Mercedes-Benz once made a 4×4² version its E-Class wagon, but it never went into production. Now, the manufacturer has revealed yet another one-off 4×4² model, this time based on the all-electric EQC SUV; just like the 2017 E-Class All-Terrain 4×4², the EQC 4×4² won’t be available for purchase and that’s a pity, because going off-road in an EV is a surreal and unique experience.

Creating it is the manufacturer’s way of flexing its muscles, showing what it could do; if you want a 4×4², the only one you can get is the G-Class (based on the previous generation of the model, because a new one is still undergoing testing). And while there will be an all-electric G, expected to be called the EQG, we don’t know if Mercedes will offer that as a 4×4² model.

Gallery: Mercedes EQC 4x4² concept

What makes the EQC 4×4² so great? Two words: portal axles. These unique bits of specialized off-road suspension essentially allow each wheel to sit lower than they normally would. What this instantly translates to is a noticeable increase in ground clearance, which in the case of the EQC 4×4² rises from 140 mm (5.5 inches) to 293 mm (11.5 inches); that’s almost double.

This has also raised the entire vehicle which now sits 200 mm (8 inches) taller overall, allowing the vehicle to wade through 400 mm (15.7 inches) of water; the standard EQC’s fording depth is 150 mm (5.9 inches), so the EQC 4×4² is far more capable in this respect.

Making a vehicle designed to go off-road taller has other benefits. Around 50 percent improved approach and departure angles compared to the standard EQC (31.8 and 33 degrees for the 4×4²) mean it’s better at going obstacles than a standard G-Wagen.

Other features include special 20-inch wheels wearing grippy off-road rubber, 10 cm (4 inch) wheel arch flares to accommodate the large wheels and headlights that double as speakers (to emit the EU-mandated pedestrian warning sound that all EVs must have). If you want to see it in action, check out the video by MercBenzKing posted below.

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