Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Mercedes-Benz Added Portal Axles To Its Boring Electric Crossover And I'm Freaking Out About How Cool It Is

Illustration for article titled Mercedes-Benz Added Portal Axles To Its Boring Electric Crossover And Im Freaking Out About How Cool It Is
Photo: Mercedes Benz

I am an unabashed EV enthusiast, but even I will admit that there is very little on the market today that is dorkier than an electric crossover. Crossovers are boring and bland on their own, but add in the smug holier-than-thou self-righteousness of the typical owner and it’s an automatic automotive turn off. Mercedes-Benz likely knew that when it built the EQC, which is why the 2020 EQC 4x4² design study exists.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Mercedes-Benz Added Portal Axles To Its Boring Electric Crossover And Im Freaking Out About How Cool It Is
Photo: Mercedes Benz

Tacking 4x4² on the end of anything Mercedes makes is the automotive equivalent of that movie trope where the dorky character with glasses gets a makeover and wins homecoming royalty or whatever. You know the one I’m talking about. Can’t Buy Me Love? She’s All That? The EQC was a boring pile, but then Mercedes gave it a wash and a wax and fancy new off-roader clothes to go with its high heels and fancy jewelry.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Mercedes-Benz Added Portal Axles To Its Boring Electric Crossover And Im Freaking Out About How Cool It Is
Photo: Mercedes Benz

This trick worked great with the Gelandewagen and E-class wagon, which were already somewhat cool, but adding the 4x4² treatment made them infinitely cooler. For those two it was more like lifting a 911 to create the “Safari” style. For the EQC it’s more like the difference between a Yaris and a Yaris GR, taking a boring thing and turning it cool.

Anyway, the jacked-up EQC is not headed to production just yet. Mercedes says it is a design study, just dreamed up by some engineers at the company to get the electric crossover some headline time. It worked, I guess, because here we are.

Illustration for article titled Mercedes-Benz Added Portal Axles To Its Boring Electric Crossover And Im Freaking Out About How Cool It Is
Photo: Mercedes Benz

“Our aim is to combine modern luxury and sustainability with emotional appeal. The EQC 4x4² shows how enjoyable sustainable mobility can be. 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,” says Markus Schäfer, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG responsible for Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars COO. “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.”

Advertisement

With the Mercedes-favorite portal axle lift, this wild EQC has been lifted by a massive six inches, more than doubling the car’s ground clearance from factory stock. That’s two and a quarter inches more than a standard G-class has! Add in 31.8 degrees of approach and 33 degrees of departure, and this thing has some pretty impressive off-road chops. You’ll hardly have a problem finding a place to deploy the unimpeachable torque from the car’s electric motors.

Illustration for article titled Mercedes-Benz Added Portal Axles To Its Boring Electric Crossover And Im Freaking Out About How Cool It Is
Photo: Mercedes Benz
Advertisement

I don’t really like the EQC. I don’t like crossovers in general. But this is just the kind of shit I can get behind. Very cool. As the kids on the internet might have said in 2018, this fucks

Illustration for article titled Mercedes-Benz Added Portal Axles To Its Boring Electric Crossover And Im Freaking Out About How Cool It Is
Photo: Mercedes Benz
Advertisement

And, in any case, this is definitely more of an off-roader than the Tesla Model Y.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Mercedes-Benz Added Portal Axles To Its Boring Electric Crossover And Im Freaking Out About How Cool It Is
Photo: Mercedes Benz
Illustration for article titled Mercedes-Benz Added Portal Axles To Its Boring Electric Crossover And Im Freaking Out About How Cool It Is
Photo: Mercedes Benz
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Mercedes-Benz Added Portal Axles To Its Boring Electric Crossover And Im Freaking Out About How Cool It Is
Photo: Mercedes Benz
Illustration for article titled Mercedes-Benz Added Portal Axles To Its Boring Electric Crossover And Im Freaking Out About How Cool It Is
Photo: Mercedes Benz
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Mercedes-Benz Added Portal Axles To Its Boring Electric Crossover And Im Freaking Out About How Cool It Is
Photo: Mercedes Benz
Illustration for article titled Mercedes-Benz Added Portal Axles To Its Boring Electric Crossover And Im Freaking Out About How Cool It Is
Photo: Mercedes Benz

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

hammerheadfistpunch
HammerheadFistpunch

The EV off-road future its going to be very interesting, because traditional differentiators that have come with the serious off-roader are no longer issues with an EV architecture.

1. There is no need to have the engine longitudinal to support a robust 4wd system with a low range and

2. There’s no need for a low range.

That means that with properly sized components an EV crossover could be every bit as capable (for gearing) as a traditional 4wd.

Of course the trouble is that getting crappy mileage with lifts, chonky tires and overland bling isn’t a huge to already efficient IC engines, but those efficiency losses are MASSIVE with EV’s and it has the potential to half the range.

The good news for EV’s is that because their batteries are so stupid-heavy...whats a little more weight for robust suspension components and skids?

It will be interesting. There may even be a time when the same EV crossover could be configured one way as a daily, and another way entirely as an off-roader...the main challenges are clearance and tires which can both be easily solved by novel suspensions and wheel swaps.

Can you even imagine the 2040 RAV4 EV being your competent daily, and then with a few simple mods, a competent rock crawler? Nutty.