Mercedes’ all-electric SUV has been given the lifted ‘4×4²’ treatment for this one-off prototype

Mercedes Benz - Mercedes Has Built An EQC 4x4² For...Reasons - News

Ladies and gents, give a warm welcome to what must be 2020’s least likely off-roader. It’s the Mercedes EQC 4×4², and it follows the same mantra as the similarly-badged version of the previous-gen G-Class: more ride height, extra chassis beef, and the capability to pull off some impressive flex.

Taking the plug-in, fully-electric EQC 400 as a starting point, Mercedes has boosted the ride height by 293mm – not just twice the clearance of the standard car, but also 58mm loftier than the current G-Class.

Mercedes Benz - Mercedes Has Built An EQC 4x4² For...Reasons - News

It now has portal axles, and 20-inch beadlock wheels shod in chunkier tyres. 100mm wheel arch extensions cover the EQC’s widened track, but otherwise, the bodywork is all as standard. There isn’t even any underbody protection – because the battery mounted at the base of the EQC is so well protected, the 4×4² simply doesn’t need any cladding down there.

It manages 31.8 and 33-degree approach and departure angles, which is slightly better than a G-Class, and in another league compared to a normal EQC, which manages just 20.6 and 20.0 degrees. The wading depth is a long way off the G at 400mm, but still a big improvement on a showroom-fresh EQC’s 250mm fording ability.

Mercedes Benz - Mercedes Has Built An EQC 4x4² For...Reasons - News

It’s had some electronic tweaks, too. There’s a reprogrammed off-road driving mode, plus a reworked version of the Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS). This is the noise generator the EQC is required to have by law – so pedestrians know there’s a two and a half tonne SUV trundling down the road they’re about to cross – but here, Mercedes’ engineers have had a bit of fun with it.

The system is more powerful and uses the headlamp housings as speakers, which Mercedes has christened ‘Lampspeakers’.

Mercedes Benz - Mercedes Has Built An EQC 4x4² For...Reasons - News

The point of all this? We’re not entirely sure, but it isn’t to preview a production vehicle, by the looks of it. Mercedes COO Markus Schäfer says, “The EQC 4×4² shows how enjoyable sustainable mobility can be,” which makes sense since the car’s true purpose is likely to pave the way for the rumoured all-electric G-Class.




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