The Model Codes of Mercedes

The Model Codes of Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz is one of the leading luxury car brands in the world. Have you ever thought what are the exact meanings of the codes given to the cars by the manufacturer? In this short article we spread some focus on the meanings and explanation of the Mercedes-Benz tagging.

Mercedes-Benz has a rich history and legacy for its names but lately it has been focusing on a new naming structure to make it easier to understand the company’s body line-up and combine all its models with short and memorable names. The German giant is leading the market worldwide now and is planning to include around 30 models in its portfolio by 2020. At that time, this nomenclature is going to be very useful.

Mercedes-Benz has five main categories of vehicle divisions – A, B, C, E & S i.e. A-Class, B-Class, C-Class, E-Class and S-Class.

The latter stands for the engine fuel type:

C stands for compressed natural gas

D stands for diesel

F stands for fuel cell

E stands for electric vehicle

H is for hybrid technology (Hybrid or Blue Tec Hybrid).


Now let us go through the model names according to the segment:

A-Class        – Hatchback
B-Class        – Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV)
C-Class        – Saloon, Estate & Coupé
CL-Class      – Luxury Coupé
CLA-Class   – 4 Door Coupé
CLS-Class   – 4 Door Coupé and Estate
E-Class       – Saloon, Estate, Coupé and Cabriolet
G-Class       – Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV)
GL-Class     – Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV)
GLA-Class  – Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV)
GLK-Class  – Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV)
M-Class      – Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV)
R-Class       – Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV)
S-Class       – Luxury Sedan
SL-Class     – Roadster
SLK-Class  – Roadster
SLS AMG   – Coupé and Roadster.

These all are the names of models but there are yet more things to know. There are letters with the specific meanings, here they are:

“C” indicates a coupe or cabriolet body style.

“D” indicates the vehicle is equipped with a diesel engine.

“E”(for “Einspritzung“) indicates the vehicle’s engine is equipped with petrol fuel injection.

“G” indicates the “Geländewagen” off-road vehicle.

“K” was used in the 1930s, indicating a supercharger (“Kompressor“) equipped engine. One exception is the SSK, where K indicates “Kurz” (short-wheelbase).

“L” indicates “Leicht” (lightweight) for sporting models, and “Lang” (long-wheelbase) for sedan models.

“R” indicates “Rennen” (racing), used for racing cars (for example, the 300SLR).

“S” Sonderklasse “Special class” for flagship models.

“T” indicates “Touring” and an estate (or station wagon) body style.

Some models carry further designations indicating special features:
4MATIC” indicates the vehicle is equipped with all-wheel-drive.

Blue TEC” indicates a diesel engine with selective catalytic reduction exhaust after treatment.

“Blue EFFICIENCY” indicates special fuel economy features (direct injection, start-stop system, aerodynamic modifications, etc.)

CGI” (Charged Gasoline Injection) indicates direct gasoline injection.

CDI” (Common-rail Direct Injection) indicates a common-rail diesel engine.

Hybrid” indicates a gasoline- or diesel-electric hybrid.

NGT” indicates a natural gas-fueled engine.

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

In 2016, Mercedes-Benz had introduced the SLC range consisting of five models:

  • SLC 180, powered by 1.6-litre petrol engine
  • SLC 200, powered by 2.0-litre petrol engine
  • SLC 300, powered by 2.0-litre petrol engine but more powerful version
  • For diesel, SLC 250d, which run on 2.1-litre diesel engine. The last SLC member is Mercedes-AMG SLC 43, powered by thumping 3.0-litre, bi-turbo, V6 engine.

Of course with the growing technology and ever-changing engines, exceptions have to be made. For example, the C63 AMG is now run by a 4.0L V8 engine instead of a 6.3L V8 engine. The the number 63 has been retained because of its undying heritage. With the focus on the carbon footprints that we leave, engines are only going to get smaller and with similar performance.


In India itself, Mercedes-Benz has launched 13 new models in 2016. A huge number of units were sold in 2016. Seriously, Mercedes-Benz has a massive portfolio right now and it is still planning to grow further by adding full electric cars in the future. Well, that is what we expect from the company that started this furor in the first place.


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