Ever since Infiniti decided to change the names of all their cars, luxury brand marketing directors lost their damn minds and decided to follow suit. Now Mercedes is adjusting their nomenclature to "avoid customer confusion."
According to Automotive News, Mercedes plans on launching 30 models, including 11 new models, by 2020. The brand also plans on introducing new sub-brands, body variants and drive systems. Mercedes said in a statement, "This results in an increasingly complex situation when it comes to naming the models."
The good news is unlike Infiniti and Cadillac, whose new names will continue to confuse customers, Mercedes seems to be more streamlining and tweaking their naming scheme rather than a complete overhaul.
Here is how it will break down. Mercedes-Benz will have five core models: A, B, C, E and S. We reported awhile back that all crossovers will have a GL in their name "in a tribute to the legendary G class." But here is a quick re-cap.
The GLA compact crossover keeps the same name, since it's always been linked to the A-Class.
The GLK crossover will become the GLC.
Following so far? Good...here is where things will get confusing. The current mid-size ML class SUV will become the GLE.
The full size GL class SUV becomes the range topping GLS.
The upcoming coupe, yes coupe, that will be based on the the current ML class SUV will be called the GLE Coupe.
The iconic G SUV will remain unchanged.
All four door sedans with coupe-like styling will have CL prefix, so that means no changes on that front for the CLA or the CLS.
Beginning in 2016 all roadsters will have the SL prefix. Mercedes decided to maintain the SL name for "historic reasons." That leaves the SL alone, but changes the name of the SLK (which they apparently still make) to SLC. Link it to the C-Class. Get it? Got it? Good?
Engines, other than gasoline-powered, will also get new designations with a single lower case letter on the trunk lid:
- c for compressed natural gas — it is currently called National Gas Drive
- d for diesel, replacing BlueTEC and CDI
- e for electric, replacing Plug-in Hybrid BlueTEC Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Drive
- f for fuel cell, currently F-Cell
- h for hybrid, currently Hybrid and BlueTEC Hybrid.
In addition, two sub-brands are being added. Mercedes will continue to call its all-wheel drive models 4Matic.
High-performance AMG models will be called Mercedes-AMG and the range-topping S-class variant has been named Mercedes-Maybach.
What it comes down to is, unless you buy a Mercedes sedan or roadster few people are going to to know exactly what the hell you are driving.
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