Talk about muscle cars! Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Mr. Olympia and “Governator” of California from 2003-2011, has jostled his way into the electric car market – teaming up with his countrymen at Austrian firm Kreisel Electric to create the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The car is described on the Kreisel blog as an “iconic off-road vehicle.”
While attending the Hahnenkamm World Cup ski race in Kitzbuehel, Austria, last month, Schwarzenegger took a test drive in the Mercedes-Benz G350d electric vehicle conversion prototype that he helped to develop, commenting, “This amazing off-road vehicle as a clean and fast electric car? A dream has become real!”
According to the European battery developers, “The electrified Mercedes G 350 d convinces with a realistic electric range of 300 kilometers [186 miles] with a single power-charge. The high-performance batteries are built into the car with a capacity of 80 kWh and an overall weight of 510 kg [1,124 pounds].
“The Kreisel batteries are distributed in the car: under the bonnet, in the rear, where it replaces the fuel tank and underneath the entry. Kreisel has not made any compromises when it comes to comfort functions, such as off-road capability and grade-ability,” the company said.
AutoBlog said, “The Junior star’s newest toy can do 0-62 mph in a respectable 5.6 seconds thanks to a pair of electric motors producing a ombined … 482 horsepower.”
“Replacing a diesel powertrain with an electric one is a particularly fitting metaphor for the direction mobility is headed,” said the AutoBlog editors – “Especially in Europe, where diesel is popular and regulations are tightening, automakers are looking to produce more EVs.
“While this G-Wagen is a prototype,” the publication said, “Schwarzenegger will be driving it around California, providing Kreisel with valuable feedback (and publicity) for its development of electric powertrains. Like a number of other automakers and parts suppliers, Kreisel sees a business opportunity in the growth of electrification, and is even looking beyond transportation to stationary energy storage as well.”