Mercedes-Benz’s models as you know them are evolving, at least in name.

The system behind the new nomenclature is simple, clear and transparent, says the company. The model designation is always an acronym made up of between one and three upper-case letters. The different types of engine are indicated by a lower-case letter.

The system centers around the five core model series, A, B, C, E and S, which will continue. In the case of the model designations for the SUVs, in a tribute to the G Class, Mercedes-Benz explained all SUV models will in the future have the first two letters “GL” in their name. The “G” here denotes the car’s lineage. The “L” is a letter that appears time and time again over the history of Mercedes-Benz. It is a linking letter that makes the model designations easier to remember and easier to pronounce; one that is familiar from the legendary SL, for example, or from the more recent CLS and CLA, said the German company. It is followed by the third letter, which indicates the relationship to the relevant core model series. In specific terms:

  • GLA                     = GL A-Class
  • GLC                      = GL C-Class; previously GLK
  • GLE                       = GL E-Class; previously M-Class or ML
  • GLE Coupé           = GL E-Class Coupé
  • GLS                      = GL S-Class; previously GL
  • G                           unchanged

The system for the 4-door Coupés is constructed along similar lines. The first two letters, “CL”, denote the origin, the third letter the link to one of the core model series: in other words CLA and CLA Shooting Brake, or CLS and CLS Shooting Brake.

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As Mercedes-Benz is re-adjusting its model naming convention, it is also changing the way its engines are identified.

The brand’s different types of engines will also be given new designations. These provide clear orientation and are also shorter than the designations used until now. The boot lids will in future feature lower-case letters, whose meaning is as follows:

  • c for “compressed natural gas” (Natural Gas Drive until now)
  • d for “diesel” (BlueTEC and CDI until now)
  • e for “electric” (PLUG-IN HYBRID, BlueTEC PLUG-IN HYBRID and
  • Electric Drive until now)
  • f for “fuel cell” (F-CELL until now)
  • h for “hybrid”  (HYBRID and BlueTEC HYBRID until now)