Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz AG this week showcased the EQC 4×4², a heavily modified version of the company’s fully electric EQC 400 4MATIC. The one-off EQC 4×4² is designed to demonstrate electric vehicles’ extreme off-road capabilities and provides a glimpse into future offerings.

While EVs to date have mostly focused on light duty passenger vehicles, a slew of SUVs and pickup trucks are coming soon. In this case, the EQC 4×4²’s extra 6 inches of height enables the vehicle to ford almost 16 inches of water. Steep hills are also not a problem; while the standard EQC is limited to approach and departure angles of 20 degrees, the EQC 4×4² can handle upwards of 30 degree angles.

Another unique feature is the “lampspeaker,” a multipurpose headlamp that contains a speaker to signal the vehicle’s presence (an important safety feature necessitated by the nearly silent electric powertrain).

The EQC’s 80 kWh battery delivers approximately 285 miles on a single charge, and is capable of recharging in about 40 minutes at 110 kW or overnight using a typical Level 2 charger.

Stay tuned for more updates from Daimler’s passenger car brand: Mercedes-Benz plans to launch five fully electric vehicles and 20 plug-in hybrids by the end of next year. Electrified options will grow to include more than 10 all-electrics and 25 plug-in hybrids by 2025. More broadly, the company estimates at least 50 percent of its sedans, coupes, and SUVs will be electrified by 2030.

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Extreme EV: Electric Mobility (and Luxury) Goes Off-Road