The Mercedes-Benz EQC electric SUV wasn't designed for off-roading, but a new concept car shows what could happen if electric powertrains are merged with off-road hardware.
The EQC 4x4 Squared concept uses the body shell and powertrain from the EQC 400, but with upgraded suspension and axles, pointing the way toward an anticipated future electric version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class off-roader (also known as the G-Wagen).
The 4x4 Squared sits about eight inches higher than a standard EQC, giving the concept 11.5 inches of ground clearance. It also boasts approach and departure angles of 31.8 degrees and 33 degrees, respectively. That's actually better than the current G-Class, which has shallower approach and departure angles, at 28 degrees in both cases.
Mercedes also quoted a breakover angle of 24.2 degrees, which helps prevent the center of the vehicle from getting hung up on obstacles. The EQC 4x4 Squared can also ford almost 16 inches of water, according to Mercedes.
Those impressive specifications are made possible in part by portal axles, which place the wheel hub below the axle centerline. This increases ground clearance, allows for a wider track, and also provides another set of gears beyond the differential, allowing for even lower gearing.
Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4x4 Squared
Mercedes also added 20-inch wheels wrapped in 285/50R20 tires, and an off-road mode based on software from the internal-combustion GLC crossover. It can use the brakes to shift torque distribution when starting on loose surfaces, according to the automaker.
This concept is an unexpected twist, considering that Mercedes has stated to us that off-road use wasn't at all intended as part of the EQC's ability set.
The model's United States arrival has been delayed several times, with battery supply reportedly playing a part in the delays. Mercedes also needs to prioritize the European market in order to meet stricter emissions standards that came into effect this year.
What this might actually be is a not-so-veiled look—with curvier sheetmetal—at what an electric G-Wagen confirmed to be in the works might be.