Popular Cars: 10 Vehicles Named After Animals

10 Popular Cars W/ Animal-inspired Names

POPULAR CARS – Here are ten (10) popular cars that draw their names from the animal kingdom.

Car manufacturers often invest a significant amount of consideration into coming up with a catchy name for their new vehicle models. Certain companies opt to label their cars after notable individuals. Nevertheless, some of the most impressive automobiles to ever grace our streets are christened with names drawn from the animal realm.

Animals, whether embodying swiftness akin to a wild horse or resilience reminiscent of a ram, have not only provided monikers for the vehicles people steer but have also served as a wellspring of inspiration for their designs. We’ve assembled a compilation of both contemporary and timeless vehicles adorned with some of the most captivating names influenced by the animal kingdom.

Photo Source: Adobe Stock

Current Cars Named After Animals

1. Ford Mustang

Arguably the most emblematic car among the group, the Ford Mustang emblem has been present since the late 1960s. The origins of the Mustang name have been a topic of spirited debate. Some assert that it drew inspiration from the WWII P-51 Mustang fighter plane, a craft favored by John Najjar, co-designer of the Mustang prototype. Others contend that the appellation of this two-door sports coupe hails from the initial horses brought to the US from Spain.

Regardless of its inception, the Ford Mustang has garnered affection from countless Americans. In fact, the Ford Mustang clinched the title of the world’s best-selling sports car for the second consecutive year in 2020, with numerous units finding homes in Australia, the UK, and India.

Photo Source: Ford Philippines

2. Ford F-150 Raptor and Ranger Raptor

Ford assigns the label “Raptor,” inspired by predatory birds, to their line of high-performance SUVs and pickup trucks. Among these, the Ford F-150 Raptor, which underwent a series of enhancements this year, stands out as the most exhilarating. It contends with other untamed yet equally capable trucks like the Toyota Tundra TRD, Dodge Ram TRX, and the Jeep Gladiator Mojave.

Empowered by a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine generating 450hp and 510lb-ft of torque, the Raptor exhibits the ability to conquer any obstacle presented before it. It features a selection of drive modes such as Slippery, Tow haul, Sport, Normal, Deep Snow, Baja, and Rock Crawl, tailor-made to extricate you from challenging situations.

Photo Source: Carscoops

3. Ford Bronco

Recently revitalized after a quarter-century hiatus, the iconic Ford Bronco nameplate returns. Once a beloved American SUV, the Ford Bronco used to compete against pragmatic off-road vehicles like the Jeep CJ-5 and the International Harvester Scout.

On June 17, 1994, the Ford Bronco gained notoriety when police pursued Al Cowlings and his alleged companion O.J. Simpson for 60 miles, culminating in Simpson’s eventual surrender. This Bronco chase was broadcast worldwide, drawing an estimated 95 million American viewers who tuned in live.

Resurrected in an entirely new form, the Bronco now exists in two variations: the fully capable off-road machine known as the Bronco, and a milder, more family-oriented version labeled the Bronco Sport.

Photo Source: Ford

4. Ram Pickup Trucks

Automakers frequently adopt animal-inspired names not only for individual vehicles but also for their entire brands. Despite originating from the Dodge Ram pickup truck lineup, Ram elected to retain the “Ram” designation as its official brand identity. The array of Ram pickup trucks embodies the robust and enduring traits reminiscent of mountain rams, making this nomenclature a fitting choice.

Photo Source: MotorTrend

5. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

“Stingray” serves as an alias for the Chevrolet Corvette, first introduced in 1963. The Stingray version of the Corvette exudes a streamlined and exceptionally swift character, akin to its aquatic counterpart. The name was first attached to the 1963 Corvette model.

In its eighth iteration, the new Stingray represents the inaugural instance of a mid-engine configuration within the Corvette series. This reconfigured setup positions it as a commendable contender alongside other potent mid-engined sports cars like the Ferrari 488 GTB and the Audi R8.

Photo Source: Asphalt 9 Legends Database

Discontinued cars named after animals

1. Dodge Viper

The Dodge Viper, with its menacing name, has gained worldwide renown for its exceptional performance that can rival even the fastest supercars. Drawing inspiration from the iconic Shelby Cobra, this vehicle utilized a powerful V10 engine, producing an impressive range of 400hp to 660hp in various versions.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, the Dodge Viper was a coveted sports car among numerous teenagers. Its distinct appearance and massive engine set it apart, and its relatively reasonable price provided hope for Millennials to potentially own this unique piece of American sports car history.

Photo Source: AutoTrader

2. Shelby Cobra

The Shelby Cobra, a compact roadster that marked the inception of Carroll Shelby’s successful career in car manufacturing, is widely recognized. Its dynamic appearance suggests speed even when stationary, and its performance capabilities certainly validate that impression.

Carroll Shelby’s focus on creating exceptionally fast vehicles, rather than relying on marketing tactics, rightfully solidified Shelby Cobra’s reputation. The Cobra 427 held the title of the most powerful American performance car for a considerable time, achieving 0-60 mph in just over 4 seconds when equipped with the Competition package – a remarkable feat for the 1960s.

Photo Source: Motor1.com

3. VW Rabbit

The Volkswagen Rabbit, known as the VW Golf internationally, was designed as a successor to the iconic ‘people’s car,’ the VW Beetle. Unlike the Beetle’s rear-engine, air-cooled layout, the MK1 Golf adopted a modern water-cooled, front-engined, front-wheel-drive configuration. Remarkably successful, this layout continues to be utilized by car manufacturers even after more than four decades.

The term ‘Golf’ might have been derived from the German word ‘Golfstrom,’ aligning with VW’s naming conventions such as ‘Scirocco’ (hot Mediterranean wind) and ‘Jetta’ (German term for jet stream). Alternatively, it could simply refer to the affluent sport of golf. In the United States, the Mark 1 Golf was named the Rabbit to make it more relatable to youthful customers, as the term “Golf” sounded upscale for an economy car.

Photo Source: Road & Track

4. Chevrolet Impala

The Chevrolet Impala stands as one of the most beloved American cars since the 1950s. Emerging in 1958, it has remained a steadfast symbol in the U.S. automotive landscape. Over the span of six decades, Chevrolet manufactured more than 17 million Impalas, establishing it as the best-selling car in the brand’s history. Interestingly, it has also gained notoriety as the most frequently stolen vehicle in certain regions, including Chicago.

Initially recognized for its daring rear designs and distinctive grilles, the Impala evolved over time to adopt more contemporary and functional shapes, eventually transforming into a practical family sedan.

Photo Source: Crown Classics

5. VW Beetle

The VW Beetle stands as one of the most instantly recognizable cars worldwide, its journey spanning from its origins in Nazi Germany during the 1930s to the “Summer of Love” in 1967.

The Beetle’s popularity soared during the 1960s, especially in the United States, aided by clever advertising. Its affordability, cheerful demeanor, and reliability contributed to its status as America’s preferred compact car. Many Americans chose the Beetle as their first car upon college graduation or as an additional family vehicle.

Originating in the 1930s, the Beetle was a pet project of Adolf Hitler, seeking to create an affordable car for the masses. To achieve this, Hitler enlisted engineer and Nazi Party member Ferdinand Porsche to design the vehicle.

Photo Source: Hemmings

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