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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is probably a stupid question. I am fairly new to MB but what is the difference between the Classes (C, E, etc) and the W120 etc... What does the W mean?
 

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It is not stupid, I asked the same thing when I first joined. It goes something like this:

C = compact and/or coupe
E = executive
S = luxury
L = light
K = short

You will see some of the above letters combined as in CLK, SLK, SL and so on.

I've never see the W explained. What I do know is that "wagen" is a german generic word for practically anything having wheels (down to a donkey cart and up to an automobile).
 

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To complicate matters, the S could mean "super" or "sport" I believe. Further, I think the L could be either "lichte/light" or "lange/long." In the old days E stood for "einspritz/fuel injection," so an SEL was SuperEinspritzLange, because it was the long wheel base model. SL's & CL's certainly aren't "light!" But CLK's & SLK's are "short!" I don't doubt your interpretation of E's & C's, but I'll bet you'd never in a million years get an M-B exec to say they sold a "compact" car. Then throw in the fact that the engine size isn't always accurately reflected by the number next to the letter combination...ach du lieber!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So a part that would fit on a W120 would fit on all W120s correct? A body part that is.
 

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Peteski,

I thought about including a couple of your points when I was replying, and a couple others I didn't know. I was trying to keep it simple and short but you added a lot of useful info to the thread.

I have always thought that all of the letter designations relate to the German language (Einspritzen was one of the terms I knew), but obviously "super" and "sport" are English. I have a German-English dictionary and a couple of free internet translators bookmarked but never researched the S.
 

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So a part that would fit on a W120 would fit on all W120s correct? A body part that is.
If you meant W210 I can answer that with a "no". There are E320, E420, E430 and E55 AMG models that are all W210. Some of these have "Sport" and "Regular" body styles. Some body parts are interchangeable while others are not. With the E320/E430/E55 there are what is known as "pre-facelift" and "post-facelift" changing between 1999 and 2000.

As you can probably see by now, yours are complicated questions! ;)
 

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Good info. btw, I forgot what ML stands for.
 

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Musikman: as a matter of fact, the German language does use the words "super" & "sport" - and I'm pretty sure that was what the S stood for. The original SL's were indeed "SportLichte." Of course the original G's were Gelandenwagens, or something close to that. I believe the L in GL is Alabamese for "G's Little Brother;" GLK is "G's Little brother's Kid;" ML is Alabamese for "SUV:" R is "I Reckon that's a diffirnt one." On a serious note, I always wondered why they don't differentiate among the cabrios & coupes in certain models like the CLK's. Another oddball fact: in the rest of the world the 5.5L engined cars still carry the 500 designation; I had read that was because of American's "bigger is better" attitude and they want you to know they have a bigger than 5L engine. But if that's the case, why does the 3L engined SLK have a 280 badge? Hmmm.... Well, it's time to take our 3.2L engined SLK320 in for it's spring oil and check-up - although spring is only a vague rumor up here.
 

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...I've never see the W explained. What I do know is that "wagen" is a german generic word for practically anything having wheels (down to a donkey cart and up to an automobile).
I also wonder about the Xs, the Cs, the CLs and the Rs:

SL -> R107, R129, R230
SLK - > R170, R171
CLC -> CL203
CL -> C215, C216
SLR -> C199
GLK -> X204

:confused::confused:
 

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A little more...

on Mercedes nomencalture.

The "G" stands for: Geländewagen

Historically, and we are going way back here, the "S" originally meant multiple carburetion, which was only available of the higher end chassis, touring and sport series. The "E" did refer to einspritzmotor, or fuel injection engine, also initially available only in the large body and sport series of cars.

Things were fairly consistent until the 1980s when the 190E arrived; gasoline fuel injetion in a small body chassis.

Finally, in the 1990s things were standardized then the letter series was moved in front of the engine displacement designation, and was called a "class", e.g. C, E, S, SL, etc.

I believe, as stated above, the W stands for wagen; in Germany a gasoline powered passenger car is called a Personnenkraftwagen, or PKW, when it is titled for ownership.

JR
 

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on Mercedes nomencalture.

The "G" stands for: Geländewagen

Historically, and we are going way back here, the "S" originally meant multiple carburetion, which was only available of the higher end chassis, touring and sport series. The "E" did refer to einspritzmotor, or fuel injection engine, also initially available only in the large body and sport series of cars.

Things were fairly consistent until the 1980s when the 190E arrived; gasoline fuel injetion in a small body chassis.

Finally, in the 1990s things were standardized then the letter series was moved in front of the engine displacement designation, and was called a "class", e.g. C, E, S, SL, etc.

I believe, as stated above, the W stands for wagen; in Germany a gasoline powered passenger car is called a Personnenkraftwagen, or PKW, when it is titled for ownership.

JR
I don't think I've seen this explanation for the S before, thanks. With your knowledge it would be nice to have a more complete summary and make it available as a sticky or similar. This question pops up pretty frequently anyway.
 

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More on the "S"

Musikman: as a matter of fact, the German language does use the words "super" & "sport" - and I'm pretty sure that was what the S stood for. The original SL's were indeed "SportLichte."...
Peteski,

Wow, you are certainly "korrekt" because I found "Sport" and several other longer words beginning with "sport" within the German -> English section of my dictionary.

Looking under "super" I also found several compound words listed under "superarbitrieren". The only two I see that might to relate to a Mercedes is "Superlativ" (noun) and "superlativisch" (adjective); both translate as "superlative".
 

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I don't think I've seen this explanation for the S before, thanks. With your knowledge it would be nice to have a more complete summary and make it available as a sticky or similar. This question pops up pretty frequently anyway.
Thanks too E-Class Owner, I had never seen that on the S either.

Diesel Benz: Great idea about the sticky because as you stated, this has come up a number of times before.
 
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