What Is Mercedes-Benz Nomenclature Or Naming System?

Mercedes-Benz Nomenclature

Mercedes Benz Maybach 62Mercedes Benz MLDecoded: Mercedes-Benz Nomenclature for its various passenger car models

Mercedes-Benz nomenclature uses multifaceted, alpha-numeric codes to name its models.

Mercedes-Benz is one of the “German Big 3” luxury automakers & world’s oldest automotive company. The Mercedes-Benz nomenclature adopts Alpha-Numerical combinations for its models which is quite different to that of Audi’s & BMW’s nomenclatures. Currently, Mercedes-Benz uses combinations starting with alphabet/s followed by a 2 / 3 digit number.

Mercedes-Benz Nomenclature for its cars starting with Letters:

If the letters such as “A”, “B”, “C” etc. are used as the prefix to the model number, then they represent the ‘Class’ or group of models. The letters which are used as a suffix usually denote the variant or body-style of the car. The letters “AMG” represent ‘Sports’ segment – which is the Sports / Custom version of existing models. The following 3-digit number represents the engine capacity of the car.

Mercedes Nomenclature for the different classes of cars:

A-class: Compact Hatchback with either 5 Door / 3 Door / 4 Door Sedan option.

Mercedes-Benz nomenclature - Mercedes A-class
Mercedes-Benz nomenclature – Mercedes A-class

B-class: Compact Sports Tourer / MPV – The B-Class has a two-box design: One box is for the drive-train while the other for passenger and luggage compartments.


C-class: Compact Executive Car – Sedan.

New Mercedes C200 (Photo Courtesy: Mercedes Benz India)
New Mercedes C200

T-Model: Tourenwagen – A Wagon / touring car (of the C-class).

CLA-class: Compact Four-door Coupe, Concept Style Coupe (Equivalent to A-class).

R-class: Grand Sports Tourer – Luxury MPV.

M / ML-class: Luxury Off-road vehicle / SUV.

Mercedes Benz ML
Mercedes Benz ML

G-Class / G-Wagen is short for Geländewagen or Cross country vehicle.

G“: stands for Geländewagen which means this series belongs to Off-road vehicles / SUVs.

Puch G: A Full-size luxury SUV.

Mercedes-Benz G-class (Courtesy: Mercedes-Benz)
Mercedes-Benz G-class (Courtesy: Mercedes-Benz)

GLA-class: “G” for Geländewagen, (“L” is a link between “G” & “A”), “A” – a vehicle equivalent to A-class which means it is a Compact SUV of “A” class.

GLE-class: An SUV equivalent to E-class.

GLK / GLC-class (2015) (Geländewagen Luxus Kompaktklasse): A Compact Crossover Luxury SUV.

GLC-class: An Off-road SUV equivalent to C-class.

GLS-class: An Off-road SUV Equivalent to S-class which is a full-size Luxury Crossover SUV.

Mercedes-Benz GLS (Courtesy: Mercedes-Benz)
Mercedes-Benz GLS (Courtesy: Mercedes-Benz)

Mercedes Nomenclature for its S-class cars:

S-Class: (Sonderklasse) which means “Special class” or a full-size Luxury car.

Mercedes S600 Guard (Photo Courtesy: Mercedes Benz) Mercedes-benz nomenclature
Mercedes S600 Guard (Photo Courtesy: Mercedes Benz) Mercedes-benz nomenclature

CL-Class / SEC: Luxury Coupé or S-Class Coupe.

CLS-class: Compact executive car equivalent of S-class.

CLK-class:  Mid-size Grand Tourer Executive car.

SL-Class (Sport Lightweight):  Grand Tourer Sports Car.

SLK: (Sportlich, Leicht und Kurz) (sport, light, short):  Compact Luxury Roadster.

Mercedes-Benz nomenclature: Mercedes-Benz SLK
Mercedes-Benz nomenclature: Mercedes-Benz SLK

SLC-Class: A sports roadster equivalent to the C-Class.

SLS-class: (Sport Leicht Super) (Sport Light Super) – A 2-seater Luxury Grand Tourer.

SLR-Class (Sport Leicht-Rennen): Sport Light Racing car.

E-Class:  Executive Mid-size Luxury Car.

Mercedes-Benz E-class
Mercedes-Benz E-class

V-class (Wagon / Van class): A multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV) or Van.

AMG GT: Sports Version / Custom Supercar.

