Mercedes-Benz Confirms New Naming Scheme
Mercedes-Benz is revising the naming scheme for all its models from 2015 onward, the automaker confirmed today. The announcement comes after Automobile European bureau chief Georg Kacker broke the news of the rechristening project in August. In addition, Mercedes confirmed it will introduce a new luxury model called the Mercedes-Maybach S600 at the upcoming 2014 Los Angeles auto show.
The new naming scheme (shown in the chart above) is supposed to help Mercedes-Benz clarify its ever-growing product range; by 2020, the company plans to sell more than 30 models globally. As a result, Mercedes will center the names of all its future cars around five letters denoting relative size and body style: A, B, C, E, and S. As for SUVs, all future models will begin with "GL," while the final letter signifies the relationship to other Mercedes models.
The GLA small crossover is named because it is the A-Class-sized GL SUV; the GLK becomes the GLC in deference to its C-Class relationship; the M/ML-Class becomes the GLE, and its coupe derivative will be called the GLE Coupé; the large GL-Class will become the GLS, for GL S-Class; and the G-Class, known more commonly as the G-Wagen, will keep its current name.
As for four-door coupes, Mercedes-Benz will name them "CL" with a third letter linking them to other models: CLA and CLA Shooting Brake, and CLS and CLS Shooting Brake.
From 2016, all Mercedes-Benz roadsters will start with "SL." The SLK becomes the SLC, but the SL doesn't change its name "in recognition of its iconic status."
In addition, future Mercedes-Benz models will have lowercase letters on the trunklid to signify their powertrain technologies, specifically eco-friendly features. A "c" will stand for compressed natural gas power, "d" for diesel replaces BlueTEC and CDI, "e" replaces Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Drive, "f" replaces F-Cell, and "h" will stand in for Hybrid and BlueTech Hybrid.
"More clarity, more transparency, more consistency for Mercedes-Benz customers - we are convinced that our new nomenclature will support us in achieving this objective," Mercedes-Benz head of marketing communications Dr. Jens Thiemer said in a statement.
Ultra-lux model for L.A. show
Mercedes-Benz also confirmed the introduction of a high-end luxury sedan called the Mercedes-Maybach S600. The car, which debuts later this month at the 2014 Los Angeles auto show, revives the Maybach name that was killed off two years ago after sluggish sales of the ultra-pricey cars. Mercedes-Benz says the new model will be more spacious than a standard S-Class, signaling an extended wheelbase, and that it will have, "special seats and lavishly designed, prestigious interiors," as previewed in these photos.
Despite the high level of luxury planned, the Mercedes-Maybach S600 should start around the $200,000 mark -- earlier reports had posited the new Maybach could be at least twice as expensive as that. Expect more details when the car is revealed in L.A. on November 19.