Join the Car Talk Community!

Can you explain the Mercedes Benz model designation?

RSS
Dear Tom and Ray:


I'm having trouble understanding Mercedes Benz model designation. Would you please explain it to me so I can tell what a 190 E 2.6 is?
Rob

TOM: It's actually very simple, Rob. The first number refers to the engine displacement. So a 190 would be a model with a 1.9 liter motor. A 560 would have a 5.6 liter powerplant. Got it?

RAY: The letters are even easier. The "E" stands for "einspritz," which is German for "fuel-injected." A 300 E, then, would be a fuel-injected 3-liter sedan, except that 300 is now a "class" and may not necessarily have a 3 liter engine. The letter "S" means that the car is an "S" class or "large" class sedan. You may also see a "D" for diesel, or a "T" for "transport"--German for "station wagon," except on the 300 TD where"TD" stands for turbo-diesel, not transport-diesel, and the 300 is the class, not necessarily the displacement. Do you follow? Then there's "C" for coupe...as in the 300 CE...a fuel injected 3 liter coupe. There's also "L." What's "L" stand for?

TOM: Uh...long, I think. A big long Mercedes. The 420 SEL...a big, long-wheelbase, 4.2 liter "S" class Mercedes. Then you have the 450 SEC. That's a 4.5 liter Mercedes only available to members of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Then there's the roadster-- the 560 SL-- which is neither "S" class nor "long," but "sport light,"--German for "beer for jocks." This brings us back to your original question about the 190 E 2.6, which, as you can now figure out for yourself, is a fuel injected 1.9 liter Mercedes with a 2.6 liter engine. You follow?

RAY: Actually, Rob, there's only one guy in the whole world who understands the Mercedes designations. His name is Karl, and he's been dead for years.
Tags (Browse All)

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login / Signup
Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic


Go



Submit


Rocket Fuel