Aventador | Name of a trophy-winning fighting bull.
Lamborghini, too, has a tradition when it comes to naming their models. The Italian supercar maker names its creations after bullfighting stars. As with the Murcielago, the Aventador is indeed named after a trophy-winning bull in the Spanish bullfighting scene. Not surprisingly, many mistake its name to refer to the vents on the car, as “ventilado,” Spanish for ‘ventilated’ closely resembles the name. Company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini had a fascination for fighting bulls, which explains the now famous emblem.
Caliber | The diameter of something of circular section, especially that of the inside of a tube.
Dodge was surely on to something when they named their smallest and cheapest compact car after the firepower measure of a gun, the Caliber. The boxy five-door hatchback made its debut in 2006 and was marketed quite successfully in North America and also became Dodge's first model ever to be sold in Europe, Asia, and Australia. But after its six-year lifecycle, this revolver eventually ran out of bullets and will be replaced by the Dodge Dart in 2013.
Cobalt | A silver-white metallic element with a faint pinkish tinge.
The Chevrolet Cobalt was a compact car launched in 2004 to replace the aging Cavalier and Prizm. It was offered with a variety of engines ranging from a 2.0L four-cylinder to a 2.4L supercharged version in the SS. Manufactured and sold only for the U.S. market, the model was eventually replaced by the Chevrolet Cruze in 2009.
Cooper | A person who makes or repairs casks, barrels, etc.
Contrary to the definition, the Mini Cooper was actually named after the late John Cooper, owner of the Cooper Car Company and designer and builder of Formula 1 cars. Manufactured by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) from 1959, Cooper modified the Mini for competition in Group 2 rally racing, thus creating the iconic Mini Cooper and it's more powerful twin, the Mini Cooper S. The Mini Cooper S eventually went on to win the acclaimed Monte Carlo Rally in '64, '65, and '67.
Corolla | Latin for ‘small crown.’
Toyota has a tradition of naming their primary models in variations of the word ‘crown.’ The Corona is an obvious example, but few know that Corolla means ‘small crown,’ while Camry came from the Japanese kanmuri, which also means crown. The first generation Corolla was first introduced in 1966 and its latest version, the Corolla Altis, introduced in 2006, is the model's 10th generation.
Forte | A strong point, as of a person; that in which one excels.
Kia launched the Forte in 2008 as a two-door coupe, a four-door sedan, and a five-door hatchback and shares the same platform as the Hyundai Elantra. The two-door and four-door versions were briefly sold in the Philippines by the Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC), but was rather unsuccessful due to its high price tag. Also named as the Cerato in other markets, Kia decided to use the Forte handle for the local market to avoid sounding like a less-than-pleasant Tagalog phrase.
Montero | Mountain hunter.
First introduced in 1973, the Montero’s original name, Pajero, was taken from the Pampas cat (Leopardus pajeros) native to the southern Argentina. Unfortunately, the word ‘Pajero’ turns out to be an offensive Spanish word. As a result, Mitsubishi released the model under an alternative name in some markets. It is sold as the Montero in Spain, India, and the Americas except Brazil. It is also known as the Mitsubishi Shogun in the United Kingdom.
Volkswagen | The people’s car.
Technically, it’s not a car name, but it is worth mentioning, since its very name brings to mind the iconic Beetle. The trend for cheaper cars started as far back as the 1920’s; but in the 1930’s, the German automotive industry was still dominated by luxury cars. In 1933, Adolf Hitler demanded the production on a basic car that can carry two adults and three children. Since the private industry at the time could not afford to produce an affordable car for the average German, Hitler sponsored an all-new, state-owned factory, and Ferdinand Porsche supervised the design of what would be the “People’s Car.” By 1937, the Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH was established by the German Labour Front, a Nazi trade union. The company was later renamed Volkswagenwerk GmbH in 1938.