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Exploring Stories Behind Major Car Nameplates

by inlandtownadmin
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car nameplates - Toyota Corolla

Ever wondered about the stories behind those catchy car nameplates that adorn the vehicles we see on the roads?

Cars are more than just a means of transportation; they’re symbols of design, innovation, and often, a reflection of the culture they emerge from.  Let’s delve into the meanings and inspirations behind some major car names.

Alfa Romeo MiToAlfa Romeo MiToAlfa Romeo carefully selected the name MiTo for dual significance. Firstly, it signifies the hatchback’s origin, being developed in Milan and assembled in Turin, known as Torino in Italian. Secondly, the term “mito” holds the meaning of “myth” in Italian. Alfa Romeo envisioned lofty aspirations for its entry-level model, aimed at challenging the Mini.

Audi TTcar nameplates - Audi TTAudi named the TT after the Tourist Trophy held annually on the Isle of Man, even though the German company has never manufactured motorcycles or participated in the TT. The event is intricately linked to Audi’s heritage through DKW, a precursor to Audi, which produced winning racing motorcycles in the 1930s. NSU, another predecessor, dominated the 250cc category in the 1954 TT. The initials “TT” first appeared on a moped in 1960 and later on the sportier Prinz in 1965. The Prinz TT and TTS achieved success in racing, influencing the introduction of the TT concept at the 1995 Frankfurt auto show. Audi’s right to use the TT name stems from the racing legacy of its ancestor models.

Bentley Bentaygacar nameplates - Bentley BentaygaBentley named its inaugural SUV after Roque Bentayga, a peak in the Canary Islands, specifically overlooking the village of Tejeda on Gran Canaria. Although the British luxury automaker didn’t explicitly explain the choice, it’s speculated that the allure of the name “Bentley Bentayga” played a significant role. With Everest claimed by Ford, and Bentley Kanchenjunga lacking the desired impact, Roque Bentayga emerged as the distinctive and resonant choice.

Ferrari GTC4Lussocar nameplates - Ferrari GTC4LussoBreaking down the Ferrari GTC4Lusso’s name unveils its heritage and features. “GTC” pays homage to classic Ferrari models like the 330 GTC from 1966. The “four” signifies its four-seater design, and “Lusso” translates to luxury in Italian. The presence of “T” indicates a smaller, twin-turbocharged V8 engine rather than the formidable V12.

Mercedes-Benz E-Classcar nameplates - Mercedes-Benz E-ClassMercedes-Benz initially introduced the E suffix to denote fuel injection in various models before officially establishing the E-Class. The W124, in 1994, marked the shift in the naming system, emphasizing a car’s design rather than engine size. Despite widespread fuel injection adoption, the letter E was strategically chosen, indicating a mid-range position between the entry-level C-Class and the flagship S-Class.

Porsche 911Porsche 911In 1963, Porsche unveiled the highly anticipated successor to the 356, the brand-new 901, at the Frankfurt auto show. However, the introduction was met with a legal challenge from Peugeot, which claimed ownership of every three-digit car nameplate with a zero in the middle. To resolve the trademark issue, Porsche rebranded the model as the 911, replacing the zero with a one. Despite the initial hiccup, the 911 went on to become an iconic and enduring symbol in the automotive world, leaving behind its 901 origins with about 82 pre-production cars.

Toyota CorollaThe term “corolla” in the dictionary refers to the petals of a flower, usually arranged in a whorl within the sepals. It’s a botanical term often used by scientists, and you won’t find any mention of the humble economy car associated with the same name.

There you have it! The next time you hop into your car, remember that its name is more than just a word, it’s a journey waiting to be explored.

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