10 More Vehicles Named After Animals
Set out on another car-based safari as we discover even more vehicle models with animal-based monikers, from the Corvette Stingray to the Shelby Cobra
In a previously published article, we discussed vehicles that derive their names from various species of animals. Iconic models like the Ford Mustang and Volkswagen Beetle often embody the characteristics of the creatures they are named after. However, there are so many vehicles with animal-based names, that one list simply wasn’t enough. We’ve scoured the automotive world once again for even more examples of automotive models with wild monikers. Join us for an automobile-based safari as we uncover 10 more vehicles named after animals.
More Animal-Based Car Monikers: 10 Vehicles Named After Animals
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
There have been plenty of variants and special edition trims for the Chevrolet Corvette throughout the years. However, no other Corvette model has acquired more of a following than the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, named after the close relative of the shark. First introduced with the second generation of Corvette vehicles, the Corvette Stingray has served as an important part of the larger Corvette family ever since.
Performance vehicles producers must have an affinity for snakes. Much like the beloved Dodge Viper, the legendary Shelby Cobra also derives its name from a serpentine species. Although the Shelby Cobra might not exist as its own model in the current automotive industry, its legacy lives on as a variant for the Ford Mustang, another performance vehicle with an animal-based name.
Plymouth Road Runner
The roadrunner is a creature most famous for its portrayal in the Looney Tunes series of cartoons. While the actual road runner isn’t tall or purple, it is fast on its feet, which is why Plymouth chose to name its mid-size car after the bird. Much like the animated roadrunner, this Road Runner also makes a “beep beep” sound.
Fiat 124 Spider
While the bulk of Fiat’s current lineup is comprised of various versions of its iconic Fiat 500 vehicle, drivers looking for a little more excitement can opt for the available Fiat 124 Spider. Oddly enough, Fiat isn’t the only automaker to name its roadster model after an arachnid. Brands like Alfa Romeo and Audi also have “Spider” vehicles in their lineup, although some of them choose to spell it “Spyder” instead.
Produced during the late 1960s, the Rambler Marlin, later marketed as the AMC Marlin, was a product of the times, with a body style that was both long and wide. Nevertheless, this classic fastback was able to reach some impressive speeds, much like its aquatic namesake. The marlin, which is closely related to the swordfish, can reach speeds exceeding 50 mph, making it one of the fastest fish in the ocean.
The Volkswagen Golf is one of the most iconic cars in VW’s vehicle lineup. However, when the model first arrived in the United States, it possessed a different nameplate: the Volkswagen Rabbit. Today, the Golf name is utilized in the U.S. market, although many automotive enthusiasts still refer to it as the Rabbit by force of habit.
At first, you might assume that the Mazda Bongo is a vehicle named after a musical instrument, rather than one named after an animal. However, the bongo is in fact a species of antelope that lives in the forests of central Africa. Perhaps even more surprising, Mazda wasn’t the only automaker to use the “bongo” moniker, as a lineup of Kia vans also once adopted the creature’s name.
Believe it or not, Mitsubishi wasn’t actually thinking about the Australian canine when developing the “Dingo” name for one of its Mitsubishi Mirage variants. Instead, the automaker was brainstorming a corruption of the word “Bingo,” so as to associate the new model with good fortune. When it was pointed out that “dingo” was also the name of an animal, the Mitsubishi team decided to roll with it.
Much like the Ram brand of trucks, Jaguar is another automaker with a name lifted directly from a member of the animal kingdom. Native to South America, the jaguar is one of the most ferocious predators on the planet. This big cat’s fierce, yet elegant nature helps inspire the style and engineering behind every vehicle that Jaguar produces.
Of course, not every vehicle named after a cat selects a fierce feline for its namesake. When it came time for British automaker Reliant to name its economy car, it settled on a much less intimidating nameplate: the Reliant Kitten. While the Kitten certainly wouldn’t earn any driver serious street cred, it was definitely reliable enough to get motorists from Point A to Point B.
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Zachary Berry currently resides in the Dayton, Ohio area. However, he enjoys traveling from place to place, as he was born in Oklahoma City and has also lived in Albuquerque and Orlando (such is the life of a military brat). Zachary graduated from Ohio University with a major in Strategic Communication, which is fancy talk for advertising and public relations. Beginning his career at The News Wheel as a lowly intern, he was able to climb his way to the top, eventually claiming his place within the last cubicle on the left. Other jobs that Zachary has held include driving around a safari truck at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When he’s not putting his nose to the grindstone, Zachary enjoys watching and critiquing movies and television. See more articles by Zachary.