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Mercedes reshapes naming system

Name game: Most models in the Mercedes range already conform to its new naming system, but a few will have to change, including the ML which is now known as GLE.

“More understandable” model acronym system for ever expanding Mercedes portfolio


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13 Nov 2014

MERCEDES-BENZ is rolling out a new simplified naming system for its ever-growing model range, starting with a reshuffle of its SUV nomenclature.

The new system will eventually cover the entire three-point badge range with all models except “iconic” versions adopting the logic.

Long-winded and confusing names will be replaced by no more than three capital letters to describe the model, three numbers for the engine designation and a single lower case letter for its fuel type.

As a tribute to Mercedes' longstanding utilitarian G-Wagon, all SUV names will start with the letters G and L, followed by a third letter which indicates the vehicles relationship to a core model.

For example, the GLK will now be named the GLC with the GL element of its name categorising it as an SUV and the C to link its basis to the C-Class mid-sizer.

As previously reported by GoAuto, the popular ML large SUV will also get a significant change, being renamed the GLE.

In the same way, all four-door coupes will adopt a CL prefix followed by a class-relating suffix. Therefore a CLA is a four-door coupe based on the A-Class.

There are a handful of exceptions to the new system with G large SUV and SL flagship sportscar amongst the models that escape the code to preserve their heritage and iconic status.

For many models, no changes will be necessary with most of the Mercedes range fitting the system already, but a notable alteration includes the SLK sportscar which will now be called the SLC.

Sedan and hatchback models will continue to have just one capital followed by the three number engine description.

A new lower-case lettering boot badge will also accompany the new capitalised naming system to describe the type of engine powering each variant.

Diesels will have a 'd', plug-in hybrids will get an 'e', normal hybrids are described with an 'h', fuel-cell powered vehicles have an 'f' on the boot, while a 'c' badge is for compressed natural gas engined cars.

The single letter system eliminates recent long-winded badges such as BlueTEC HYBRID, while petrol-powered Mercedes' are identifiable by the absence of a lower-case letter.

This latest name change announcement follows two other slight changes to the 88 year-old Mercedes-Benz brand, with a recent introduction of the Mercedes-AMG sports label and a reintroduction of the luxury Maybach name dubbed Mercedes-Maybach.

The changes will start next year with the SUV range followed shortly after by all other affected vehicles, with the first of the new badges going public at the LA motor show next week.

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