Before the first member of Mercedes-Benz's EQC family arrives in 2021, a small team of the German marque's developers have imagined it as a 4x4 concept to showcase what its first sustainable off-roader could look like.
The EQC 4x4²'s metallic gun-metal body doesn't just sit twice as high as the upcoming production EQC, but even best's the G-Wagen's ride height by a couple inches while adding dramatic black fender flares. The increased ground clearance is made possible by the conversion from conventional axles, on which the wheel is fixed to the axle's center, to portal axle, on which the wheels are situated lower on the axel's hub. The 4x4² suspension is attached to the same body mounting points as the standard suspension.
The 31.8-degree approach and 33-degree departure angles are also superior to the G-Wagen's 28-degree angles. Meanwhile, the GLC SUV range's off-road programs have been revised to do things like adjust torque on sand, gravel and other loose terrain.
Since this is a one-off, Mercedes also introduced a headlight-mounted speaker, not-so-creatively dubbed a "lampspeaker," to generate noise in accordance with European Union laws. The production EQC will use the German marque's existing Acoustic Vehicle Alert System.
Though not pictured, both the standard EQC and the EQC 4x4² can be equipped with a roof rack that can accommodate a tent. While the production vehicle lacks the clearance and capability needed for overlanding, the concept would be well-suited to such adventures.
"The EQC 4x4² shows how enjoyable sustainable mobility can be," Mercedes exec Markus Schäfer said in a statement. "This is where electromobility high-tech and an intriguing customer experience are transferred to the mountains, thanks to MBUX and over-the-air updates. To put it succinctly, electric, progressive luxury goes offroad."
The EQC 4x4² follows the G 500 4x4² that's been in production since 2015 and the E 400 All-Terrain 4x4² concept. While only a "drivable case study" that will probably never enter production, it does bode well for an upcoming lineup of rugged Mercedes EVs.