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Mercedes-Benz takes on Toyota Land Cruiser with wild EQC 4x4² SUV to crush doubts about electric working off-road

The EQC 4x4² is a seriously jacked-up EQC400.

The all-electric EQC is breaking new ground for Mercedes-Benz, and now the mid-size SUV is doing the same for the wider automotive industry with its latest iteration, the aptly named EQC 4x4². Yep, it’s a capable off-roader with zero tailpipe emissions.

Simply put, the company says “the EQC 4x4² shows that electrification at Mercedes-Benz already goes farther than the road network”, where it goes tyre to tyre with the Toyota LandCruiser and a host of other off-roaders with traditional internal-combustion engines.

Using the EQC400 as its basis, the EQC 4x4² ups the ante with multi-link portal axles, which don’t position the wheels at the height of the axle centre, as is the case with conventional items. Instead, they’re situated lower down on the hubs.

The result is a significant 153mm increase in ride height, to 293mm. And yes, that means the EQC 4x4² actually rides 58mm higher than Mercedes-Benz’s iconic G-Class off-roader.

Maximum wading depth is up 150mm, to 400mm, while the EQC 4x4²’s approach, departure and breakover angles jump markedly to 31.8 (+11.2), 33.0 (+13.0) and 24.2 (12.6) degrees respectively.

The EQC 4x4²’s key upgrades are rounded out by 20-inch alloy wheels, which are framed by 100mm fender flares. The EQC 4x4²’s key upgrades are rounded out by 20-inch alloy wheels, which are framed by 100mm fender flares.

The EQC 4x4²’s key upgrades are rounded out by black 20-inch alloy wheels with 285/50 all-terrain tyres, which are framed by black 100mm fender flares.

With a retuned Off-Road drive mode in hand, the EQC 4x4² can also tow a trailer, have a roof rack and tent installed, and comes with an inflatable dinghy, ensuring it can truly go remote.

And with safety in mind, the EQC 4x4² goes a step further than the EQC400 with Mercedes-Benz’s latest creation, the ‘lampspeaker’. Yep, this technology uses the headlamps as external speakers to keep road users aware of its low-speed movements.

Given the close relationship between the EQC 4x4² and the EQC400, it’s expected the former shares the latter’s 300kW/760Nm dual-motor powertrain and 80kWh battery. Its driving range is also unknown.

Commenting on the EQC 4x4², Mercedes-Benz Cars COO Markus Schaefer said: “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 off-road.”

So, will the EQC 4x4² go into series production? As always, time will tell. In the meantime, the EQC400 can be had in Australia from $137,900 plus on-road costs.