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      11-23-2009, 05:42 PM   #1
RogEphedra
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Logic of the Mercedes Benz model lineup?

Can anybody explain it to me?

BMW is pretty straightforward:

1 series
3 series
5 series
6 series
7 series

Generally speaking, each series bigger than the last, a couple of different engine versions within each series, and a sports or high performance M car for the 3, 5, and 6 series. Then, some SUVs that start with the letter X with a simple one-number designation following the X. That probably covers 95% of all you'd need to know about BMW models.

With Mercedes-Benz, I can't find as much logic to their lineup:

E class
C class
S class
CL class
CLS class
CLK class
SL class
SLK class
SLR class

What do these mean? Which is bigger than which? Within each of these, there are models with either 2 or 3 numbers. Do the numbers always designate engine displacement? Why use 2 numbers for some models, and 3 numbers for other models? On their website, I found an SL600 with 5.5 liter engine. That defies the naming system.

Can anybody shine some light here? My brain needs to find a pattern, and it can't.
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      11-23-2009, 07:22 PM   #2
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Some of the letters have the following meanings:

C= Compact
K= Kompressor; but also used for cabriolet models.
E= Einspritzung (fuel injection) and later it meant Executive Class.
S= Sonderklasse (Special Class)
SL= Sport Leicht
L=Lang (long wheelbase)
CL= Comfort Leicht

The numbers are normally related to the engine size (usually rounded off.)

It used to be this way: 280E, etc..
Now, it's the other way around: E550, etc..

e.g., the E Class name (as it is today) didn't happen until 1994 when they changed to the letters first and numbers last. All previous cars with an E just meant fuel injected.

It's all a hold over from before and just after WWII. They are stuck with some of it and keep adding (as abbreviations for German words). The old 220S (1950-1960s) meant Super (for the fact that it required premium or "super" fuel) with a 2.2 motor. 220SE= 2.2 Super Einspritzung.

But these days it can get a bit confusing as the designations are somewhat mixed around. But they did simplify it somewhat by using classes of cars; i.e., E Klasse, C Klasse, S Klasse, etc..

It's probably easier to go by the internal platform designations, like W211, W204, W209, R230, W221, etc..
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      11-25-2009, 10:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan0102 View Post
the 328i doesn't have a 2.8 liter motor. it has a 3.0 so the same thing goes for BMW. as with the 335 is a 3.0tt not a 3.5.

theres no such thing as a SLR class

the CLK class doesn't exist anymore

the first two numbers are generally the displacement [or close ie e63 = 6.2l or e55 = 5.4l]

its fairly simple

riddle me this if bmw is so simple: Why do they call a z8 a z8 if a z4 is the same size. and why do they call it an M if its not an M1, and really a M version Z4? shouldnt it be like a M4?

I think I over-exaggerated the naming system difference. I guess BMW is really not that simple. I'll admit that it was a little difficult for me to understand when I first started researching BMWs. When you realize that the higher the series number, the bigger and more expensive (generally); and the higher the number within each series, the more powerful the engine is; then it becomes pretty simple in my opinion. As far as the numbers go (ie, 328, 335), the fact that the numbers don't reflect the exact engine displacement is pretty confusing, no doubt.

Where Mercedes confuses me is that it's hard to tell by the classes which one is bigger or more expensive. And then they use 2 numbers (apparently only for AMG cars) sometimes and 3 numbers other times. I guess it just takes some study and immersion in the Mercedes world for it to become a lot less confusing.
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      11-25-2009, 11:38 AM   #4
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It isn't all that confusing. Every car maker has their own little way when it comes to naming convention.
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      11-25-2009, 11:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garduna View Post
It isn't all that confusing. Every car maker has their own little way when it comes to naming convention.


Car lineups don't need to follow any particular order or naming convention as long as the customers know what they are.
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