Mercedes-Benz to Revise Nomenclature: M-class First Up, Becomes GLE-class Early Next Year
We’ve learned that Mercedes-Benz will revise a large chunk of its nomenclature, with the first changes coming early next year. The vehicle at the top of the list is the current third-generation M-class; it is due to be face-lifted in early 2015, and the refresh will bring with it a change to the GLE moniker. The crossover-coupe version—previewed by the Concept Coupe SUV pictured above—will be called the GLE Coupe. We first heard of the change from the German site Mercedes-Benz Passion, and we have been able to corroborate the story with our own sources.
The GLE and GLE Coupe monikers are part of a larger renaming strategy that will attempt to make the vast Mercedes-Benz lineup a bit more lucid to customers. Mercedes has already made one such switch, re-rechristening the CL-class as the S-class Coupe with the latest-generation models. Insiders we contacted compared the move to Audi’s mid-1990s renaming spree, which saw the Audi 80 become the A4 and the Audi 100 the A6.
The “E” in GLE is intended to hint at M-B’s similarly sized sedan model. Down the road, the GLK replacement will be the C-class–based GLC, and it will again slot between the GLA and the GLE. (Mercedes continues to contemplate a coupe version of the GLC, as well.) We won’t lament the passing of “ML” badging; it was a compromise forced by BMW, which objected to Mercedes-Benz using M on the butts of its first-ever mainstream SUV. We’re working to get more details on Benz’s new naming strategy as we type—so stay tuned.