MERCEDES-BENZ has confirmed a rumoured rearrangement of its model naming system.
The new nomenclature, to be introduced in 2015, has been necessitated by the company’s continuing avalanche of fresh-minted metal.
This process, already under way, involves the launch of 30 new vehicles out to 2020, including 11 without precursor in the current portfolio.
“Our plan has been to devise an even simpler, more transparent and more logical system for the designations of our model series, with the aim of providing clear orientation for our customers," said marketing communications boss Jens Thiemer during the launch of the new nomenclature in Stuttgart.
"Now is the ideal time to do this, for in 2015 we will be updating virtually our whole SUV model range, providing us with the perfect starting point for renaming the whole family of vehicles."
Mercedes’ core A, B, C, E and S models provide the framework for the new naming system.
The first two letters for all SUV models will be ‘GL’.
The GLA already conforms to the new system, but the replacement for the GLK will instead be GLC, the M-Class or ML will become the GLE and the existing GL will be renamed GLS.
The unchanging G-Class is the one exception to the new rule; its name will remain.
The same basic system will apply to Mercedes’ four-door coupes, although no changes are required for the existing models in this style, the CLA and CLS.
From 2016, all roadsters will have ‘SL’ as their first two letters. The replacement for the SLK will therefore be the SLC.
As with the G-Class, the long-established SL will keep its name.
At the same time, different types of engines will also be given new, shorter designations.
Mercedes bootlids will in future feature lower-case letters, as follows: ‘c’ for compressed natural gas (previously Natural Gas Drive), ‘d’ for diesel, ‘e’ for electric, ‘f’ for fuel cell and ‘h’ for hybrid.
As in the past, there will be no suffix for the petrol models.
The nomenclature announcement coincided with the announcement of the Mercedes-Maybach S600, top of the S-Class line-up.
The company’s plan is to make Mercedes-Maybach a mega-luxury sub-brand, just as Mercedes-AMG is being turned into the company’s performance sub-brand.
More Mercedes-Maybach models have been promised for the future.