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Auto blogTue, 01 Oct 2013 11:01:00 EST
What's in a name? This cliched phrase probably gets tossed out at every marketing meeting that happens when a new car gets its nomenclature. We know the answer, though: everything. The name of a car has all the potential to make or break it with fickle customers that are more conscious than ever about what their purchases say about them.
That's giving headaches to marketing folks across the automotive industry. "It's tough. In 1985 there were about 75,000 names trademarked in the automotive space. Today there are 800,000," Chevrolet's head of marketing, Russ Clark, told Automotive News. Infiniti's president, Johan de Nysschen, echoed Clark's sentiment, saying, "The truth of the matter is, across the world, there is hardly a name or a letter that hasn't already been claimed by one car manufacturer or another. You can go through the alphabet - A, B, C and so forth - and you will quickly see that almost all available letters are taken."
What has that left automakers to do? Get creative. In the case of Infiniti, it made the controversial move to bring all of its cars' names into a new scheme, classifying them as Q#0 for cars and QX#0 for SUVs and crossovers. So the Infiniti G, which was available as the G25 and G37, is now the Q50. The FX37 and FX50 are now the QX70.
You can now put prices to your wildest option-sheet dreams of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. A microsite for the full-size pickup truck twins has been up since January, and now the full-blown configurator is live and ready to take your virtual orders. The only two chassis configurations available at the moment are the Crew Cab with either a short or standard bed - Regular and Double Cab versions will come later. In Silverado flavors that will run you $32,710 for the short box, $33,010 for the standard box, while the Sierra adds a $1,500 premium to both of those prices, and destination and handling for both models adds another $995.
Since these are American pickups the list of modifications is lengthy, but we added $11,450 in just two steps by starting with the Silverado Crew Cab and standard bed, then checking four-wheel drive and the LTZ Z71 package. Our final truck, resplendent in Brownstone Metallic paint, heated and cooled Cocoa/Dune perforated leather seating and tasty details like chrome recovery hooks, and engine block heater and LED cargo box lighting, rang up $57,285 at the candy store.
They'll be on dealer lots sometime this summer, so now's a good time to start practicing your box-checking.
Callaway has released a few renderings of a design study for a shooting brake version of the C7 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. The company says it wants to create a long-roof version of America's sports car to offer buyers more interior room and a vehicle with "unique style." The company says it will use structural carbon fiber for the new body bits, which suggests the conversion shouldn't add too much more weight to the Corvette. Along with a few mechanical tweaks, the Callaway Corvette Stingray AeroWagon could breeze past the 200 miles per hour barrier.
Provided that they get enough interest, Callaway estimates they will be able to effect the changes on the Chevrolet for around $15,000, and says the conversion work should be available through its network of dealers. You can check out the brief press release below for more information, or head over to the Callaway site to plunk down a deposit - but before you do, we want to know... do you find this C7 wagon interesting? Vote in our poll below, then feel free to leave a few lines in Comments.