In anticipation of an increasingly complicated global fleet, Mercedes-Benz is restructuring how its vehicles are named. By 2020, the company plans to market more than 30 models globally. In an effort to avoid confusing its customers, the company said it will begin re-naming its models starting in 2015 with its utility vehicle lineup. All of its crossovers and SUVs will have a name that starts with “GL,” followed by a letter that indicates its rank in the model lineup.
For example, the sub-compact GLA will retain its name while the compact GLK will switch to being called GLC and the M-Class will be re-named GLE. The upcoming “coupe” version that will serve as Mercedes’ answer to the BMW X6 will be called the GLE Coupé. The GL will be called the GLS and the G-Wagen will still just be a “G.”
If that seems like a lot to swallow, think about it this way: Mercedes is trying to rank all of its vehicles in a unified tier structure akin to the order that its cars sit in. Similarly, the company is distinguishing its performance models under the Mercedes-AMG name that it quietly announced during the Paris Motor Show in September along with more pedestrian models that will be sold under the Mercedes-Benz name and ultra luxury cars bearing the new Mercedes-Maybach brand (pictured).
Mercedes also announced today that it plans to migrate all of its roadsters to names that start with SL, so the SLK will be called SLC while the current SL will keep its name.
Along with the new model nomenclature, Mercedes is also introducing a new way of labeling its powertrains. Models with a lowercase “c” after the model badge are powered by compressed natural gas while a “d” indicated a diesel powertrain. Electric cars are marked with an “e” while hybrids get an “h” or an “f” for fuel cell vehicles. Gasoline-powered models are the only products that escape wearing a little letter to distinguish fuel type.
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