Mercedes Changes Its Names

| The New York Times (Automobiles Section)

<Original Source>

Not long ago it was easy to keep track of the Mercedes-Benz cars on sale in the United States. The small ones began with C, the middle ones had an E and the big ones an S. If it was an SL, it was a roadster, and the CL was the big luxury coupe.

But as Mercedes has expanded its line to fill every electrified nook, coupelike cranny, hybrid niche and crossover cubbyhole, the names have become rather confusing. So the company recently announced a new naming convention for its vehicles.

Start with the core lineup of coupes, sedans, wagons and hatchbacks. Each size of car is represented by a single capitalized letter. Here are the designations:

A = Smallest

B = A little bigger

C = Compact

E = Midsize

S = Biggest

Sleeker “four-door coupes” get a capitalized three-letter prefix starting with CL:

CLA = Small squashed-roof 4-door

CLS = Large squashed-roof 4-door

The roadsters still start with SL, but the smaller SLK becomes the SLC to more or less correspond with its size class:

SL = Large roadster

SLC = Smaller roadster formerly called the SLK

All of the S.U.V.s and crossovers will start with the letter G. Here are their designations:

G = The boxy, distinctive Gelandewagen stands with just its one letter

GLS = The large S.U.V. that used to be the GL

GLE = The new name for the midsize ML

GLC = The new name for the compact GLK (and also once the name of a small Mazda)

GLA = The recently introduced small crossover.

All of the letter designations are followed by a three-digit number corresponding, loosely, to the engine displacement or power output. And after the capital letters and numbers will be a lower-case letter representing various drive systems. So a B200c is a B-Class with a 2-liter engine powered by compressed natural gas.

c = Compressed natural gas

d = Diesel

e = Pure electric or plug-in hybrid

f = Fuel cell

h = Hybrid

4Matic = All-wheel drive

Beyond all this will be two subbrands, Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Maybach.

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