Same Name, Different Cars

Even though our society has hundreds of languages and each one has a virtually infinite number of words, the car industry cannot help but coincide on the same name

Last month, BMW released the XM. While the SUV shape is not surprising at all, the car world was excited because of what it represents. After all, it is the first car exclusively developed for the Motorsport division since the 1978 M1. However, anyone who enjoys cars to the point of knowing a thing or two about their history has noticed another interesting fact: that name has already been used on another car model.

BMW came to that name by joining the X from its SUV lineup to the M from its lineage of sports versions. Citroën, in turn, released an XM model in the late 1980s, back when it named all cars with two letters, one of them being “X”. As it turns out, the French company retains the name’s rights but made a gentleman’s agreement to let the Germans use the name. Did you know there are more coincidences like that?

BMW designed the XM to be a performance SUV (source: WheelsAge)

How do makers reach the same name?

First of all, we shall remember the types of car names. German companies, for example, love to use codes made of letters and numbers. In that context, numbers, for example, frequently serve to identify each car’s position in the line. Companies tend to keep their models aligned to the general standard so as to make them more competitive. Therefore, it is only a matter of time before two of them coincide in their names.

The XM was Citroën’s flagship model back in the day (source: WheelsAge)

When it comes to word names, we have to think of their meaning. Everyone wants to use positive words; words that evoke beauty, power, resistance. Although there are companies from many countries and they use their respective languages here and there, English is still the standard. And English can only provide a limited number of synonyms to those words. Once again, naming coincidences are bound to happen.

Those cases are rare when we consider the number of cars this industry has put on the streets. However, they make an interesting number from a car culture’s point of view. Instead of selecting a handful of them to write a brief history, we did something better. The quiz below will be updated every time we find more examples. Besides, the set of questions changes every time you update the page. We hope you enjoy it!

#1. One of those is an SUV based on the Frontier; it is sold mostly in Asian countries now. The other is a subcompact panel van which SEAT derived from the Fiat Fiorino to sell in Spain.

These cars share the name Terra. Try again, you can do it!

#2. Those cars were sold in Europe in the 2000s and share a famous name. One was Alfa Romeo's coupé hatchback, sold alongside the Brera. The other was Opel's roadster, which was sold alongside the Vauxhall VXR.

These cars share the name GT. Try again, you can do it!

#3. One of those is the entry-level car that made part of a multiple approach Chrysler took at the full-size sedan segment in the 1980s. The other is the midsize sedan Mercedes-Benz has been selling for decades. ? These cars have nothing to do with the DaimlerChrysler era!

These cars share the name E Class. Try again, you can do it!

#4. One of those is Mercedes-Benz's largest commercial van, which has been a sales success for many years. The other was born as a sportier variation of the Toyota Corolla sold exclusively in the Japanese market.

These cars share the name Sprinter. Try again, you can do it!

#5. One of them is a North-American compact car sold in the 1970s; it was eventually renamed Skylark. The other is a compact sedan sold in Brazil a decade later, following a joint-venture between Ford and Volkswagen. What is their name? ? There is also a Holden car with the same name!

Those cars share the name Apollo. Try again, you can do it!



Congratulations! That quiz proves you know a lot about cars with the same name.

Almost there! Take a closer look at the descriptions, you can do it!

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