The German manufacturer's GLK, ML, GL and SLK models are to be renamed, among other designation changes
11 November 2014

Mercedes-Benz has formally announced sweeping changes to the naming of models in its line-up.

Already reported by Autocar, the German car maker has tweaked its current naming system to place greater emphasis and identity on its five core model lines: A-, B-, C-, E- and S-class. This results in the renaming of four key models and the creation of other new model designations.

As a result, the GLK will henceforth be called the GLC in a move reflecting its close mechanical ties with the C-class.

The larger ML has been renamed GLE, while the upcoming production version of the Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV will take the name GLE Coupe.

Further up the line-up, the GL gains a new GLS nomenclature, denoting its up-market positioning on a level consummate with the S-class. This model is largely expected to sire a Bentley Falcon rivalling long-wheelbase Mercedes-Maybach GLS model in the future.

The renaming of the GLK, ML and GL will take effect in 2015 with the launch of new or facelifted models. The G-class name remains unaffected by Mercedes-Benz’s plans.

In 2016, when a fourth-generation model is due to hit showrooms, the SLK will be renamed SLC. Like the G-class, however, Mercedes-Benz has decided to retain the iconic SL name for its larger and more expensive two seater roadster, rather than adopting the logical SLS name.

“More clarity, more transparency, more consistency. The logic built up on the basis of the core model series will enable our customers to find their way round our growing product portfolio better,” said Jens Thiemer, head of marketing communications.

In confirming the new naming system, Thiemer also confirmed the pending arrival of the CLA Shooting Brake, which is planned to make a cameo appearance at the Detroit motor show in January prior to a start to UK sales during the second quarter of 2015.

Together with the new model names, Mercedes-Benz is also introducing new designations for engine types in a move that rids it of overly complex names, including its BlueEfficiency and BlueTec Hybrid tags.

In the future, the boot lids of Mercedes-Benz models will be graced with lower case letters indicating the type of engine used: c for compressed natural gas (previously Natural Gas Drive); d for diesel (previously BlueTec and CDI); e for electric (previously Plug-in Hybrid, BlueTec Plug-In Hybrid and Electric Drive); f for fuel cell (previously F-Cell); h for hybrid (previously Hybrid and BlueTec Hybrid). Oddly, though, Mercedes-Benz will not identify petrol powered models.

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11 November 2014

From the illustration, it looks like Mercedes-Benz are already playing fast and loose with the logic of their (otherwise sensible) new naming strategy. As the CLS is based on the E class platform, surely it should be renamed CLE? I guess they are afraid of devaluing the model in their hierarchy. Also,would many potential SL buyers be put off by a change to SLS? I suppose a bigger concern would be confusion with the existing SLS model.

11 November 2014
Daniel Joseph wrote:

From the illustration, it looks like Mercedes-Benz are already playing fast and loose with the logic of their (otherwise sensible) new naming strategy. As the CLS is based on the E class platform, surely it should be renamed CLE? I guess they are afraid of devaluing the model in their hierarchy. Also,would many potential SL buyers be put off by a change to SLS? I suppose a bigger concern would be confusion with the existing SLS model.

I agree, considering the CLS is a 4 door coupe of the E Class, it seems odd it hasn't been renamed CLE. It's also interesting that they class the B Class as a core model when it's just the MPV spin off of the A Class in the same way the GLA is a SUV based on the A Class. As for the SLK, this is Mercedes' small sports car and following the introduction of the larger, more powerful GT, I'd have thought the SLK would have been renamed to something similar, like GTA perhaps. As for the general renaming policy, it's totally logical and tidies up some of the various, mismatched model names that have inflicted Mercedes since the mid-90s.

11 November 2014

...for the most part but I think it will be a generation or so before folk get used to calling the M-Class anything else.


11 November 2014

As per the other comments I note discrepancies. Making the SLK an SLC makes sense as it no longer has a supercharger (Kompressor in German) and the basic C, E, S make sense but the crossovers and hybrids just muddle the water. The CLS I am sure is being done so it can justify its higher price over the E and there is probably a bit of that in the SUV bit as well. Also, since the numbers don't truly relate to the engine size anymore, there really is no rational basis for any of it anymore and rationality was once the hallmark of German engineering.

289

11 November 2014

what a bloody mess!
Haven't they ever heard the phrase "if it aint broke, don't fix it"?

Just recently, I despair at M-B their styling and now the naming...

11 November 2014

Actually SLK originally stood for Sport, Light, Kompact !!!

289

12 November 2014

sorry to be a pedant, but the K in SLK stood for Kurz (Short, as in short wheelbase), rather than K for Kompact.
I guess it amounts to the same thing though!

TS7

11 November 2014

...5 different 4x4s? That's a rhetorical question by the way.

12 November 2014

Would correspond to engine size again. Before a 300E was a 3 litre, and a 55AMG was 5.5 etc. Now the 63 is becoming a 4 litre it is no longer even vaguely in the ballpark and 63 has gone from having a numerical value to a brand which is ridiculous.

12 November 2014

Would correspond to engine size again. Before a 300E was a 3 litre, and a 55AMG was 5.5 etc. Now the 63 is becoming a 4 litre it is no longer even vaguely in the ballpark and 63 has gone from having a numerical value to a brand which is ridiculous.

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