Mercedes-Benz Announces New Naming Conventions for Models

By Paul Riegler on 11 November 2014
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The ML350 BlueTec is now the GLE350d

Stuttgart Retires BlueTec Name in Favor of Simple ‘d’

In an effort to simplify its model names, Mercedes-Benz announced a significant change in the nomenclature it uses for its line and also that it was bringing back the Maybach brand.

The Stuttgart-based automaker says that the new naming system is “simple, clear, and transparent.”  Model designations will always have between one and three upper-case letters and different types of powerplants will be indicated by a lower-case letter.  The change represents the most significant change to the carmaker’s nomenclature since 1993, when the letters “C” and “E” became prefixes for the company’s compact and mid-sized sedans.

Passenger cars will retain a series designation of A, B, C, E, and S, followed by a number that specifies engine size.  Sport utility vehicles will use the letters GL followed by a third letter indicating the specific series.  Mercedes explained that the “G” is a tribute to the G-Class or Geländewagen, a model that was first introduced in 1979 and manufactured for Mercedes in Austria by Magna Steyr (originally Steyr Puch).  The “L” is a “linking” letter that Mercedes has used in many models including the SL and CLS.  Therefore the current GL becomes the GLS, the ML becomes the GLE, and the GLK becomes the GLC.  The all-new compact GLA, however, gets to keep its name.

Mercedes is dramatically changing how it indicates the type of engine found in a car.  It will retire the BlueTec label and assign diesel-powered engines a simple “d” suffix, reminiscent of the storied 240d first offered in 1976.  Hybrid vehicles will get an “h,” while electric vehicles will receive an “e” designation.  Future fuel cell-powered vehicles will then get an “f.”  Cars with gasoline-powered engines will not receive any powerplant designation.

Finally, the Maybach name will return, not as a separate marque but as a specific model.  The Mercedes-Maybach S 600, eight inches (20.32 centimeters) longer than the longest current S-Class, will make its debut next week at the Los Angeles Auto show.  Mercedes says that “extra spaciousness, special seats and lavishly designed, prestigious interiors” will distinguish it from the garden-variety S-Class models.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)