Mercedes-Benz’ new model name scheme finally makes sense

As rumoured, Mercedes-Benz has rejigged its model naming scheme to make it clearer where SUVs, coupes and convertibles sit in relation to the brand’s core models.

From hereon in most of Mercedes-Benz’ models will be named in relation to the company’s core A-, B-, C-, E- and S-Class sedans, wagons, coupes and hatchbacks.

SUVs, for example, will be carry the GL prefix followed a letter to denote which size vehicle it’s based on. This means that there will eventually be GLA-, GLC-, GLE- and GLS-Class four-wheel drives. The GLC-Class will replace the current GLK-Class, the GLE-Class will debut to replace the M-Class (or ML-Class), and the GLS-Class will displace the current GL-Class.

The brand’s 4-door “coupes” will keep their CL prefixes, while the SLK-Class hardtop-convertible roadster will be rebranded as the SLC-Class when it’s renewed.

As with every set of rules, there are a few exceptions. The Defender-style G-Class (formerly Gelandewagen) will keep its current designation, as will the SL-Class hard-top convertible. Both these models have been deemed by Mercedes-Benz to be “iconic”.

Unlike Infiniti, which did its model rebranded with great haste, Mercedes-Benz will wait until models are redesigned before going with the new names.

The company will also use new suffixes for its various drivetrain options. As is currently the case, purely petrol-engined models will continue without any appellation.

Diesel models, which are currently branded CDI or BlueTEC, will now carry the “d” suffix. For example, E350d or GLA200d.

Cars using compressed natural gas will now wear a “c” suffix. So the B200 Natural Gas Drive will morph into the B200c.

Fuel cell cars will now be branded with an “f” suffix. Meaning that the B200 Fuel Cell will become the B200f.

Plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles will, confusingly, both wear the “e” suffix. So, the S500 Plug-in Hybrid will now be the S500e, and the B-Class Electric Drive will become the B250e (we’re not sure what the 250 has to do with anything in a pure electric car).

Regular hybrid, both petrol-electric and diesel-electric, cars will wear the “h” suffix. Meaning that the S400 Hybrid and the E300 BlueTec Hybrid will become, respectively, the S400h and the E300h.

Mercedes-Benz’ all-wheel drive brand, 4Matic, remains unchanged.