Mercedes AMG-SLC43 rear profile
Mercedes AMG-SLC43

MAYBACH: A super ultra-luxury brand of Mercedes-Benz as a limousine.

Mercedes Benz Maybach 62
Mercedes Benz Maybach 62

Mercedes-Benz revived the Maybach with new S-Class Pullman recently.

Revised Mercedes-Benz nomenclature for its classes:

Recently, Mercedes-Benz nomenclature was completely revised which is as follows:

Mercedez-Benz Nomenclature Table
Mercedez-Benz Nomenclature Table

For e.g. Mercedes-Benz A160 is an “A-Class” i.e. a Compact Hatchback with an engine capacity of 1600 cc. After 1994, Mercedes-Benz used an alpha-numeric system for classification of its vehicles consisting of 3-digit numerical code which is approximately equal to its engine capacity in liters multiplied by 10. This follows a group of alphabetical suffixes which specifies its body style and engine option.

e.g. Engine Capacity = Engine Code X 10

Engine Capacity = 160 X 10 = 1600cc

However, in the case of “AMG” models, the engine capacity is shown in two-digits. Then, it is multiplied by 100.

e.g. C36 AMG. Mercedes-Benz C36 is a ‘Sports’ version of its “C-Class” i.e. a Compact Executive Car with an engine capacity of 3600cc.

Engine Capacity implied by 36 x 100 = 3600cc.

*** Note: The Mercedes-Benz engine nomenclatures shown here are general examples. However, there are some exceptions to this convention.

New Mercedes-Benz nomenclature post-2015:

After 2015, Mercedes-Benz nomenclature was revised for some of its new models. Following is the latest Merc nomenclature post-2015:

Mercedes Benz Nomenclature Post 2015
Mercedes Benz Nomenclature Post 2015

Besides Class, other letters used in Mercedes-Benz nomenclature:

C” – Indicates a coupe or cabriolet body style for e.g., the CL and CLK models (except for the C-class as it is also offered as a sedan).

D” – Indicates the vehicle with a diesel engine. for e.g. 300D.

E” (Einspritzung) – In most cases, it indicates the engine with petrol fuel injection (except for the Mercedes E-Class). For e.g. 250E.

Alternatively, if neither “E” or “D” are mentioned, it means the vehicle has a petrol engine with a carburetor.

G” (Geländewagen) – An off-road vehicle which is now used for Mercedes SUVs for example, the GLA and GLK.

K” “Kurz” (short-wheelbase) for e.g., SSK-class.

L” (Leicht) – It represents “lightweight” for sports models. e.g. CL / SL

and (Lang) – Long-wheelbase in case of sedans. For e.g., 250E Lang.

R” (Rennen) – Means “Racing” used for racing cars. For e.g. 300SLR.

S” (Sonderklasse) – Means the “Special class” of top-end models which includes all the S-class models and the SL-Class, SLR McLaren and SLS sportscars.

T” – Indicates “Touring” or an Estate / Station Wagon body style.

Besides, Some models have additional designations which indicate special features such as:

4MATIC” – Indicates the vehicle is equipped with an All-Wheel-Drive option.

BlueTEC” – Indicates a diesel engine with selective catalytic reduction exhaust after-treatment.

BlueEFFICIENCY” – Indicates special fuel economy features (direct injection, start-stop system along-with aerodynamic modifications, etc.).

CGI” (Charged Gasoline Injection) – Indicates direct gasoline injection.

CDI” (Common-rail Direct Injection) – Indicates a common-rail direct injection engine. For e.g. C200 CDI.

e” – A vehicle with Electric Drive. For e.g., B 200e.

Hybrid” – Indicates a petrol or diesel-electric hybrid car.

NGT” – Indicates an engine with natural-gas fuel.

Turbo” indicates a turbocharged engine which is used on A, B, E, and GLK-Class models.

Kompressor” – Indicates a supercharged engine.

For e.g., C230 KOMPRESSOR.

Mercedes Kompressor badge
Mercedes-Benz nomenclature: Kompressor badge

“AMG” – Indicates the car with luxurious interior or custom option and different engine options. For e.g., Mercedes-AMG S65.

“GT” – Stands for Gran Turismo which is a sports car. For e.g., Mercedes-Benz AMG GT.

Mercedes-Benz nomenclature: Mercedes-AMG GT
Mercedes-Benz nomenclature: Mercedes-AMG GT

Images Courtesy: Mercedes Benz

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