Understanding body style names

I'm new to this group (I just posted a message about the EGR valve bolts on a 3000SE).
I've been reading other threads simply out of interest, but I'm lost with the
generic, or short-form names you all use. Where can I find a summary of body style names S, C, and so on, and the older names, and what they mean? You know, so I can look at a MB and say that's a such-and-such style.
For example, my car is a 1990 300SE. I love the body style of that era, and my goal is to one day buy a cherry 560SEC ... I "think" it's an SEC ... from the early 1990s; but anyway, did the body style of that time have a certain name?
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Your 300SE is a short wheel base 126 body. The 560SEC is also the 126 body, but in the coupe version. The long wheel base 126 4 door body would have the model indicator ending in a L, as in 560SEL.

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I have the same qustions thier must be a book to help us.
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Go to Juergens MBSPY site -- good starting point
http://mbspy.bacosys.be/index2.html
DAS
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http://mbspy.bacosys.be/links.htm#models

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300SE
300 = 3 liter engine S = Super Class E = Fuel Injected (german word for it starts with an e) C = Coupe L = Long Body D = Diesel
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net (Chet Hayes) wrote in

The word is Einspritze (Einspritz, Einspritzer, Einspritzen).
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net (Chet Hayes) haute in die Tasten:

E=Einspritzung (Injection). The letter E was removed from the type names in the early 90's when Mercedes stopped selling cars with carburators. Then they introduced the "class" system:
A-Class (subcompact) C-Class (small sedan/estate/coup) E-Class (medium sedan/estate) S-Class (large sedan) SLK (superleicht kurz = superlight short = small roadster) SL (superleicht = superlight = big roadster) CLK (small coup) CL (big coup) M-Class (ML, SUV) G-Class (Gelaendewagen = All Terrain Vehicle) V-Class (Minivan)
The number behind the letter usually indicates the engine displacement, so 320 stands for 3,2 litre. Other additions indicate the type of the engine (D for Diesel, CDI for Diesel Common Rail Injection, Kompressor for supercharger and so on) or they specify the type of the body (L for long wheel base, T for estate)
Just recently Mercedes has started to erode this numbering system. The new S600 does not have 6 litres of displacement, but a 5.4 litre twin turbo, the E240 has 2,7 litres and so on. Besides this they started to sell cars with real names, such as Vaneo or Viano, which both are minivans. In general Mercedes is likely to widen up their choice of different bodystyles and engines dramatically in the future, so it will be even harder to tell the character of the car just by reading its name.
Frank
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Frank Kemper wrote:

That is the basic rule.

Just recently ? No.
First one I remember from after WWII were 170 V and 170 D (W136 VI and W136 VI D) which both had indeed 1767 ccm displacement - following the general rule the max displacement of a 170 should have been maximum 1700 ccm only as the model number should be the displacement divided by ten, everything after the comma cut-off and then rounded-up to the next full 10: 1767 : 10 = 176,7 = 176 and then rounded-up = 180
Other early exceptions are Ponton 180 D which had 1988 ccm, Ponton 180 with 1897 ccm, 190 D fintail with 1988 ccm, W 100 (Mercedes 600) which had 6289 ccm, those /8 250 and 250 C with the M130 engine and 2778 ccm etc.
In more modern times the system went less strict with the introduction of the 190 in 1982 (W201 aka Baby Benz) when the 190 had the 1996ccm M102 known from the W123 series - following the general rule it would have been a 200 too - MB decided to name it 190 to make clear it was a smaller car than the W123.
Maybe time for a page about that on my site?
Juergen
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I think the introduction of a third saloon body size with the 190 got the entire nomenclature into a huge mess, especially when the 190 got several engine sizes. I am pretty sure this sparked off the complete change that we have now, with the intial letter giving an indication of body style.
It seems that all this slipped out of the hands of engineers into those of marketing 'professionals'. Also look at the type of marketing hype now put out. All 'lifestyle' images and text. Very little hard facts about innovations etc.
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Tim, First you need to understand the configurations: starting from the bottom: C-Class, E-Class (larger chassis),S-Class, SLK-Class (small roadster), CLK-Class (coupe or convertible built on C-Class chassis), SL-Class (S-Class luxo sportcar), CL-Class (S-Class Coupe), M-Class (American made SUV), G-Class (serious business SUV made in Germany).Previous year models: 190 (4cyl., 6cyl. and diesel), E-Class (300E, E320,E420, E500, 300D Turbo, Cabriolet, and CE-coupe), S-Class (S500, 500SEL, SL500, SEC-S-Class Coupe, top of the model line, 560SEC, earlier model 500SEC. The 560 V8 was only sold in the U.S., while the 500 was available worldwide. The last year of the much sought out 560SEC was 1991.There are model numbers, for example: 1986-1995 E-Class were 124 body style, In 1992 the new S-Class (a stately, large boxy sedan) was called the 140 body style. The Illustrated Buyer's Guide for Mercedes-Benz by Frank barrett shows all. P.

