Mercedes goes off-road with its luxury electric EQC 4x4²

14 October 2020 | David Young

Mercedes-Benz is test the limits with this vehicle to show that e-mobility is not just urban, but also conceivable off-road

Mercedes goes off-road with its luxury electric EQC 4x4²

The one-off was developed by a cross-departmental team under development engineer Jürgen Eberle which has already put the E 400 All-Terrain 4x4² on its studded wheels. "Our aim is to combine modern luxury and sustainability with emotional appeal. The EQC 4x4² shows how enjoyable sustainable mobility can be. This is where electromobility high-tech and an intriguing customer experience are transferred to the mountains, thanks to MBUX and over-the-air updates. To put it succinctly, electric, progressive luxury goes offroad," says Markus Schäfer, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG responsible for Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars COO. "This drivable study clearly shows that alongside a passion for e-mobility, we at Mercedes-Benz lay a strong claim to leadership in this sector and will heighten the emotional appeal of this even further in the future."

With the EQC 4x4² as a technology platform, Mercedes-Benz is demonstrating that love of adventure can be combined with lifestyle and sustainability. Its capabilities include driving through sand in desert regions and on beaches, on rocky terrain and through mountain streams. As well as great reliability and corresponding comfort, the mature genes of the standard model also allow trailer operation and installation of a roof-rack. A roof-tent and inflatable dinghy allow the remotest areas to be reached - and when making an early start, the other adventurers in the camp will not even be woken up.

At 293 millimetres, the EQC 4x4² rides more than twice as high as a production EQC (140 millimetres). Even a G-Class rides 58 millimetres lower. The fording depth is increased by 15 centimetres, to 40 centimetres. The tremendous ground clearance is made possible by the conversion to portal axles: unlike conventional axles, the wheels are not at the height of the axle centre, but are instead situated much lower down on the axle hubs owing to the portal gears. Or conversely, the entire vehicle moves up. The 4x4² suspension is attached to the same body mounting points as the standard suspension.

Just as impressive are the approach and departure angles – 31.8 degrees at the front and 33 degrees at the rear. By way of comparison, a conventional G-Class has an approach and departure angle of 28 degrees. The reprogrammed Off-Road drive programs take advantage of the high-performance logic of the current GLC models. For example, using targeted brake interventions, this enables an improved torque curve when starting on loose ground. In combination with the tyres in size 285/50 R 20, this results in an impressive sure-footedness in terrain. The striking visual appearance is rounded off by the matt metallic gun-metal grey car film and the black wheel arch flares.