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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Improved hot hatch

The 2022 VW Golf GTI gets new handling tech

Improvements to the GTI's handling and steering should make it even faster in the curves.

Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of the most recognizable and popular cars the automaker sells. After a bumpy few years that ended with the standard Golf model being nixed from VW's U.S catalog, we're starting to see concrete details on the upcoming performance variants of the car, which will thankfully end up heading our way. The eighth-generation Golf GTI and Golf R will make landfall in the United States as 2022 models, and will both feature a load of new tech and refinements. VW just announced the changes that are being made to the GTI's handling and performance systems, and they are extensive, to say the least.


2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI VW is offering the 8th-gen Golf only in high-performance GTI and R configurations.Volkswagen


Volkswagen is giving the legendary hot hatch a host of improvements, which the automaker says will give the car more precise, stable handling at its limit. The GTI's front suspension has been reconfigured with new wishbone bearings and damping hydraulics. VW says that the car's springs and buffer stops have also been revised, which will give the font axle spring rate that is five percent higher than its predecessor. A new aluminum subframe is also in place, which will reduce weight by seven pounds over the previous car.

The eighth-generation Golf brought a new VW Vehicle Dynamics Manager system which will also benefit the upcoming GTI. The system integrates the car's electronic stability control with its electronic differentials, and in GTI models equipped with the optional DCC adaptive damping system, the system adjusts individual wheel damping up to 200 times per second. The differential itself will now come standard with all GTI models. It's an electronically-controlled torque-sensing limited-slip unit, which varies the levels of its intervention based on how the car is being driven and on how the other traction control functions are being used.


2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI The GTI's steering is now more responsive.Volkswagen


The GTI's steering system has also been revised to now include an enhanced progressive steering function that uses software to help turn the vehicle with less steering effort, depending on speed. Volkswagen says that the GTI's steering takes just 2.1 turns of the steering wheel to go from lock to lock when it's equipped with 18-inch wheels.

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The winner of the Charles Schwab Challenge earns this resto-modded Dodge Power Wagon.

Photo courtesy of the Charles Schwab Challenge

Newly crowned 2021 PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson will be among a group of international golfers vying for the lowest score at the Charles Schawab Challenge PGA Tour event in Fort Worth, Texas this weekend.

The winner of the tournament will receive a 1946 Dodge Power Wagon that has undergone a complete resto-mod revision by Legacy Classic Trucks. This is the second vehicle the tournament has awarded to a winner with a 1973 Dodge Challenger awarded to Kevin Na in 2019. Na didn't keep the car for long. He turned it over to his car-obsessed caddy Kenny Harms.

The '46 Power Wagon is a nod to the roots of the tourney. This year marks the 75th anniversary of The Colonial, the original name for the event.

1946 Dodge Power Wagon Charles Schwab Legacy Classic Trucks The interior of the truck wears The Colonial's tartan.Photo courtesy of the Charles Schwab Challenge

Under its hood is a 6.2-liter Chevrolet LS3 engine that delivers 430 horsepower. The engine is paired with a four-speed automatic transmission and a custom Atlas transfer case. The rig rides on 40-inch Toyota tires and custom Trail Ready wheels.

Modern conveniences have been added like air conditioning, disc brakes, a long travel suspension, and a 12,000-pound Warn winch.

Because Charles Schwab is the sponsor of the tournament, Legacy Classic Trucks added some special 'Schwab' elements to the model including a Dove blue paint job and a custom 'SCHWAB' tailgate and brightwork. The interior of the truck is upholstered with a tartan fabric in the design of The Colonial's traditional plaid. A custom nameplate on the dashboard acknowledges Ben Hogan's 1946 win that started the legacy of the tournament.

Similar resto-modded trucks by Legacy Classic Trucks go for around $350,000.

1946 Dodge Power Wagon Charles Schwab Legacy Classic Trucks The rear of the truck features a custom tailgate.Photo courtesy of the Charles Schwab Challenge

Uniquely, the truck has inspired a song by up-and-coming country singer Travis Denning called "Grew Up with a Truck". The song debuted last week on Bobby Bones' podcast, "Bobbycast".

Other golfers joining Mickelson at the tournament include Lee Westwood, Jordan Speith, Si Woo Kim, and Sergio Garcia.

The first round of play kicks off on Thursday, May 27 with the second and third round on ensuing days leading up to the Final Round on Sunday, May 30. Tickets for the event are still available.

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