Name Game

Answered: Where do Volkswagens get their names?

Volkswagen have unique names. Where do they come from? Scroll down to see.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen vehicles are blessed with some of the most interesting model names out there. At one time or another, you’ve probably heard something about them being named after a tribe in Africa or a Greek myth. As told by the automaker themselves, here are the origins of their vehicle names.

Arteon

2021 Volkswagen Arteon

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG​

Volkswagen: “The Arteon takes its name from the Latin word for art (artem) and alludes to the emphasis VW placed on its design. The four-door coupe includes features such as chrome strips on its frameless side windows and a wraparound grille."

Atlas

Volkswagen Atlas Basecamp Styling Package Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen: “Technically the third VW named after a Greek titan; in ancient myth, Atlas held up the sky – which is appropriate for Volkswagen's first seven-passenger SUV."

Atlas Cross Sport

2020 Volkswagen Cross Sport Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen: “The Atlas Cross Sport is a two-row, midsize crossover based on the Atlas that's sportier (hence 'Cross Sport')."

Beetle

1979 Volkswagen Super Beetle Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen: “Not long after it first appeared on German roads, the Volkswagen Type 1 was dubbed the Käfer – or Beetle. That name survived the translation into English and dozens of other languages and became the model's official moniker by the late 1940s. (Other nicknames: 'the bubble' in Denmark, 'coccinelle,' or ladybug, in France, and 'turtle car' in Thailand.)"

CC

2017 Volkswagen CC

​Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

​Volkswagen: “Originally known as the Passat CC, which has been taken to mean "comfort coupe." Although coupes are generally two-door cars, among modern designers the word "coupe" can also describe cars with the sloping roofline of a coupe, regardless of how many doors they have.”

Corrado

Volkswagen Corrado

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG​

Volkswagen: “Derived from the Spanish verb "correr," meaning to run or to sprint. (Prototypes had a different, wind-related name that was nixed during development.)”

Eos

Volkswagen: “Eos is the Greek goddess of the dawn, an obvious reference for a hardtop convertible.”

GLI

Volkswagen: “Following the debut of the GTI as a sport version of the Golf, Volkswagen chose "GLI" to indicate the sport version of the four-door Jetta sedan.”

Golf

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI

​Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen: “Several VW models take their names from winds, a pattern that's more of a historical accident than a planned strategy, and you many think that trend continued with Golf. But "Golf" isn't a type of wind – it's the German word for the Gulf Stream ocean current. It also happened to be the name of a key manager's horse, which appears to be the real inspiration."

GTI

1984 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI and 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen: “Originally inspired by the Italian designation for high-performance luxury cars with fuel injected engines: ‘gran turismo iniezione.’”

Jetta

1982 Volkswagen Jetta Mk1 Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen: “A proper example of the wind motif on Volkswagen models, the word Jetta comes from the German name for jet stream."

Passat

1977 Volkswagen Dasher and 2020 Volkswagen Passat


Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

​Volkswagen: “Launched in 1973, the Passat was the first modern-era Volkswagen, and took its name from the German word "passatwinde," or trade winds.”

Phaeton

Volkswagen: “Another in the Greek mythology series, Phaeton was a god who almost lost control of the chariot that pulled the sun across the sky. In the 19th century, a phaeton was a specific type of carriage, one with large wheels and an open body designed for speed. In the early days of the auto industry, the name was sometimes applied to open-topped, powerful vehicles – and while the Phaeton has never been built as a convertible, the powerful sense of the name made it a natural for a luxury sedan and wagon.​“

Scirocco

First-generation Volkswagen Scirocco

​Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen: “The VW sports coupe took its name from the ‘sirocco,’ a hot, powerful wind from the Sahara that blows northeast across the Mediterranean Sea.”

Taos

Volkswagen: “The Volkswagen Taos SUV designed specifically for North America, shares the same name as the New Mexico town. Home to 6,000 people, Taos has been known for centuries for its breathtaking views, its traditional culture and the artists who have set up colonies there since the turn of the 20th century.“

Tiguan

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG​

Volkswagen: “Ahead of its launch in 2009, Volkswagen teamed with a German automotive magazine to poll readers about what the new compact SUV should be named. The choices included Namib, Rockton, Samun, Nanuk and Tiguan – a portmanteau of the German words for tiger and iguana. It's also the latest in a series of animal-inspired names, along with Rabbit and Fox."

Touareg

Volkswagen Touareg Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen: “One of the most challenging names to appear on a Volkswagen was inspired by the Tuareg people, known mostly as a tribe of Berber nomads who live in the northern Sahara Desert.”

Up!

2020 Volkswagen Up!

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG​

Volkswagen: “The city car sold in Europe has had the punctuation mark included with its proper name, much as #PinkBeetle serves double duty as a social-media hashtag. "‘Up!’ also happens to be the middle two letters in "Lupo," one of the vehicle's predecessors. (‘Lupo’ is Latin for wolf, while ‘Amarok’ means a similar animal in Inuit – both nods to VW's hometown of Wolfsburg, Germany.)”

