Will the third time be the charm? Mercedes-Benz announced that it is bringing back the Maybach as a sub-brand and realigned its SUV and powertrain nomenclature. The revived marque will be called Mercedes-Maybach, the first installment being a new premium S-Class model. Called the Mercedes-Maybach S 600, the V12-powered long wheelbase sedan will make its debut simultaneously at auto shows in Los Angeles and Guangzhou, China.

"The Mercedes-Benz brand stands for the aspiration to deliver 'the best' in terms of products, technologies and services," said Ola Källenius, board member in charge of Mercedes-Benz cars. "In the S-Class segment in particular, customers have very high expectations with regard to exclusivity and individuality. Mercedes-Maybach enables us to fulfill these desires in the exclusive top segment of the market."

Among the features promised by the new Mercedes-Maybach includes a larger interior, special seats and bespoke interiors. The company stressed that this is not an equipment line, but rather a sub-brand that will deliver Mercedes-Benz vehicles in more exclusive forms. It is the second sub-brand which will stand alongside the performance-oriented Mercedes-AMG nameplate.

SUV lineup renamed

Mercedes-Benz is also revamping the nomenclature used on its SUV lineup keeping the entry-level GLA and flagship G and realigning the rest of the vehicles to match up with its car naming scheme. As a result, the GLK becomes the GLC, which corresponds to its C-Class size, the M-Class or ML becomes the GLE, which has the E-Class sedan as its car analog. The new 4-door GLE Coupe, a sporty 4-door SUV is also part of this new lineup. The GL will now become the GLS to reflect its S-Class positioning.

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Minor tweaks to car model designations also include naming all 4-door coupes and wagons CL and CL Shooting Brake models within the A- through S-Class ranges. All roadsters will now begin with SL, so the SLK now becomes the SLC, while the range topping SL will retain its name unchanged like the G model on the SUV side.

Engine technology called out

Mercedes-Benz will also be using a new lower case letter strategy in identifying technology that varies from the standard gasoline engines. Natural gas fueled vehicles will carry the letter "c" for compressed natural gas. Diesels will carry a "d" while EVs and plug-in hybrids will have an "e", standard hybrids an "h". Fuel cell vehicles will be identified by a small "f". The all-wheel drive 4MATIC designation remains unchanged.

"More clarity, more transparency, more consistency for Mercedes-Benz customers -- we are convinced that our new nomenclatures will support us in achieving this objective," said Dr. Jens Thiemer, head of marketing communications for Mercedes-Benz cars. "The logic built up on the basis of the core model series will enable our customers to find their way round our growing product portfolio far better."

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