Tag: naming

By on March 13, 2019

Image: GM

What fresh hell is this, you might mutter after hearing what Cadillac’s up to. Not only does General Motors’ luxury division plan to maintain its alphanumeric naming convention on future models, it also plans to add additional badging for the 2020 model year. The badges are numbers, designed to give both the owner and passer-by a sense of what’s under the hood.

No, it isn’t a return to prominently displayed cubic-inch engine displacements. It’s a torque figure.

In newton-meters. (Read More…)

By on December 27, 2018

2009 GMC Envoy Denali

Someone at General Motors has been studying the company history books again. Fresh news earlier this year taught us the company is bringing back the storied Blazer nameplate, appending it to a FWD-based crossover in a move that disappointed some fans but will surely delight GM beancounters as they’ll probably sell every one they can make to a crossover-thirsty public, the majority of whom care not one whit about the old body-on-frame machine.

A trademark application uncovered by a GM Inside News forum poster suggests GM could be poised to bring back another well-known badge. This time, it is GMC’s turn to plumb their collective memory for a popular name. The lead image above gives you all the clues you need as to which one it may be.

(Read More…)

By on December 3, 2018

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid engine close-up

Despite long, grinding years of adulthood, the word “synergy” still reminds this author of the character on the excruciatingly 1980s cartoon Jem and the Holograms, which his older sister would commandeer the TV set for on various mornings. To Toyota, the word is the centerpiece of Hybrid Synergy Drive — the name applied to its hybrid drivetrains since the dawn of the gas-electric era.

Times change and, just as hoop earrings are no longer rad, the word “hybrid” has evolved to mean any one of a confusingly long list of gas-electric propulsion systems. Studies show that a great many consumers are still mystified about hybrids.

Hybrid Synergy Drive needs a makeover. (Read More…)

By on November 8, 2018

Image: Hyundai

It was generally believed that Hyundai didn’t just wake up one morning and run off to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to secure rights to the Palisade model name for no good reason. The trademark filing came up last April, leading observers to rightfully believe that this large, imposing moniker was set aside for use on a large, imposing vehicle — such as the replacement for the current Santa Fe XL, which Hyundai assured us would appear with a standalone name. No more of this “Santa Fe/Santa Fe Sport” crap.

Sure enough, Palisade it is, but the Korean automaker, long known for value-packed automobiles, didn’t throw a dart at a map of the continental U.S. and land on a small town in Colorado. No, no — Hyundai’s all about the coastal life now. Gwyneth Paltrow and Elon Musk are coming over for tennis. (Read More…)

By on September 21, 2018

Image: Ford

Well, it’s not ending up on a sedan, that’s for sure. A Canadian trademark filing shows Ford Motor Company wants to emblazon the word Adrenaline on an upcoming model, and the automaker’s insistence that traditional passenger cars aren’t worth bothering with points to a future use on something rugged in nature.

Either the name’s bound for the rear liftgate of the so-called Baby Bronco, or Ford caved to the wishes of hard-core purists who don’t want the Mach 1 name anywhere near an electric crossover. (Read More…)

By on September 18, 2018

1995 Dodge Dakota in Colorado Junkyard, fender badge - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

We’re playing a name game today, and as luck would have it, there’s no wrong answer to this question. As we’ve told you before, Ram has a midsize model on the way, ready to (eventually) do battle with Chevrolet’s Colorado and Toyota’s Tacoma and Ford’s long-awaited-but-not-really-new Ranger. Yes, there’s other midsizers to contend with, too.

Plenty of mystery still surrounding this vehicle, but it’ll apparently appear in roughly two years’ time, suppliers say, and it’ll sport a frame, not a platform. What it doesn’t have right now is a name, or at least one that Fiat Chrysler’s willing to reveal. That’s where you come in.

Just a word of warning about one potential name, though… (Read More…)

By on August 20, 2018

Image: GM

In Newfoundland, a quick rejoinder to the comment “Can’t complain,” is “No one’s listening anyway!” followed by a couple of hearty guffaws and a nod n’ wink. Hey, give us a break; we’re all loopy from the cold.

Regardless of whether people are listening or not, people — especially opinionated gearheads — are likely to complain and provide unsolicited advice. Here is today’s question: if a major OEM were to ask for and promise to implement one of your recommendations, what would you say? And to whom?

(Read More…)

By on June 22, 2018

Image: GM

It seems there were no shortage of comments left on our 2019 Chevrolet Blazer story after it went up last night. Sorry for keeping you all up, feverishly pounding those keys. But could there not be? The decision to resurrect a fairly fondly remembered name and apply it to a less-rugged vehicle was bound to spark controversy. Twitter, that bastion of right-thinking hot takes, was aflame.

You can’t always get what you want, some might say. The middle ground in Chevy’s crossover space is too lucrative to field anything other than what we got. Sure, the model isn’t what us die-hards hoped for, they’d say, but a two-door, body-on-frame SUV just doesn’t fly, and the development costs and resulting MSRP would place it outside the hole Chevy intended to fill.

