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This Is What Happens When You Give an EV Portal Axles

Mercedes-Benz has been in love with portal axles ever since it acquired the Unimog brand in 1950. The automaker bought out the business initially owned by German tool builder Boehringer and has since perfected the design originally thought up by Albert Friedrich and Heinrich Rößler. Instead of designating the equipment for use in relatively simple trucks and SUVs, Benz has now built an electric vehicle with portal axles, creating the go-anywhere EQC 4×4² Concept.

The key here is that the wheels are not at the height of the axle center but instead situated much lower down on the axle hubs owing to the portal gears. This provides superior wheel articulation and ever-crucial ground clearance, meaning this EV can traverse obstacles that would leave normal Jeeps struggling.

Previously, Mercedes-Benz went all in with the now military-only classic G-Wagen, launching the bonkers G500 4×4 Squared as a limited edition of 416-horsepower portal axle G-Classes. Brabus then managed to tune the 4×4² idea up to 700 horses, which may be a riot, yet still wouldn’t fix the vehicle’s center of gravity, leading to one getting flipped after being T-boned by a Toyota Prius. Daimler’s crew then followed up with a radical and equally unfeasible study called the Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain 4×4² wagon, which turned a mid-size family car into an all-conquering portal axle beast running on 31-inch tires. Unfortunately, this E-Class had to remain the prototype of our camping dreams.

Now, Mercedes-Benz decided to tease us once again, going for a concept based on the EQC 400 4MATIC SUV.

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