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Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

All change at Mercedes-Benz

By Andrew Marsh, 12.11.14
Posted in: Featured | Manufacturer Profiles | Public

On the 11th November 2104 Mercedes-Benz decided to introduce some important changes:

  • Maybach as a halo brand – just as Mercedes-AMG now functions as a higher performance orientated sub-brand, so the introduction of Mercedes-Maybach allows even more luxurious versions of vehicles to appear. The first will be selected models from the W222 ‘S’ class range.
  • A, B, C, E and S class – unaltered. Indeed we have already seen the CL (C217) replaced by the S class coupe (C218). The four door coupe range (CLS and CLA) also remain unaltered.
  • The off road range is now aligned with the passenger car equivalent – so GL (X166) becomes ‘GLS’, ML (X166) becomes ‘GLE’, GLK (X204) becomes ‘GLC’ and GLA (X156) remains unaltered.
  • Similarly the roadster range is aligned with the passenger car range with SL (R231) remaining unaltered but the SLK (R172) becomes ‘SLC’.
Mercedes-Benz revised product naming

Mercedes-Benz revised product naming. © Daimler AG

For the engine designation – which is the second element of the vehicle name – considerable simplification has occurred. Essentially the number will indicate nominal engine capacity whilst the letter that follows will refer to the fuel type – where there is no letter, it is a petrol engine:

  • ‘c’ – Compressed natural gas
  • ‘d’ – Diesel
  • ‘e’ – Electric drive (also covers diesel electric or petrol electric plug-in hybrids)
  • ‘f’ – Fuel cell
  • ‘h’ – Hybrid (diesel electric or petrol electric).
  • ‘4MATIC’ – Four wheel drive
Mercedes-Benz revised powertrain naming

Mercedes-Benz revised powertrain naming. © Daimler AG

Conclusion

The current product range will be re-named with a simpler way to tell what type of powertrain it has. The first three digits of the VIN will continue to refer to the model when searching for methods or parts data.

The original idea of establishing Maybach as a brand in its own right after decades of inactivity did not gain traction in the target market, as demonstrated by BMW (Rolls-Royce), Volkswagen Group (Bentley) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (Ferrari and Maserati) which all showed how to evolve an existing brand – especially in the upper end of the luxury saloon car market. By way of contrast Volkswagen Group revived Bugatti but with so much cash it is doubtful it will ever break even.

For Maybach – it remains to be seen just how this will work with the imminent arrival of Mercedes-AMG power for Aston Martin Lagonda and the clear establishment of Mercedes-AMG as a brand in its own right. Could this be the final outing for the company founded by the inventor of the first practical carburettor design?

 

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