Beginning in 2015, Mercedes-Benz is revising its nomenclature strategy for many of its models. This isn’t shocking news, nor is it anything new in the industry – look at the recent Q-ification of Infiniti, or the forthcoming CT/XT strategy being deployed at Cadillac. But unlike those luxury brands, Mercedes isn’t shaking up the whole system, and it’s actually (kind of) making things a bit easier to understand. Here’s how.
First, the German automaker’s crossover and SUV lineup will go fully “G,” and will correspond with the class lines on which the vehicles are based.
- GLA – Unchanged; Merc’s new small crossover based on the A-Class
- GLC – Currently the GLK
- GLE – Currently the M-Class, also known as ML
- GLE Coupe – The swoopy new BMW X6-fighter that we’ve already seen testing
- GLS – Currently the GL-Class, now to be thought of as the S-Class of the SUV line
- G – The Geländewagen, and the pinnacle of the brand’s SUVs
Things remain relatively unchanged in the rest of the lineup – sedans and four-door coupes (CLA and CLS) keep their current names. The only other notable model name change is in the roadster range, where the smaller SLK now becomes the SLC. That said, the German automaker is switching up its drivetrain designations. Things like “BlueTEC,” “Electric Drive,” “CDI,” and even “Hybrid” are being phased out in favor of one-letter add-ons. Standard gasoline models won’t get any special designation, and 4Matic will continue on as the name for the automaker’s all-wheel-drive system.
- c – Compressed natural gas, currently “Natural Gas Drive”
- d – Diesel, currently written as “BlueTEC” or “CDI”
- e – Electric, which wipes out “Plug-In Hybrid,” “BlueTEC Plug-In Hybrid,” and “Electric Drive”
- f – Fuel cell, or “F-Cell” currently
- h – Hybrids, including diesel-hybrids
So, by this logic, what we currently know as a GLK250 BlueTEC will become a GLC250d (when the new GLC makes its debut). And something like the current E400 Hybrid will condense its name to E400h. But wait, there’s more…