Mercedes built the E-Class All-Terrain 4×4² in 2017 and is now adding an electric counterpart in the EQC 4×4².
Mercedes-Benz really took off-roading a step ahead by adding a pair of beefy portal axles to the newly badged EQC 4×4² crossover. Portal axles significantly increase the ground clearance of the standard EQC as their half-shafts are higher than the center of the wheel. The result is a staggering ground clearance of 11.5 inches instead of 5.5 inches for a standard EQC. Higher ground clearance ensures all-terrain driving, and the 4×4² can now even wade through 15 inches of water with ease.
Usually fitted to extreme off-roaders like the Unimog, portal axles also help the 4×4² achieve incredible feats. For instance, fording depth has increased from 5.9 inches to 15.7 inches, along with increased approach and departure angles of 31.8 and 33 degrees, respectively.
However, one could argue that it’s a lot less fun to take such an extreme off-roading beast on a totally silent ride. The EQC is an all-electric SUV, but Mercedes clearly laid down emphasis on the car’s sound. It uses an onboard acoustic production software called AVAS (Acoustic Vehicle Alert System) to analyze different parameters while emanating an interactive and emotionalizing driving sound via external speakers integrated into the car’s headlights. For some, the added sound might appear as showboating, but the company claims to have added it to avoid potential road hazards.
The EQC also comes with an interactive driving interface that gives the driver continuous feedback on the system and vehicle parking by assessing different aspects like the position of the accelerator pedal, vehicle speed, and parking sensors.
And as far as the power of this SUV is concerned, there’s a lot to grasp. The off-roading behemoth comes with an all-electric powertrain powered by a massive power-dense 80-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. The electric motors’ pair produces a combined output of 402 horsepower and a staggering 561-lb-ft of instant torque.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the EQC 4×4² comes with a 220-mile all-electric driving range. However, we couldn’t find information about whether the heavier portal axles or the new Cooper Zeon tires will affect this range or not.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer hasn’t yet announced any concrete plans to turn the EQC 4×4² into a production model.
The EQC 4×4² is a clear example of how electric vehicles can be pushed to the extreme, and seeing a true electric off-roader perform as well as this one does sure is reassuring for the future.