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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

‘Proper G’ all-electric Mercedes-Benz G580 officially debuts

Despite the loss of the trademark three diff-locks, the first all-electric G-Class has improved off-road angles, increased wading depth and still low range.

The announcement made earlier this month, Mercedes-Benz officially debuted the production version of the EQG Concept at the Auto China Expo in Beijing on Tuesday (24 April) as the G580 with EQ Technology.

Proper off-roader

Extensively teased since its showing as the EQG, the first all-electric G-Class had been expected to form part of the EQ range of dedicated electric models, which ultimately failed to materialise most likely as a result of the sub-brand’s imminent departure before the end of this year.

ALSO READ: Mercedes-Benz renaming electric G-Class as reveal date emerges

Still described as a “proper G” despite the electric hardware having resulted in the loss of the trademark three locking differentials, the G580 retains the body-on-frame platform as the facelift combustion variants, but with obvious alterations underneath its skin.

Besides the change in propulsion method, the G580 keeps the combination of the independent suspension at the front and double wishbones at the rear, but receives a brand-new rear axle and reinforced chassis as a result of the battery and electric motors being connected to the frame itself.

Mercedes-Benz G580 debuts as all-electric G-Class
Lack of an exhaust outlet differentiates the G580’s rear facia from the regular model. Image: Mercedes-Benz

Along with standard adaptive dampers and the now widely seen 360-degree tank turn function Benz refers to as G Turn, the G580 also gets an electro-mechanical power steering system, a Rock Crawl function with adaptive speed control and a transparent view of the bonnet as a result of the surround-view camera system.

Despite the lack of a traditional transmission, the G580 still sports low range and high range modes, albeit handled by the electric motors found on each corner.

Angling up

Mounted on 18-inch alloy wheels, the electric G measures 4 624 mm long, 1 931 mm wide and 1 986 mm tall while riding on a 2 890 mm long wheelbase.

In another change from the combustion models, the G580 sports a wading depth increase of 150 mm to 850 mm, a ground clearance of 250 mm and the ability to drive up a 35-degrees slope.

Compared to its sibling, the approach angle stands at 32-degrees versus 30.9-degrees, the breakover at 20.3-degrees compared to 25.7-degrees, and the departure at 30.7-degrees against 29.9-degrees.

Still a G outside

Externally, the newcomer, while modelled on the facelift G-Class introduced last month, comes resplendent with a number of subtle changes, which in some areas, have not been carried over from the EQG.

While the boxy silhouette has not changed, Mercedes-Benz has fitted a sealed grille that features chrome slates as standard, but in the body colour or as option, with a blacked-out panel.

A further option is an illuminated outer grille surround, standard LED puddle lamps displaying a G animation on the ground and the mentioned gloss black wheels designed specifically to aid aerodynamics.

Mercedes-Benz G580 debuts as all-electric G-Class
Optional imitation spare wheel cover that now houses the charging cables. Image: Mercedes-Benz

In addition to a raised bonnet, new A-pillars and so-called air curtain vents integrated into back of the wheel arches, the G580 can be had with a rectangular storage box affixed to the tailgate which, instead of the spare wheel, houses the charging cables and tool kit.

As is common with most three-pointed star models, the G580 can be specified with the AMG Line package, the Night Package or the expanded Night Package II at additional costs.

A limited run Edition One variant is also available with mostly cosmetic changes comprising blue brake calipers, the storage box finished in the body colour or black, blue exterior trim, Stronger Than Time puddle light projection and a choice of five Manufaktur catalogue colours; grey, Opalite White or Opalite White Magno, Obsidian Black Metallic and South Sea Blue Magno.


Inside, the interior’s changes are even harder to spot as apart of specific graphics and readouts within the instrument cluster and on the 12.3-inch MBUX infotainment system, nothing major has changed.

Al-electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class revealed
Interior has subtle changes compared to the combustion engine G-Class. Image: Mercedes-Benz

Available from the options list though is a dashcam, keyless entry, the Exclusive Line trim with Nappa leather heated and ventilated front seats, ambient lighting, stitch work on the seats, doors and grab handle, and finally, a Dolby Atoms enabled Burmester 3D surround sound system.

Want a G63 still?

Unsurprisingly, the electric system takes centre stage where up front, the hybridised petrol and diesel engines have been dropped in favour of a 116-kWh lithium-ion battery that powers the four electric motors at each corner.

The result is combined output of 432kW/1 164Nm, which allows the G580 to get from 0-100 km/h in 4.7 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 180 km/h despite its 3 050 kg kerb mass.

Al-electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class revealed
Rear Seat Entertainment system comes standard on the Edition One. Image: Mercedes-Benz

Supporting DC charging up to 200 kW with a range of 170 km available after 15 minutes, the overall waiting time from 10-80% is 32 minutes, with the standard on-board charger being an 11 kW outlet.

Fitted with a novel combustion engine imitation soundtrack system called G-Roar, the claimed range varies from 434 km to 473 km on a single charge.

A no-no

On-sale in Europe soon priced from €142 621 (R2 917 810) or €192 524 (R3 938 750) in the case of the Edition One, the G580 with EQ Technology, for the moment, is unlikely to be offered in South Africa unless otherwise stated.

ALSO READ: Mercedes-Benz starts teasing ‘real G’ all-electric EQG

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