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq will be produced at GM's Tennessee plant.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

General Motors has already invested heavily into its first electric vehicle plant, the former Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center that is now Factory Zero. Now, the company has announced that its Spring Hill Manufacturing plant will be a second manufacturing base for electric vehicles.

The plant started its life as the home of the Saturn Corporation. It currently builds the Cadillac XT5 and XT6, and GMC Acadia. GM's release stated that the plant will continue to produce the Cadillacs and add the forthcoming 2023 Cadillac Lyriq to its assembly duties. Production of the Acadia will move to DM's Lansing Delta Township Assembly at the cost of $100 million. GM's Lansing plant is a LEED gold-certified automobile plant that currently produces the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse. The Acadias was made there until 2016 so the move is a homecoming of sorts.

2022 Chevrolet Traverse Chevrolet is refreshing the interior and exterior of its Traverse for 2022. Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

As part of the $2 billion investment into Spring Hill,GM will expand the plant's paint and body shop and comprehensively upgrade general assembly including new machines, conveyors, controls, and tooling. Work is slated to begin at the facility immediately.

Included in the $2 billion figure is $32 million to be invested at Flint Assembly (Michigan) for the future production of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickup trucks. An additional $17 million will be invested in the company's Romulus, Michigan propulsion plant to increase the capability to produce GM's 10-speed truck transmission, which is used in a number of key GM products including its trucks and SUVs.

Two smaller amounts, $3.5 million and $750,000 will be invested at Orion Assembly and in Brownstown Charter Township, Michigan, respectively, in relation to the company's production of the Cruise AV test vehicle.

In the last 19 months, GM has committed to invest more than $4.5 billion at three U.S. manufacturing sites to prepare those facilities for EV-related vehicle production.

Separately, GM and LG Chem formed a joint venture – Ultium Cells LLC – and together are investing more than $2.3 billion to build a new battery cell manufacturing plant in Lordstown, Ohio next to Lordstown Motors HQ that will create more than 1,100 new jobs. Construction of the facility is underway.

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The Volkswagen Arteon has been refreshed for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Americans aren't as in love with the Arteon as Europeans, but that won't stop Volkswagen from offering it for sale here. The automaker, who has sold just over 2,600 Arteons this year, is pricing the 2021 edition to start at $36,995.

Only available as a sedan in the States, the Arteon will be sold in three trim levels: SE, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line. Each comes with an additional $1,195 destination and delivery charge.

The Arteon gets its power from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Its engine is paired with an eight speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available in the SEL R-Line and up grades.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon The Arteon has been reborn inside for the 2021 model year.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Among the changes to the refreshed Arteon for the 2021 model year are its wide and wide hood, available illuminated front light bar, and fresh paint color options: Kings Red Metallic, Oryx White Pearl, and Lapiz Blue Metallic.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon SE (MSRP: $36,995)

The Arteon SE comes standard with front-wheel drive, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, and LED taillights. It features keyless entry and has rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped touch multifunction steering wheel, chrome window switches, and stainless steel door sills and pedal caps.

Twelve-way power-adjustable heated front seats, leatherette seating throughout the cabin, automatic trio-zone climate control, Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, navigation, wireless App-Connect, Bluetooth, two USB-C ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, SiriusXM with 360L, and a rearview camera are also standard.

Each Arteon also comes with blind spot monitoring, forward collision assist, and rear traffic alert.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon SEL R-Line (MSRP: $41,595)

The Arteon SEL R-Line is avialable in front- and all-wheel drive. It builds on the SE grade, offering 19-inch wheels, an illuminated front grille bar, adaptive front lighting, panoramic sunroof, power-folding side mirrors, remote start, wireless charging, driver's seat and side mirror memory, translucent decor with ambient lighting, and leather seats.

The R-Line design accents include a front bumper with C-signature and rear lid spoiler in gloss black, black headliner, paddle shifters, contrast stitching on steering wheel and shift knob, and R-Line badging.

This model gets more standard drive assistance features including adaptive cruise control with stop and go, Lane Assist, Travel Assist, Emergency Assist, road sign display, rear park distance control, and Light Assist.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon SEL Premium R-Line (MSRP: $46,995)

2021 Volkswagen Arteon

Volkswagen has enhanced the Arteon for the 2021 model year with a thorough refresh.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The range-topping Arteon SEL Premium R-Line comes standard with all-wheel drive. It rides on 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and has a Harman/Kardon auto system, heated steering wheel with paddle shifters, massaging driver's seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, rear seat climate controls, an additional USB-C port, and power trunk. The model adds Park Assist and Area View.

The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon will be available in three trim levels and is expected to begin arriving at Volkswagen dealers in Q4 2020.

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