Three things suggest to us that the folk at Mercedes-Benz have a sense of humour.
First, they build a six-wheeled AMG G-Wagen. Second, they name the rest of their range so confusingly that nobody really understand how it all works. Then, just as we nearly get the hang of things, they decide to change it again.
It all seems akin to a supermarket subtly moving items around every month to force you into exploring more of their shop, but in fairness, the name changes actually appear to make more sense than before. The main backbone of the range – the A, B, C, E, and S-Class models – remains the same. However, niche models receive new letters which tie them in more sensibly with these core models.
For example, the SUV formerly known as M-Class will now be known as the GLE. GL signifies the initials of all Mercedes’ off-roaders, while the E signifies the size of core model it most closely matches. A logical change then, but still an odd one. Models like the M-Class and SLK (now SLC) have been known as such since 1997 and ’96 respectively, so most buyers will have been well aware of what they were buying anyway.
Wait – there’s more madness
The changes don’t stop there. The names of each of the various ‘drive systems’ have been tweaked too. While diesels previously wore a BlueTEC or CDI badge on the boot, they will now be badged d (the lower-case bit is important), electric cars will be badged e rather than Electric drive or PLUG-IN HYBRID. Check out the images below to see how Mercedes explains the way the rest of its range has been re-jigged.
Confused? Well, you have just over a year to learn the new names, because the changes will come into effect in 2016. Just be aware that numerous marketing men from Stuttgart are laughing at you and your puny attempts to understand the names of the cars they sell…