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 the flagship sedan Hyundai offered before it went through its design revolution. The other one is a remainder of the K-car era; a midsize sedan with tasteless design which was replaced by the Intrepid in the 1990s.

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

#2. One of those is a North-American personal luxury car which Chrysler sold quite well in the 1970s, despite the oil crisis. The other is a compact sedan which SEAT released twenty years later, based on the Ibiza. Both pay tribute to a Spanish city.

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

#3. Both are panel vans. However, one is based on a station wagon and Honda used to sell it in Asia. The other is a multivan which Peugeot still sells mostly in Europe.

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

#4. 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!

#5. One of those is a North-American version of the Renault 11, which AMC assembled locally as part of an agreement with the French company. The other is a much younger SUV which is now in its second generation; Buick split the model into regular and GX versions.

These cars share the name Encore. 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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