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Strictly speaking the (older) models with E after the engine size are not E-Class, but were renamed as such about the time when the 190 successor was named C-Class. E simply stood for injection (Einspritzung). Then all petrol cars had fuel injection and the E suffix became unnecessary.
There always was an S-Class, distinguished by an S in the letters after the engine size, e.g. 500 SEL or 280 SE.
The name difference between a standard saloon and an S was, e.g., 250 and 250 S.
With the arrival of the 190 (early eighties) there were, suddenly, three main saloon sizes and the standard W124 became the E-Class with the E as a prefix, probably meaning "executive" (so if you aren't an executive you can't have one).
The proliferation of classes coincides with the proliferation of body types and the old nomenclature could not cope.
DAS
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Yes, the modern sedan nomenclature is fairly straight-forward now. The coupes, roadsters and SUV's are the harder areas to understand. Generally, the "L" moniker is for the German word "licht" which means light in "sporty", and the "K" is for "kurtz" which is means "short", and is used to demote a "downsized" version of a lager vehicle. So...

Or a downsized version of the SL roadster...

Or a downsized version of the CL coupe...

In this case, SL stands for "sporty-light"

The "C" has nothing to do with the "C-Class" sedan. It basically means coupe, so it's a "coupe-light", or a sporty two-door, or, maybe this is a throwback to when "L" meant "lang" or long, so it';s a long wheelbase coupe?! And of course there is now the "CLS", which is a "sedan" version of this coupe (if that makes any sense).

M for multipurpose and "L" for "sporty", so a sporty multi-purpose truck. There is a rumored smaller version to be produced, but it likely it won't be called the MLK (to avoid confusion in the US with milk and Martin Luther King).

"G" for Gelandewagen, (Gelande=land, wagenr). It is a 25-year old design for a military-spec off-road vehicle that has been "dressed up" for the US market (and those vehicle are made in Graz, Austria, not Germany).
And of course there is the upcoming R-Class, and in Europe, the A-Class and the Vaneo that is sometimes called the V-Class. Add to this further confusion in that the numbers after the letters don't always indicate engine size. For example, the C230 and former SLK230 actually used 1.8L engines. The ML350 from the last few years was actually a 3.7L engine (but the new SLK350, E350 and 2006 ML350 use a 3.5L engine). While the "55" AMG models use a 5.5L engine, the "65" AMG models use a 6.0L V-12 engine and the "600" models use a 5.5L V-12 engine. Oh, and "Kompressor" is not a model, it just means "supercharged", and typically any model badged as "Sport" or "Special Edition" or "Avante Garde" is just a vehicle with an optional appearance package.
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"modern sedan nomenclature is fairly straight-forward now"
But that's all. That's totally overwhelmed by everything else being more complicated, of course connected with the proliferation of models. But why do they that stupid thing with the engine sizes? There always was some inconsistency but now it's ridiculous. Once they renamed the 190 the C-Class, the main engine-size-nomenclature issue was dealt with.
At least my CLK Cab 320 has a 3.2-litre engine...
BTW, minor niggle: "leicht" and "kurz" (not licht und kurtz) (As it happens, Licht also means light, just like the English, as in lamp...)
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Thanks for the correction, Dori. I don't speak German except for waht I picked up from my grandfather and the auto industry.
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