The Mercedes-Benz model portfolio has expanded rapidly in recent years and continues to grow. This results in an increasingly complex situation when it comes to naming the various models. “After more than 20 years of continuity involving some of the most recognized and successful product names in the world, we are now making our system of vehicle nomenclature even more understandable,” said Dr. Jens Thiemer, Head of Marketing Communications for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. “Bearing in mind the international appeal of our brand, our plan has been to devise an even simpler, more transparent and more logical system for the designations of our model series, with the aim of providing clear orientation for our customers.”
The model designation is always an acronym made up of between one and three upper-case letters. The system centers around the five core model series, A, B, C, E and S, which will continue to be used to provide orientation for our customers.
In the case of the model designations for the SUVs, in a tribute to the legendary G-Class, all SUV models will in the future have the first two letters “GL” in their name. The “G” here denotes the car’s lineage. The “L” is a letter that appears time and time again over the history of Mercedes-Benz. It is a linking letter that makes the model designations easier to remember and easier to pronounce; one that is familiar from the legendary SL, for example, or from the more recent CLS and CLA. It is followed by the third letter, which indicates the relationship to the relevant core model series.
In specific terms:
GLA = GL A-Class
GLC = GL C-Class; previously GLK
GLE = GL E-Class; previously M-Class or ML
GLE Coupé = GL E-Class Coupé
GLS = GL S-Class; previously GL
G = unchanged
The system for the 4-door Coupés is constructed along similar lines. The first two letters, “CL”, denote the origin, the third letter the link to one of the core model series: in other words CLA, or CLS. From 2016 on the Roadsters will all include “SL” in their names to denote their origin, with the third letter again the link to one of the core model series. The SLK therefore becomes the new SLC. As in the case of the G, the SL retains its designation in recognition of its iconic status.