Report Card: When Going 'Green' Goes Off-Road — The Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force -

Report Card: When Going ‘Green’ Goes Off-Road — The Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force

The Ener-G-Force is the vision of an off-roader that, while reflecting tomorrow’s adventures, also invokes the genes of the Mercedes-Benz off-road icon, the G-Clas

While off-road vehicles aren’t normally associated with being “green,” the Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force electric vehicle concept would have no trouble existing in such a rough environment.

As an environmentally friendly SUV, the Ener-G-Force, which Mercedes-Benz presented at the LA Auto Show late last year, sprouted from a design study concept of a highway patrol vehicle for the year 2025.

“The Ener-G-Force is the vision of an off-roader that, while reflecting tomorrow’s adventures, also invokes the genes of the Mercedes-Benz off-road icon, the G-Class,” said Gorden Wagener, Director of Design at Mercedes-Benz.

“Modern and cool, it could also be a clue about a new beginning for the off-road design idiom of Mercedes-Benz.”

The Ener-G-Force is unmistakably inspired by the G-Class, which has long been considered an automotive icon.

However, it presents a radical reinterpretation of this classic that looks far into the future. Important genes such as proportions and design elements were completely redesigned and updated in a clean concept for beyond tomorrow.

The Ener-G-Force stores recycled water in tanks on the roof, and transfers it to the “hydro-tech converter,” where natural and renewable resources are converted into hydrogen for operating the fuel cells.

The storage units for the electricity generated in this process are housed easily accessible in the striking side skirts.

The Ener-G-Force emits nothing but water, has an operating range of about 500 miles and as a result, truly is a green car.

Four wheel-hub motors, whose output for each individual wheel is adapted precisely to the respective terrain by high-performance electronics, provide the pulling power.

A “Terra-Scan” 360-degree topography scanner on the roof permanently scans the surroundings and uses the results to adjust the spring and damping rates as well as other suspension parameters for maximum traction on the respective surface, regardless of whether it is on- or off-road.

For now, the Ener-G-Force is pure science fiction.

But, the design could represent a clear step forward for the automaker in the future.

And, the SUV concept also plays on the utility factor in an entirely new way.

For example, the distinctive feature in the rear is a slightly off-center pull-out compartment whose cover occupies the traditional location of the spare wheel cover of the classic G-Class.

This pull-out tool box can hold a wide variety of equipment, supplies or even campfire provisions that are quickly within reach without having to open the entire tailgate.

Which could come in handy on those off-road nights.

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