STUTTGART, Germany — Mercedes-Benz is reviving the Maybach name as part of a larger renaming strategy designed to provide customers and dealers with a simple way of navigating a growing portfolio of models.
The nomenclature change comes as the German automaker prepares for the debut of 30 models (including 11 all-new vehicles) by 2020.
"On top of this come the different body variants and drive systems," Mercedes-Benz said in a statement on Tuesday. "This results in an increasingly complex situation when it comes to naming the various models."
The new nameplates will roll out next year.
"Our plan has been to devise an even simpler, more transparent and more logical system for the designations of our model series, with the aim of providing clear orientation for our customers," said Jens Thiemer, head of Mercedes-Benz brand marketing communications.
The new 2016 Mercedes-Benz Maybach S600, an ultra-premium, extended-length sedan that will be the top-of-the-line S-Class model, will debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Maybach S600 will arrive at dealerships in the first half of 2015. A Mercedes-Benz spokesman told Edmunds it is expected to start around $200,000.
"Some of the features that distinguish it from the standard-production models include extra spaciousness, special seats and lavishly designed, prestigious interiors offering extensive scope for individualization," Mercedes-Benz said.
It emphasized that "Maybach is not an equipment line; it is a sub-brand that in the future will deliver Mercedes-Benz vehicles in an even more exclusive form."
The new Maybach is expected to compete against the Bentley Continental Flying Spur, Rolls-Royce Ghost and Maserati Quattroporte, along with high-end versions of the Audi A8L, BMW 7 Series and Jaguar XJ.
Mercedes-Benz shoppers will find a new naming strategy that coincides with the 2015 update of virtually the whole SUV model range.
Mercedes-Benz will have five core models: A, B, C, E and S. All SUV models will have GL in their name in a tribute to the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The letter that follows will indicate the vehicle's size.
From 2016 on, Mercedes-Benz roadsters will all include "SL" in their names. The SLK will be renamed the SLC.
Different engines will also be given new designations that will be displayed in a single lowercase letter on the trunk lid. "C" will stand for compressed natural gas, "d" will stand for diesel and "e" is now electric.
There will be no suffix for gasoline models.
The automaker's all-wheel-drive models will continue to be dubbed "4Matic."
High-performance vehicles will continue to be called Mercedes-AMG.
Edmunds says: The new nameplates should help to end any alphanumeric confusion among Mercedes-Benz shoppers.