Drive Type: 2WD
Portland, Oregon, United States
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.
As much as our digital lives have cut down on our trips to the post office, there are still times that sending "snail mail" is necessary. With us car lovers in mind and philately in their hearts, the good folks at the United States Postal Service will introduce a new stamp design called "Muscle Cars" starting on February 22.
Designed by artist Tom Fritz, the new collection of stamps consist of five classic muscle cars: 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, 1967 Shelby GT-500, 1966 Pontiac GTO and 1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda. In addition to just the stamps, the USPS is also commemorating the new series with plenty of collectable memorabilia. Previous car-related stamps include 50s Sporty Cars from 2005 and 50s Fins and Chrome from 2008.
The new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has picked up another buff book accolade after capturing Road and Track's Performance Car of the Year award. The seventh-generation of America's sports car (sorry Viper, Mustang, et al.) has been named Automobile Magazine's Automobile of the Year.
Automobile's award to the Corvette over competitors is the mirror image of its rival Motor Trend, which named the Cadillac CTS its car of the year over the C7. The CTS was, according to the Automobile team, the closest contender to the mighty Stingray. Great news all around for General Motors it seems.
As for what pushed the Corvette past its distant, four-door cousin, Automobile commended its excellent, 6.2-liter V8 calling the car's performance "simply awesome" while also remarking that it is easier to drive fast than ever before thanks to steering and chassis tweaks. Following a theme set by other publications, there were also plaudits for the interior, of all things, with the buff book complimenting the car's ergonomics and material quality, while also praising the standard seats.