Screw that, others might say. Ever heard of the Bronco? No one shoved a .38 in the small of Chevy’s back, forcing it to dust off the Blazer name for this particular model. (Read More…)

By on June 21, 2018

Image: GM

General Motors has pulled the wraps off its 2019 Chevrolet Blazer, a vehicle that in no way reminds anyone of past vehicles bearing that heritage-steeped nameplate.

Sporting two rows of seating, an edgier profile than either its smaller Equinox sibling or its hulking Traverse big brother, and two engine choices, the Blazer’s main competition seems to be the Ford Edge, rather than its three-row GMC Acadia platform mate. (Read More…)

By on March 26, 2018

Image: Toyota

With Monday’s announcement of a refreshed 2019 Yaris sedan comes the last shovelful of dirt heaped on Scion’s grave. Toyota has an updated version of the subcompact four-door ready for an official unveiling at this week’s New York International Auto Show, but don’t go looking for that tell-tale “iA” model nameplate. It’s gone.

The complicated history of Toyota’s smallest sedan begins with the automaker’s defunct youth brand, Scion. As the brand grew more confused (and mainstream), Toyota borrowed the recently introduced second-generation Mazda 2 sedan, slapped a Scion badge on it, and rolled out the iA. Mazda had second thoughts about offering the car in this market, making the iA and the CX-3 the only domestic adopters of the car’s platform.

For Scion, grafting a large, unusual grille onto the wee car proved sufficient in de-KODO-ifying the model. During the inaugural 2016 model year, however, Toyota grimly loaded a single round into its shotgun, took the Scion brand behind the barn, and did what it had to do. The two newest Scion models — iA and iM — kept their model names and took up residence in the Yaris and Corolla lineups for 2017, adopting their sibling’s name as a prefix (despite not sharing the same architecture).

Now, both models enter 2019 free of vestigial Scion badging. (Read More…)

By on March 12, 2018

VW logo, Image: Volkswagen

China’s all about electric vehicles and clean, green everything, or so the tankies granola types claim, and automakers from Detroit to Germany can’t wait to get their hands on a piece of that market. In Volkswagen’s case, China’s thirst for EVs spawned a brand new brand.

Unfortunately, as is often the case with language, the name of VW’s EV-focused brand could mean something very bad, depending on who reads it. (Read More…)

By on February 14, 2018

Thanks to automakers and their stable of marketing and PR folks, the English language is feeling used and abused these days. Don’t worry, this isn’t a rant about overused industry buzzwords like synergy and dynamism, the popularity of which show no signs of waning. You’ll be hearing those forward-thinking — and intentionally confusing — descriptors for years to come.

Right until cooler, non-lame words like panache and gravitas come into vogue, this author hopes.

Lately, and with increasing frequency, a new language is emerging on the automotive scene. High-minded, plummy, and completely shameless, this new language flings misleading titles at a certain product: utility vehicles, specifically those appealing to buyers known for good breeding, tennis, and summers at the cape. (Read More…)

By on January 30, 2018

The name of a long-defunct Honda-badged vehicle that was based on an Isuzu and built at a joint Isuzu-Subaru assembly plant will grace a new crossover, a report claims. Yes, it’s looking like Honda applied for a new Passport.

According to Automotive News, sources with knowledge of Honda’s product plans say the Nineties are indeed poised to return. The name will allegedly grace the brand’s upcoming two-row midsize crossover, slated to fill the space between the wildly popular CR-V and the range-topping Pilot. (Read More…)

By on November 29, 2017

2019 Lincoln Nautilus, Image: Ford Motor Company

The tens of readers who follow my bleatings here on TTAC (Hi, Dad!) may recall my fondness for the Lincoln brand. Having spent my own hard-earned Canadian dollars on two of them, plus encouraging other family members to do the same, I would be lying if I said I’m not rooting for the brand to once again plant its feet firmly in the minds of its target demographic.

For me, the disarmament campaign started when Lincoln began abandoning real names in favor of an alphanumeric (minus the numeric) naming scheme. Turns out, after reading a revealing Automotive News interview with Lincoln’s marketing chief, I’m not the only one who disliked it.

(Read More…)

By on August 24, 2017

Audi A8 naming numbering, Image: Audi AG

Remember the good old days, back when the numerical part of a car model’s alphanumeric name usually referred to its placement in the lineup or engine size? That went out with powdered wigs and polio. Get with the times. You can’t even count on Mercedes-Benz or BMW to follow through on that anymore.

Audi, however, seems to be blazing a confusing new trail, one that hopefully doesn’t become the norm within the industry. The automaker announced today it will tack an extra number onto existing alphanumeric names, describing not the displacement, not the wheelbase, but the specific vehicle’s power ranking within the model’s range — using a two-digit number (which means nothing on its own) as a signifier of the vehicle’s horsepower.

Prepare to feel nostalgic. (Read More…)

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