- In the coming years, Mercedes-Benz will drastically change its portfolio.
- A number of two-door coupes, wagons, and coupe SUVs will be discontinued.
- Going forward, expect an even greater focus on the top-end variants from AMG and Maybach, as well as the super-exclusive Mythos model.
In May 2022, Mercedes-Benz outlined its latest long-term strategic plan, which involves drastically resizing and reshaping its massive product portfolio to move further into the high-end market and become more profitable. At the time, the automaker didn’t provide a full explanation of how it planned, but now we have a clearer idea of what the guillotine is destined for and what new models we can expect.
Only 14 of 33 Body Styles Will Last
We spoke to top managers in Untertürkheim and Sindelfingen to find out exactly why they believe wagons, coupes and convertibles have an uncertain future—or no future at all. Apparently, it has something to do with the brand’s new understanding of luxury. Mercedes intends to tailor its future products to prepare them for expanded personal mobility services, reduce pressure on drivers, and redefine comfort as a key brand value. New-fashion mixes can increase profits, but contain less emotional product. Based on what we’ve seen, of the 33 body styles that Mercedes is currently offering between Europe and the US, only 14 will survive.
“Ultimately, we don’t need an estate car [wagons] or an underperforming two-door offering to increase volume,” said a senior member of Mercedes-Benz’s strategy team Car and Driver. “The most important elements of a sustainable contemporary luxury car are time and space… That’s our number one priority—not another luxury body style, a model that only works in Europe, or a last-ditch effort in a dying segment.”
The C-class and E-class coupe and convertible will be retired between 2023 and 2024, to be replaced by a pair of two-door CLE-class models. SUVs and sedans like today’s coupes are also not long in this world. The CLS class will depart in 2024, and the sharper AMG GT 4 Door will follow in 2024 or 2025. A new generation of GLE and GLC Coupe will debut in the coming years, but after that, their lineage will also end.
Goodbye to Shooting Brake
Things were more dire for the wagon and shot brake fans in Europe. The European market C-class wagons will be gone after 2028. Later this year, we will see the next-generation E-class, which will spawn the automaker’s final wagon, bidding farewell to the end of its production in 2030. The next-generation CLA class, which will be on an electric platform MMA and due to debut in 2025, will be the brand’s last shot brake (in Europe).
However, there are still some interesting vehicles on the horizon. Later this year, Mercedes-AMG will launch a new GT coupe; it will be based on the current SL roadster, which will also expand its lineup with the new Maybach offering. In 2026, we’ll see a new four-door coupe, as well as the next-generation SL with more cargo space and a rear seat, and the new AMG GT coupe, which will be all electric. And speaking of EVs, the MMA platform will also serve as the backbone of the chunky GLG-class SUVs in 2026.
As this new group hits the spotlight, we can expect to see a bigger battery (up to 150.0 kWh), power output near quadruple digits, and maximum range pushing toward the 500 mile mark on the European WLTP cycle. The maximum charging speed should also be expanded to 270 kilowatts, thanks to a greater reliance on an 800-volt electrical system.
AMG Gets More Attention
As the more exclusive Mercedes-Benz angle will be prioritized going forward, we can expect to see a greater focus on AMG models, as well as the Maybach — there’s even been talk of a very luxurious V-class van. The wildest creations, however, will come from OEM’s new Mythos series of very expensive collectibles. There are some very interesting propositions here, including a Gullwing reincarnation, a four-door G-class pickup truck, and a spirited speedster based on the SL.