Meanings of most popular car acronyms

03/19/2018

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Find out what some of the most popular acronyms from your favorite car marques actually mean.

Car acronyms have been extensively used among car brands. While most automakers typically take 2 or 3 combined letters to make full variant names, others put the acronyms after the model name as the closest clues about its true identity. In this article, we will introduce several most popular car acronyms and their exact meanings.

1. Nissan

Nissan’s Nismo performance division, similar to the GT-R sports model, is an acronym in itself.

  • GT-R: Gran Turismo Racer
  • NISMO: Nissan Motorsport International Limited

Nissan Nismo badge

Nissan’s Nismo performance division is also an acronym in itself

2. Porsche

The GTS acronym you find at the rear of many Porsches such as the Panamera, 718 Boxster, and the new Porsche 911 stands for “Grand Turismo Sport.”

Porsche Cayenne GTS badge

The GTS acronym stands for “Grand Turismo Sport”

3. Subaru

The STI and WRX suffixes have been included to Subaru models’ name since the early 1990s.

  • STI: Subaru Tecnica International
  • WRX: World Rally Experimental / World Rally Cross

Subaru STI badge

The STI and WRX monikers have been included to Subaru models’ name since the early 1990s

4. Acura

The fresh TMU + IPU entails the Acura NSX are among Acura’s most popular car acronyms.

  • TMU + IPU: Twin Motor Unit + Intelligent Power Unit
  • P-AWS: Precision All-Wheel Steer
  • SH-AWD: Super Handling All-Wheel Drive
  • NSX: New, Sportscar, Experimental

Acura NSX badge

The new TMU + IPU used on the Acura NSX are among Acura’s most popular acronyms

>>> Recommended for you: 15 commonly used auto jargons and their meanings

5. Chevrolet

SS, RS, LS and are three of Chevy’s most notable variants, each features an array of options and performance capabilities that differentiate one from the others.

  • SS: Super Sport
  • RS: Rally Sport
  • LS: Luxury Sport

Chevrolet SS badge

SS, RS, LS and are three of Chevy’s most notable variants

6. Ferrari

Ferrari steals the idea of its acronym from its F1 models. “T” suggests the turbocharged mill as seen in the California cabriolet, and the 312T’s transversely-mounted transmission. Do you think it is an interesting car acronym meaning?

  • M: Modificato
  • T: Turbocharged/Transverse
  • KERS: Kinetic Energy Recovery System

Ferrari California badge

“T” suggests the turbocharged engine

7. Fiat

The full name of Fiat is “Fabrica Italiana Automobili Torino” (Italian automobile factory, Torino).

Fiat badge

The full name of Fiat is “Fabrica Italiana Automobili Torino”

8. Jaguar

The British company uses “SVR” acronym to its F-Type sports vehicles.

  • SVO: Special Vehicle Operations
  • SVR: Special Vehicle Racing

Jaguar SVR badge

The British company uses “SVR” acronym to its F-Type sports vehicles

9Dodge

The R/T moniker, which first appeared in 1967, stands for Road/Track while the Dodge SRT badge means even more power.

  • 392: Cubic Inches of 6.4L V8
  • SRT: Street & Racing Technology
  • R/T: Road/Track

Dodge badge

The Dodge SRT badge means even more power

10. BMW

BMW is short for Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Work). Other noted acronyms include:

  • VANOS: “Variable Nockenwellen Steuerung” (Variable Camshaft Timing)
  • SAV: Sports Activity Vehicle

BMW badge

BMW is short for Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Work)

11. Alfa Romeo

The letters A, D, and N are prominently shown off near the gear lever on every new Alfa Romeo.

  • A.L.F.A: [Società] Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (Lombard Automobile Factory Company (until 1920))
  • D: Dynamic
  • N: Natural
  • A: All Weather Modes

Alfa Romeo badge

The letters A, D, and N are prominently shown off near the gear lever on every new Alfa Romeo

 

12. Lamborghini

The Lamborghini Murcielago, Diablo and Aventador wears “SV” (SuperVeloce) acronym that implies the highest in performance in the fleet.

Lamborghini SV badge

“SV” is short for SuperVeloce

13. Ford

Here are some Ford’s well-known car acronyms used on its high-performance cars like the GT and the Mustang:

  • RS: Rally Sport
  • ST: Sport Technologies
  • SVT: Special Vehicle Team
  • SHO: Super High Output

Ford Mustang badge

Ford uses well-known car acronyms used on its high-performance cars

14. Infiniti

In 2010, the Infiniti’s IPL badge is introduced for the first time along with some go-fast bits on the Infinity G37 allowing it to muster 348 hp. Concurrently, an AWD variant also joined the lineup, marked by an X.

  • IPL: Infiniti Performance Line
  • X: All-Wheel Drive

Infiniti IPL badge

The Infiniti’s IPL badge is introduced for the first time in 2010

15. Lexus

The company uses “F” for its top-of-the-line models, which implies not only the “flagship” vehicles, but also the company’s home track – Fuji Speedway.

Lexus F badge

“F” also implies the Lexus’s home track – Fuji Speedway

16. Honda

Two of its best-known acronyms, the Type R and Si monikers, denote plenty of power and torque steer generated by Honda’s VTEC engine.

  • VTEC: Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control
  • Type R: Racing
  • Si: Sport Injected

Honda Type R badge

The Type R and Si monikers are two of Honda’s best-known acronyms

17. Volkswagen

“GTI” is the abbreviation for “Grand Touring Injection” which is the 2.0L turbocharged engine from Volkswagen. The R trim of the VW Golf, meanwhile, signifies “Racing.”

  • GTI: Grand Touring Injection 2.0L turbocharged engine
  • R: Racing
  • TSI: Turbocharged Stratified Injection
  • TDI: Turbocharged Direct Injection

Volkswagen Golf GTI badge

“GTI” is the abbreviation for “Grand Touring Injection”

18. Mercedes-Benz (AMG)

“AMG” is an acronym for “Aufrecht Melcher Großaspac.” The acronym contains names of Erhard Melcher and Hans Werner Aufrecht - two Mercedes-Benz AMG founders and Großaspach which is Aufrecht’s birthplace in Germany.

Mercedes Benz AMG badge

“AMG” is an acronym for “Aufrecht Melcher Großaspac.”

In addition, Mercedes fans may be quite familiar to 4Matic (or the stylized 4MATIC). This is the marketing name of an all-wheel drive system developed by the German marque.

>>> Read the story behind Mercedes-Benz logo

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