Mercedes-Benz extends the scope and reach of its G sub-brand with the launch of a smaller electric-powered model, CEO Ola Kallenius confirms at the 2023 Munich auto show.
Kallenius says the “Little G” will arrive as a “son or daughter of the ‘Big G’” within the “next few years.” The company releases a teaser image of the new G-Class model (pictured, below left), suggesting it will take on the rugged design character of today’s larger G-Class with a boxy silhouette and squared-off lines.
No official technical details of the new Mercedes-Benz model have been provided, though WardsAuto has been told it has been conceived to uphold the G brand’s reputation for excellent off-road capability with an electric drivetrain and advanced 4-wheel drive.
Kallenius also confirms the production version of the EQG will be launched in 2024 together with a facelifted version of the existing internal-combustion-engine G-Class featuring a newly developed V-8 gasoline engine.
The G (for the German word Geländewagen, meaning off-road vehicle) sub-brand was established in 2020 as part of a realignment of Mercedes-Benz’s passenger-car operations.
The history of the Geländewagen is part of the mystique. The Shah of Iran suggested the idea for a military vehicle to Mercedes-Benz in the early 1970s. At the time, Iran was a significant shareholder of Daimler-Benz. The first military deployment of the production model was to the Argentine Army beginning in 1981. The civilian version began selling in 1979.
The current G-Wagen is built by Magna Steyr in Austria and is one of the longest-running models ever produced and sold by Mercedes-Benz. The ICE G-Wagen has something of a cult following globally in the same realm as Jeep Wrangler and Land Rover Defender, though the G-Wagen has traditionally been popular with wealthy buyers and is more likely to be seen in urban centers around the world than on mountain trails. The G-Wagen starts at $141,050 (€131,492) but transacts well north of that base price.