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!

[HDquiz quiz = “167”]

Author Profile

Danillo Almeida has explored his passion for cars in two distinct ways. The first one is his graduation course in Mechanical Engineering, which will hopefully lead to a job position in the field. The other one is expressing his knowledge and opinions on the matter through writing. Almeida has already contributed to blogs, stores, and websites in general writing automotive content in many formats.