Mercedes-Benz EQC 4×4² concept shows hardcore off-road potential

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a hardcore off-roader version of its EQC, called the 4×4² concept. It was built to show that electrification is not just for urban environments. This beast can go anywhere.

The EQC is the first of the company’s new EQ-series of fully electric vehicles. It’s loosely based on the mid-size GLC, featuring unique design elements inside and out and a fully electric powertrain. Engineers at Mercedes have a bit of a history in creating the 4×4² models, like the E 400 All-terrain 4×4² concept that debuted a few years ago.

Taking the standard EQC, the team has worked in a massive lift kit for the suspension, raising the body to offer 293mm of ground clearance. That’s 58mm more than the G-Class wagon. As a result, the water fording depth is now 400mm, up 150mm from the standard EQC.

Some of the added ground clearance is thanks to a set of 285/50 off-road tyres, mounted on 20-inch wheels. However, most of it is due to a full conversion to portal axles. This setup essentially means the wheels are not attached at the centre of the axle height. Instead, the wheels are mounted on separate hubs which are driven by portal gears.

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The approach angle is 31.8 degrees, with a departure angle of 33 degrees. Clambering over objects shouldn’t be a problem either thanks to a break-over angle of 24.2 degrees. Speaking about the concept, Markus Schäfer, member of the board of management responsible for group research, said:

“Our aim is to combine modern luxury and sustainability with emotional appeal. The EQC 4×4² shows how enjoyable sustainable mobility can be. 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.”

Being a concept study means it isn’t set for production any time soon. However, it does demonstrate the company’s sense of adventure and shows what could be possible. After all, it did offer that epic G 500 4×4² to the market a few years ago, featuring similar technology.

Brett is the editor and founder of Performance Drive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.