Mercedes-Benz Plans Niche Car Renaming Scheme

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad
CLS 63 AMG (C 218) 2010

Vehicle names are hard to get right (Remember the Ford Probe?). Mercedes-Benz has been using a letter and number naming scheme to help differentiate its cars from one another. However, it’s been causing some confusion with car buyers and journalists alike.

According to UK’s CAR Magazine, it seems like the luxury German automaker is looking to change up its three-letter naming style to help make its niche products a bit more friendly with consumers.

Basically we’d still have one letter names for mainstream vehicles like C-Class and G-Class vehicles. Its when we start getting to crossovers and coupes, and other derivatives that things will begin to change.

For the upcoming “four-door coupe” version of the A-Class we’ve been hearing so much about, the name would be changed to CLA. The C standing for the car’s designation as a coupe, and the A standing for it being an A-Class. And the L Standing for something in German that means “stop asking questions”. (That last part isn’t true).

The company’s upcoming BMW X6 rival will see a similar name change to the GLA, because the G stands for the vehicle being a SUV or Crossover, and the A indicating the vehicle would be based on the A-Class platform.

Lets round it up:

G – for SUVs or Crossovers
C – for Coupes and Convertibles

By that convention, an upcoming E-Class coupe will be called the CLE (C for coupe, and E for E-class)

Then the rules fall apart a bit. Apparently the CLS will still be called the CLS, because consumers relate that vehicle to a four-door coupe version of the S-Class, instead of the E-Class it’s really based on.

That change would mean that there isn’t a new name for CL-Class car, so perhaps it will keep its two-letter naming convention.

The changes continue with the sportier vehicles, which will now use the SL prefix.

It all still seems a bit confusing, and likely all the kinks haven’t all been worked out in this naming convention. We’ll keep our eyes open for upcoming models and see how closely they follow this naming convention.

[Source: Car Magazine]

Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

More by Sami Haj-Assaad

Join the conversation
 1 comment
  • Cdutra Cdutra on Feb 02, 2013

    I think I'm going to end my C300 4matic lease a bit early for this !!-- Chris -Viti Mercedes Benz Tiverton RI