Then there are the party tricks. And these are proper grown-up party tricks. So good, in fact, that you’re not allowed to show them off on a public road. 

Mercedes says there is an off-road use for its G-Turn function, but it’s mainly for showing off. Drop the car into Rock setting and low-range, and a prod of the throttle and a pull on the paddle behind the steering wheel will turn the G 580 on the spot in the corresponding direction. It’ll complete two pretty rapid and spectacular turns before coming to a stop in the middle of a cloud of its own dust. 

G-Steering is less dramatic but potentially more useful, although again reserved solely for off the public road. It uses the motors on the four wheels to drive torque individually to aid tighter turns. It’s incredibly effective, akin to handbrake-turning through a slalom course, and massively cuts the turning radius. While also being a lot of fun. 

You might have noticed that we’ve so far discreetly ignored the pound-shaped elephant in the room. Initially, the G 580 is only available in Edition One specification, giving it an on-the-road price that just passes the £180,000 mark. But the good news is a ‘regular’ model, likely to be called AMG Line Premium Plus like the petrol and diesel cars, will come next year. Mercedes hasn’t confirmed what the differences will be, but you should be able to save around £30,000, while sacrificing the blue trim inside and out, the top-end audio system, the blue Edition One-only paint choice and some of the other extreme niceties. You’ll also miss out on being one of the first on the road with this new EV icon, but the cheaper price should position the electric G-Class into a gap between the lower-powered petrol and diesel models beneath it and the range-topping G 63 above. 

The G 580 is a huge chunk of cash even then, but for many potential buyers, that just adds to the allure of the ultimate example of an electric car being compromised yet uncompromising.

Model: Mercedes G 580 with EQ Technology
Price: £180,860
Powertrain: 4x electric motors, 116kWh battery
Power/torque: 579bhp/1,164Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
0-62mph: 4.7seconds
Top speed: 112mph
Range: 285 miles
Max charging: 200kW 10-80% in 32 minutes
Size (L/W/H): 4873/2187/1969mm
On sale: Autumn 2024
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