being developed by Mercedes-Benz. Unfortunately, this platform isn't expected to underpin vehicles until 2025, which implies that the smaller, more budget-friendly G-Class EV won't hit the market until at least 2026.
In conclusion, Mercedes-Benz's move to create an affordable, compact electric version of its iconic G-Wagon is a significant step towards making electric luxury more accessible. While details remain limited, the promise of a "fun to drive" experience and the potential for a lower price point are undoubtedly intriguing. As the automotive world continues to embrace electrification, Mercedes-Benz's new offering could be a game-changer in the luxury EV segment, once it finally hits the roads in 2026. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | MERCEDES-BENZ | ENGADGET | CARANDDRIVER ]
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