Examining the Off-Road Capabilities of the Mercedes EQC 4×4 concept

Mercedes-Benz has been busy developing it is Modular Electric Architecture (MEA) by developing multiple models that will soon join the EQC in the all-electric EQ range. One such model will most definitely be an off-road capable G-Class-inspired electric SUV.

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The EQC is Daimler’s first mass-production EV. The MEA architecture has been a test-mule for full-electric experiments and was even cut out and filled with strips of LEDs recently for educational purposes.

Now, the German engineers have modified the GLC-based SUV into a legit off-roader to push the limits of the platform and study the feasibility of a future all-electric version of the legendary G-Class.

The mastermind behind this experiment was none other than Jurgen Eberle, the engineer that came up with the brilliant idea of developing the E 400 All-Terrain 4×4, which is an E-Class wagon modified into an off-road beast.

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Although the modified suspension is attached to the body by using the same mounting points as the standard suspension, the multi-link layout has a different offset that features a set of portal axles.

Unlike conventional axles, they are mounted higher than the center of the wheels and use gears at each corner to connect the axles to the wheel hubs.  

This exponentially increases ground clearance and gives the EQC 4×4 the ability to tackle rough terrain. It stands at 11.5 inches (293 millimeters), which is almost twice as much clearance than the standard EQC and 2.2 inches (58 millimeters) higher than the 4×4 G-Class.

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That is quite impressive, just like the approach and departure angles of this formidable all-terrain machine. At the front, the angle is 31.8 degrees and at the rear, it is even higher at 33 degrees.

On the exterior, to allow a greater travel of the modified suspension the gunmetal gray off-roader has extended wheel arches that measure about 4 inches (10 centimeters) wide on each side.

Apart from allowing bigger suspension travel, the extended arches provide sufficient room for 20-inch off-road wheels that have a low turning cycle thanks to the modified four-link front axle.

They are fitted with the latest 285/50 R 20 Cooper Zeon LTZ Tires, which are among the best hybrid sport-truck/all-terrain tires on the market.

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The engineers also used a reprogrammed Off-Road drive software that uses the latest high-performance logic system of current GLC models. For example, the software can apply the brakes in certain situations to improve torque and thus grip when the vehicle is losing traction.

Mercedes has also stated that this model can be relied upon for towing but has yet to release further details. Also, they hinted at the possibility of installing a roof rack that would be able to transport a roof-tent or inflatable dinghy.

It remains to be seen if this study car will ever make it as a production model or if it is a preview of the off-road capabilities of the EV platform that will eventually aid the development of a G-Class counterpart in the EQ range.

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