Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Replacing M-Class in 2015

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class spy shots 1 photo
Photo: CarPix
In the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the only M-Class has always been a bit of an oddball. Not only does it have the silent “L” (all model names are ML350, etc.), but it’s also the only Mercedes SUV that doesn’t start with a “G.” A recent report, though, says that will likely change next year when the M-Class is renamed the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class for the 2016 model year.
According to Car and Driver, the new name will coincide with a mid-cycle enhancement that is due out early next year. Based on recent spy shots, the changes are likely limited to a mile facelift that better fits in with the current Mercedes design and minor interior upgrades that appear to focus on the infotainment system. As far as powertrains go, there is still no definitive word on this, but last we heard, the GLE-Class could be getting some new engine options including the possibility of a hybrid model.

A key reason for the new name on this model is that it will better fit the Mercedes naming convention where the “E” in GLE will indicate a mid-size crossover just like the mid-size E-Class sedan. Following the introduction of the 2016 GLE-Class, Mercedes will then rebrand its compact SUV, the GLK-Class, as the Mercedes-Benz GLC-class. Theoretically, this will make it easier for Mercedes to add future crossovers and SUVs down the line.

The final piece of the Mercedes SUV lineup will be a production version of the slope-roofed Concept Coupe SUV, which was revealed earlier this year at the Beijing Motor Show. This rival to the BMW X6 was originally thought to be named the ML Coupe, but round out the “G” lineup of SUVs and crossovers, the report says this model will be called the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe.

Mercedes has been refining its model names over the last few years, which saw the CLK-Class become the E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet and the CL-Class was just recently renamed the S-Class Coupe.
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