QOTD: Drop the Body, Save the Name?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

We’ve already seen this happen. A manufacturer discontinues a model, but can’t help but feel the nameplate deserved a longer life. So, it keeps it around, waiting to affix it to the exterior of a new model — even if it’s in a different segment than before. Even if it’s a different bodystyle. Yes, we remember the old Chrysler Pacifica crossover. We also remember when the Aspen was a sedan with rust-prone fenders. Hey, how ’bout that Taurus X?

Mitsubishi recently got in on the name game with its Eclipse Cross crossover. Why not grab a handful of a defunct model’s hard-earned cachet and sprinkle it over something new and altogether different? It’s an automaker’s prerogative, but our eyes couldn’t have rolled back further into our heads when we heard the news. Yes, one day we’ll all be driving crossovers (or trucks, but nothing else), but really? Eclipse?

Clearly, automakers are willing to make this controversial plunge. Which begs the question: what nameplate’s next for a utility vehicle resurrection?

By all accounts, the Ford Fusion midsize sedan is not long for this world, but that doesn’t mean its name can’t live on. Ford hasn’t officially revealed the model’s future (or lack thereof), but it wouldn’t be odd to see the Blue Oval reuse the name on a new model.

Hell, maybe we’ll one day see a two-box Chevrolet with “Impala” on it.

As the flood of crossovers seems unending, there’ll be plenty of opportunities. Many run the risk of offending. While the Mach 1 wasn’t a model in its own right, it was a very particular Ford Mustang — one many feel should not return as an electric SUV. Heritage is sometimes sacred. Still, who among us would be surprised to see the Dart nameplate return on, say, a small Dodge crossover? What about Intrepid? Avenger?

Ford’s Galaxie and Galaxie XL sounds ripe for reuse on a large (and larger, extended wheelbase) SUV. It’s a good thing Ford already has product in that space.

All right, B&B, let’s toss some names in the ring. What nameplates of the past do you feel will one day grace the exterior of a new utility vehicle? And, will it make you upset?

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Opus Opus on Apr 12, 2018

    BMW should use Bavaria on their largest SUV instead of X8 or whatever...

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Apr 26, 2018

    *flips through his 1945-1980 VIN decoding book* GM: * Chevelle * Nomad * Nova * Riviera * Skylark Ford: * Fairlane * Galaxie FCA: * Belvedere * Hornet * Gladiator * New Yorker * Valiant * Wayfairer Seriously, how has Nomad not been repurposed yet on some GM CUV?

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