Currently reading: Mercedes explains tweaks to its model naming system
The German manufacturer's GLK, ML, GL and SLK models are to be renamed, among other designation changes

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 Mercedes-Benz 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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Mini2 12 November 2014

Makes sense

I have to say, overall it makes more sense, but there's something that just doesn't feel right with 'SLC'. SLK has become such an iconic model (probably the first-gen more than the following). I could see this coming though, given the introduction of the CLA and GLA models - they're both very clearly 'A-Class' spinoffs. I think most confusion will, however, come from the GL models - GLE, GLS, GLC, all sound rather more like trim levels than individual cars.
Vimeous 12 November 2014

Oh Dear

"Hey what should I get a M-B GLE or GLS?", "Don't you mean a Volvo or Vauxhall?". M-B was it really your intention to hark back to a long line of Swede breeze-blocks and that glorious rep-mobile the Cavalier?
JacobE 12 November 2014

I just wish their numbers

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.