German companies can, in fact, have fun. Look at Mercedes-Benz, for example. Every so often, the company decides to slap a set of off-road-friendly portal axles onto one of its consumer vehicles to create an atypical rock-crawling monster. The last car to receive this treatment was a station wagon, and now, it’s time for EVs to get their turn.
This… thing you see here is the Mercedes-Benz EQC 4×4 Squared. Its formula is actually quite simple. Instead of the traditional suspension, the EQC 4×4 Squared rocks a set of portal axles, which moves the car’s axle higher than the center of the wheel hub and utilizes gears at each corner to connect everything together. This offset gives the vehicle way more ground clearance, improving off-road capability. In the case of the EQC, it was also given some meaty fender flares to account for the larger rock-friendly tires Mercedes threw into the equation.
There’s wild, and then there’s the Mercedes EQC 4×4 Squared
The numbers are about as absurd as you’d expect. Ride height is jacked up from 5.5 inches to 11.5 inches, which is more than a standard G-Class. The approach angle swells from 20.6 degrees to 31.8, departure goes from 20 to 33 and breakover improves from 11.6 to 24.2. It can also go through 15.7 inches of water, if you’re feeling frisky. The whole shebang rests about 8 inches higher than before, but installation wasn’t terribly complicated, as Mercedes claims this new suspension setup bolts right up to the existing mounting points.
There are some EV-specific changes in here, too. The interior sounds have been changed, and outside, external speakers in the headlights generate a louder acoustic warning for passersby.
The Mercedes EQC 4×4 Squared isn’t the first car to receive the Squared treatment, nor will it be the last. The first iteration, the, actually made it to limited production, given the car’s already-impressive off-road credentials. The second, , was a little less viable for series production. This one may be even less so, but given the proliferation of EVs into every corner of the automotive universe, perhaps it’s not as ludicrous as it looks to be.