Whilst I have never professed to have any kind of supernatural powers, I am feeling pretty smug at the moment after reading a piece of automative rumour that I long since predicted…well sort of anyway. I’ve never really had any major issue with the strange ways that auto companies name their vehicles – BMW’s current naming strategy has nothing to do with engine size for example, which infuriates many car fans – but I’ll admit that to those not versed in car-lingo that Mercedes Benz has one of the strangest named line-ups of them all.

Mercedes’ core models have a relatively simple name structure; A, B, C, E, G, M and S Classes are all pretty simple to grasp (the R Class has been discontinued), and for a while the addition of ‘L’ signified that the CL, GL and SL were models a little apart from the norm…even the CLK, GLK and SLK signified that these were smaller versions of the aforementioned specialist models…but then the guys from Stuttgart had to go one further and create another niche in the form of the CLS.

CLS…soon to be the CLE?

The CLS is actually one of my favourite Benzes so it’s a little harsh to lay all my confusion at it’s door, but still the ‘saloon’ version of the CL actually has nothing to do with the more costly car, and instead is based very much on the more mainstream E-Class. Waters muddied further with the more recent arrival of cars such as the CLA, and whilst Mercedes have attempted to streamline some modelines by simply calling cars the ‘C/E/S Class Coupe’, things are still pretty hairy.

That’s why I was relieved to read that Mercedes may be overhauling their naming line-ups to a much more easier to understand system;

-A, C, E, G, S ,SL and SLK models will remain the same, alongside any coupe/estate variants they may have.

The S Class Coupe is just an example of the streamlining of Mercedes’ range; the previous generation was called the CL

-4-door coupe versions of these cars will be badged CL…so the CLA will stay the same, but the CLS will become the CLE!

The CLA is the starting point for the new ‘CL’ line up

-Off road versions will be badged GL…again the GLA remains, but the GLK becomes the GLC, the ML the GLE and the GL becomes the GLS, which sounds like a trim level on a 90’s Mistubishi but who cares!

Will the facelift of the ML be rebranded as the GLE? Who knows!

-The only real fly in the ointment as far as I’m concerned is the upcoming launch of the X6-rivalling version of the ML/GLE…maybe they’ll just call it the GLE Coupe or something but the MLC seemed to suit it a lot more

I guess that’s still a little complicated compared to rival manufacturers, and also may negatively affect the residuals of existing cars, but in creating a more cohesive brand identity I think Mercedes will gain more sales in the long run. Right that’s enough marketing jargon for now, but I will leave you with the image of the potential new GLK/GLC which finally should arrive in RHD next year.

Next Mercedes-Benz GLK confirmed for UK


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