Model Designation meanings

Any idea what the letters in the different model designations stand for? Example, CL, SL, CLK, etc.
J.

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No idea. What about C for coupe, S for sports, CL - Coupe L......, SL - Sports L........, CLK - Coupe L.... K... ?
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I don't know if these are official meanings, but at least the S-Class and SL-Class had the following meanings at one time.
S - Super (the large 4-door sedan line) SL - Sport Light (the larger 2-door roadster) SLK - Sporty Light Kurz (Kurz = short, as in short wheelbase) the small 2-door roadster E - Executive (the midsize 4-door sedan) CL - C = coupe; L= Luxus? (= luxury) the large 2-door coupe CLK - coupe luxus kurz A - no meaning (the very small 4-door hatchback sedan) C - perhaps Compact (for the smaller 4-door sedan) ML - no meaning (the SUV) G - Gelaendewagen = cross country vehicle R - no meaning (the new line in between a mini van and a 4-door sedan, shown as the GST in autoshows) V - van?
Best regards,
Danny
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Actually, ML does have a meaning: M = "Mehrzweck" (Multi-purpose), L=Light (as opposed to a heavy-duty truck)
I'll also add that in the older nomenclature, "L" was for "lang" meaning long, as in the SEL series, and "E" was for "Einspritzung" which meant "fuel injection".
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Some of the initial letters generally don't mean anything anymore except as a class or size designation, e.g. C being smaller than E.
The E and S are a legacy from the old-style nomenclature when E (as suffix) stood for Injection (Einspritz or Einspritzung).
As far as I can tell the current system was introduced when Merc 'painted itself into a corner' with inconsistent naming of the then new Baby Benz, the 190, which suddenly sprouted engine sizes in its name, as in 190E 2.3 l. The 190 was succeeded by the C class and the standard saloon (by then the W124) became the E Class. The injection suffix had become irrelevant by then, too, as all petrol-powered engines were fuel-injected.
DAS
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This may have been a reason, however there have been other cars of that kind before:
Mercedes 280 SE 3.5 Mercedes 240 D 3.0 Mercedes 450 SLC 5.0
Creating a totally consistend scheme of brand names is quite a tricky thing - and most manufacturers of machines of any kind tend to fail.
Frank
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Letter designations indicate model level, and numbers indicate engine type/size. CL="coupe long"-S-Class), SL=two seat roadster S-Class, CLK=small chasis coupe based on C-class chassis. E320=E-Class w/3.2liter six cylinder motor, E500= E-Class w/5.0liter V8, SL500= 5.0 liter V8, SL600=6.0 liter V12. Any number beginning with 4 or higher is a V8 ( E430, S430, etc.) You can pick up a color brochure at any MB dealer which shows and explains every model. P.

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wrote:

designation. The model number is a six digit number, the first three being the chassis body number and the others being the specific model within that chassis style.Some different models have the same sales designation, but they have differing model numbers. For example, the 300SE designation has been used on at least 4 different models: 1961-1967 112.014 1965-1667 108.015 1985-1991 126.024 1991-1994 140.032 Different engine combinations give different model numbers for the same body style, but no one model number covers more than body/engine series car, while sale designations vary from year to year as to what car they refer to. As shown above, there are at least 4 different 300SE's, but there is only one pruduced as a model 140.032
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