In an effort to bring electric cars and drivetrains to off-road adventures, Mercedes-Benz have created the one-off EQC 4×4, an electric powered off-roader based on the EQC 400 4MATIC. The first thing you notice is the design: Flared wheel arches measuring 100mm wider, the jacked up suspension, and the pugnacious stance that makes it look like it’s ready for Dakar.
The EQC 4×4² rides more than twice as high as a production EQC (293mm vs 140mm) and higher than a Mercedes G-Class which is 58mm lower. The fording depth is also increased from 150mm to 400mm.
The huge ground clearance is down to 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 with the suspension attached to the same body mounting points as the standard suspension.
The approach and departure angles have also increased – 31.8 degrees at the front and 33 degrees at the rear, superior to a conventional G-Class’s approach and departure angle of 28 degrees.
The EQC 4×4 uses the current GLC model high-performance logic off-road drive programs. When using targeted brake interventions, this enables an improved torque curve when starting on loose ground.
According to the position of the accelerator pedal, speed or energy recovery rate the EQC 4×4 produces sound inside the cabin to add an extra dimension to the driving experience. Outside, instead of the standard legally required sound (Acoustic Vehicle Alert System, AVAS), the EQC 4×4 uses a louder system using available space in the headlamp housing.
This is a fun experiment Mercdes-Benz are making with electric drivetrains and 4x4s but soon they will be the norm.