For years now, Mercedes-Benz has been producing cars in a very strategically-planned model range, using 1 to 3 letters in each model's name to signify what the car is and where it stands in the Mercedes lineup. For example, it has become widely known that the top-of-the-line Mercedes sedan is the S-Class, with the E-Class and C-Class falling below it. Now, Mercedes is planning to simplify their naming strategy in order to help the introduction of over two dozen new models by the year 2020.
The new, simplified naming strategy will follow this structure: every roadster will start with SL (which is not much of a dramatic change from what it is now), every four door (coupe or shooting break) will start with CL, and every SUV will start with GL. Luckily, the current range of sedans will retain their naming structures. From there, models will receive a third letter to display where the model sits within each of those three classes. The letters A, B, C, E and S from the current naming structure will be used for this.
Along with this new approach to naming their cars, Mercedes has also began some other changes in their lineup. For example, take the new AMG GT. Its formal name is the Mercedes-AMG GT, which shows that Mercedes-Benz has dropped the "Benz" and moved the AMG title before the model name. I'm not a fan of this, as it just doesn't seem to flow off the tongue as well. I mean, yes it works for the GT, but take the new C63. I can't be the only person in the world that thinks C63 AMG sounds far better than its new name, the AMG C63. On top of this, some models in Mercedes' current range will be replaced with direct successors of different names, which just seems strange to me. Taking the current ML and renaming it the GLE just seems odd, and many other models will receive the same treatment. Renaming the SLK to the SLC, as another example, just makes the car sound even more feminine.
A few exceptions to this new naming strategy have also been announced, and are linked to a few of the most iconic cars Mercedes has ever produced. Both the G-Class and SL-Class will keep their current names, which I believe was the right decision, as both cars have been prevalent in the manufacturer's lineup for generations and deserve such respect. As a whole, the new Mercedes naming structure is strange, different, and still slightly confusing. We will have to wait and see to determine whether or not it stands the test of time, but for now, I still prefer my Mercedes with a Benz linked to it and an AMG badge after the letter.