Currently reading: Mercedes-Benz to launch electric-only 'little G' SUV in 2026
Legendary off-roader to gain smaller sibling on its own platform, with no combustion engine offering

A smaller version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class will be electric-only when it launches later in the decade.

The model will be developed by Mercedes’ new specialist G division as the third model in an expanded G range, after the upcoming Mercedes EQG.

Mercedes technical chief Markus Schäfer confirmed the powertrain plans to Autocar at the recent CES in Las Vegas, dismissing suggestions that the model could also be offered with hybridised internal combustion engines.

The model was first confirmed by company CEO Ola Källenius at the Munich motor show, where he referred to it as the “little G… a son or daughter of the iconic big G”.

Mercedes-Benz design chief Gorden Wagener told Autocar that the new machine will take strong design cues from the "iconic DNA" of the existing G-Class, saying: "It will have its own character, but it will be a G."

The G-Class line-up will expand first later this year with the new electric Mercedes EQG, and Autocar understands the new 'little G' will follow in 2026.

Mercedes has launched a new Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) that will be used for a range of entry-level cars in the coming years, starting with the new Mercedes-Benz CLA, but Schäfer confirmed that the 'little G' will sit on a different platform, using modules from Mercedes' larger rear-driven cars, due to its need to offer true off-roading ability.

That means the platform will be different – but likely to take learnings from – that of the full-sized EQG, which will use a reworked version of the existing ICE G-Class’s ladder-frame chassis and will be powered by four electric motors.

As well as giving Mercedes a foothold in the increasingly popular rugged crossover market, the baby G-Class will be crucial in establishing G as a Mercedes sub-brand in the same vein as Maybach and AMG, building on the success of its blocky Land Rover Defender rival. Indeed, G is now its own specialist division within Mercedes, just like Maybach and AMG

Källenius said last year: “Most luxury companies build their portfolio on the basis of one or two true icons. Mercedes-Benz has the good fortune to have multiple iconic products and brands at the upper end of its portfolio, such as the S-Class, the SL, the G-Class as well as the AMG and Maybach brands.

“We see great potential here to expand our top-end portfolio with even more fascinating products.”

His comments hint at the possibility for each of those four brands to spawn more comprehensive line-ups.

Like the upcoming CLA, the new compact SUV is likely to have an 800V electrical architecture, allowing for 248 miles of range to be added in just 15 minutes via a 250kW charger.

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It is likely also to be fitted with a new type of electric motor developed and produced in-house and making its debut in the CLA.

In that compact saloon, outputs will range from 201bhp in the entry-level rear-wheel-drive variant up to a 536bhp in a dual-motor AMG model.

The baby G-Class is expected to follow the CLA in offering a choice of lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) and lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt-oxide (NMC) batteries with capacities of between 58kWh and 85kWh.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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Bob Cholmondeley 19 January 2024

Källenius said last year: “Most luxury companies build their portfolio on the basis of one or two true icons.


The G class is not an icon, it's a ridiculously tarted-up, ridiculously expensive has-been.

Andrew1 19 January 2024

Not quite what the buyers think, which is why others have revived their own past icons, like Defender.

autoindustryinsider 5 September 2023

Is this their idea of a Defender rival?

Andrew1 19 January 2024

No, Defender is JLR's idea of G Classe rival

gavsmit 20 March 2023

"Entry Luxury" in other words expensive and compromised, delivering terrible value for money.

People used to buy entry level or smaller cars because they cost less to buy and were affordable.

The world's gone nuts from greed, stupidity and selfish, image-conscious nonsense.   

jason_recliner 20 March 2023

Some people want a luxurioius high quality small car for driving around the inner suburbs.

Peter Cavellini 19 January 2024
jason_recliner wrote:

Some people want a luxurioius high quality small car for driving around the inner suburbs.

Exactly, that what it is , not many off roaders go off road, they may climb the odd Kerb, but that's about it.

289 4 September 2023

Quite agree Gavsmit, people have lost all sense of reality.

Forgive the cynicism, but Mercedes-Benz had a small G- Klasse in the GLK, a car that either the designers had forgotten how many markets drive on the left, or just didnt give a toss.

It was a great all rounder that I would have bought if manufacturered in RHD. Proper gearbox too.

f the 'baby' G is electric though, it is of no interest to me.

Boris9119 4 September 2023

Agree gav, whenevr Mercedes has gone 'down market', the result as you say has been dismal. 1800cc in a C class, terrible, A class, terrible, CLA, terrible and so on. If you can't afford a proper Benz, one built to represent what they stand for, then don't buy one, wait till you can. Otherwise you will end up with an underpowered, compromised, cheaply built econo-box, albeit one with a Benz badge on the bonnet.