Shakespeare was wrong: A Mercedes by any other name…

Mercedes-Benz logo

Here we go again, folks. First Infiniti did the big switcheroo, going from a series of vehicles badged G, M, FX to Qs. Now Mercedes-Benz is messing with the alphabet. The company announced today that it was rebadging the entire lineup of vehicles so customers can more easily understand the model and engine propulsion choice for its vehicles. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, according to the Bard of Avon.

Unfortunately, Mercedes-Benz’ designations were already confusing. And by the way, this is the third time the names have been changed in recent times. So pre-2015 models saw the likes of “Class” cars with B,C, CL, CLA, CLA, E, G, GL, GLA, GLK, M, S, SL, and SLK designations, not counting SLS AMG and F-cell vehicles. Frankly, unless we switch to Klingon, between BMW, Benz, Infiniti, Lincoln, and Jaguar, all the letters have been taken.

New Mercedes Model Nomenclature CY2015 and onwardWhich is why, starting with the 2015 models, Mercedes-Benz trims will follow four general designations: G for off-road/SUVs; S, E, C, B, and A for core model series; CLA/CLA for four-door coupes; and SL and SLC for Roadsters. Does that make it clear? No? Well, don’t forget about these: c = compressed natural gas vehicles, d = diesel, e = electric, f= fuel cell, h = hybrid, and 4MATIC is AWD. I think we all need to go back to Sesame Street for a refresher course. Please refer to the charts for more clarification; that dull ache has returned to our brains.New Mercedes Powertrain Designations CY2015 and onward

In addition to that announcement, Mercedes-Benz added even more muck to the mudpile, inventing the name Mercedes-Maybach, a brand that will stand for a vehicle with enough ultra exclusivity to one-up the Joneses but good. The M-M S-Class will adds the extra room and features that only those with stupid money can afford. Remember, according to MB, the M-M is not an equipment line, but a sub-brand that will deliver an even more exclusive vehicle. Too bad for you regular schlubs who only could cough up $100,000 or so for a regular Benzo.

On the other hand, didn’t Daimler-Benz just try the Maybach name, giving it up when the models failed to resonate with the ultra-luxury car buying market? Yes, it did, coming in a sorry third against Volkswagen’s Bentley and BMW’s Rolls-Royce. though no one seemed to notice when Maybach left.

Simple and transparent is how the Benz boys phrase it. Good luck with that.