HomeCar TipsRenowned Legendary Cars Named After Animals 

Renowned Legendary Cars Named After Animals 

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Naming cars after animals has become legendary. Today, auto manufacturers have adopted the idea of naming vehicles after places or abstract things. Some even use codes or series of letters and numbers combined. Automobile manufacturers try to give their best models engaging names to make them stand out in the market. Hence, the idea of picking names from the animal kingdom. Some cars named after animals are still top-tier models today. 

Before cars, we used animals to ease moving around as they were fast and powerful enough to haul weights. Even today, people still use horses, donkeys, elephants, and camels for transportation in some parts of the world. Since our first inspiration for building cars was animals, naming cars after animals is normal. Every driver would love their car to be fast like a Jaguar and tough like a ram. So, calling a tough car ‘Ram’ is a fantastic marketing idea. 

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12 Legendary Cars Named After Animals

Naming cars after animals is more engaging for most car lovers. In this post, we have compiled a list of ten legendary cars named after animals with little details about them. Check them out!

1. Volkswagen Beetle

Beetle - cars named after animals

The first brochure for the Volkswagen Type 1 referred to it as ‘der Käfer’, which translates to Beetle in German. Ferdinand Porsche was the first to design the car in the 1930s. This model became an icon and holds the record for the highest number of vehicles produced, with over 15 million units built. 

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The New Beetle, which succeeded the earlier models, had its production halted in 2011. However, it was reintroduced as the A5 Beetle in 2012, and its production continued until 2019. The final generation of the Beetle was essentially a Golf with a restyled Beetle body that had a more contemporary appearance.

2. Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang - cars named after animals

One of the most popular cars named after animals is Ford’s Mustang. There are various accounts regarding the origin of the Mustang name, depending on the source. It is a fact that the initial horses brought to the USA from Spain were Mustangs. 

However, another version suggests that the name was derived from WWII’s P-51 Mustang fighter plane. John Najjar, the co-creator of the Mustang prototype, favored this version. 

Regardless of your perspective, the Ford Mustang is an adored vehicle by millions of Americans. In fact, for the second year running, the Ford Mustang was the top-selling sports car globally in 2020, with numerous units sold in Australia, the UK, and India.

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3. Mitsubishi Colt

Cars named after animals

In 1962, Mitsubishi began manufacturing the Colt following the Second World War. The moniker was influenced by what animal enthusiasts called youthful male horses aged between two and four. Mitsubishi launched the Colt as a rear-engine hatchback with a 600cc engine. 

The name Colt gained popularity and was applied to the Mitsubishi Mirage, which the company exported to Europe and Australia from 1978 to 2002. Colt was also the name of a British car firm that sold Mitsubishi cars in the United Kingdom.

4. Fiat Panda

Cars named after animals

Although this vehicle shares some similarities with the face of a giant panda, it did not receive its name from the iconic black and white bear. 

The car was originally known as Il Zero during its design phase but was later renamed Rustica by Fiat. To everyone’s surprise, it was ultimately released under the name Panda. The Roman goddess Empanda (known as the travelers’ protector) inspired the name. The Panda made its debut in 1980 and has sold over 7.5 million units to date.

5. Ford Raptors

Ford Raptors - cars named after animals

Ford names their high-performance SUVs and pickup trucks after birds of prey, calling them Raptors. This one of the most fuel-efficient pickup trucks. Among these, the Ford F-150 Raptor is the most extreme and is updated every year to make it even more capable. It competes with other tough and equally competent trucks, such as the Toyota Tundra TRD, Dodge Ram TRX, and the Jeep Gladiator Mojave.

Equipped with a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine that can generate 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, the Raptor can power through any obstacle. In fact, it has various drive modes to get you out of any tricky situation, including Slippery, Tow Haul, Sport, Normal, Deep Snow, Baja, and Rock Crawl.

6. Shelby Cobra

Shelby Cobra - cars named after animals

Carroll Shelby, a successful racer and engineering enthusiast, developed the Cobra. It happens to be one of the top cars named after animals. The inspiration for the car came to him in a dream, as he hoped to use it on the tracks. 

In pursuit of high performance, he contacted the British AC car company, which had recently lost its engine provider, and impressed them with his enthusiasm. With their cooperation, he convinced Ford to develop his engine, which would be assembled onto the body made by AC.

7. Dodge Viper

Dodge Viper - cars named after animals

Tom Gale and Chris Theodore were recently interviewed about the development and naming of the Viper. Tom led the Viper’s design team, while Chris led the team responsible for engine development. 

According to them, the Shelby Cobra was a significant inspiration for the new model. Dodge decide to name the car after a snake in honor of the car that had inspired them to create this new high-performance Dodge. They also collaborated with Lamborghini to bring the Viper to life. Chrysler owned the Italian company at the time,

8. Sunbeam Tiger

Roots Motors Limited, a British car manufacturer, produced the Sunbeam Alpine Roadster in the mid-1950s. While building their inline four-cylinder engines on the body they had created, the company teamed up with the renowned race driver and engineer Carroll Shelby to develop a high-performance version of this model. 

Shelby and Roots Motors Limited added a 4.3-liter V8 engine, developed by Shelby and produced by Ford, to the body and gave it the name Tiger, owing to its immense power.

9. Chevrolet Impala

The Impala, a renowned car, was named after the African antelope. It features an Impala on its logo and was first introduced at the General Motors car show in 1956. During the event, the company showcased its new model, which boasted a body design with Corvette-like lines and high-performance engines in various displacements. 

The early models came equipped with features like the Turbo Fire V8 or the W-series Turbo Thrust V8, paired with a 3-speed manual or 2-speed automatic transmission.

10. Datsun Bluebird

The Datsun division of Nissan produced this model in the late 1950s, with various chassis and body types available, such as sedans, hardtops, and hardtop coupes. The 510 series is the most well-known. 

The model is named after Bluebirds, a charming family of small birds. One exciting fact about this model is that it won first place in the 1982 Australian Endurance Championship for Nissan. Nissan entered the race with two factory Bluebird Turbos.

11. Triumph Stag

Triumph is an old British car company that has stopped operation. They designed a 2+2 sports tourer produced from 1970 to 1977, selling over 26,000 units in this time. Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti developed the stag model. 

The name Stag refers to mature male red deer. The car model was created under the company’s luxury division and was intended to rival Mercedes-Benz SL models.

12. Dodge RAM

Car makers frequently use animal names to identify their vehicles and brands. This series of pickup truck’s name was inspired by the robust and sturdy nature of mountain rams; thus, this choice is logical.

The RAM 1500 drives on powerful engine options and a capable 4×4 transmission. This gives it impressive offroad capacities and towing capacity. It is one of the cars named after animals in today’s market.

To Wrap it up…

The trend of naming cars after animals has aged long in the auto industry. And it makes perfect sense. After all, cars look and operate on four legs like animals. They even sound alike. For instance, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat sounds exactly like an actual Hellcat. We have reviewed some of the top cars named after animals for our readers. The cars on this list are epic in their ways. Some have been rising in value lately, making them worth collecting.

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