Crossover Utility Vehicles are all the rage now, while cars are slowly disappearing from the showrooms. However, manufacturers seem to have no compunction about taking the names off of these old cars and reapplying them to CUVs. The results of these name transplants are often automotive non-sequiturs.
First up, we have the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, taking the name of the legendary 90s sports coupe (and depending on your perspective, the not-so-great 2000s and 2010s followup models). I had hoped that the slow sales of this CUV might put the brakes on this name desecration trend, but I fear it will not, as we shall see.
Next up, the Audi TT, which is soon ending production and is rumored to have its name slapped on a battery-powered CUV. While this is still in the early planning stages, Audi has been dropping hints about this for a while. The 2014 Audi TT offroad concept (pictured above) gives you an idea of what a crossover TT might look like.
Lastly, and perhaps most egregiously, we have the Mustang “inspired” BEV crossover that Ford plans on unveiling later this month. Technically not a replacement for the Mustang (at least not yet), it is more of a brand extension to the existing Mustang coupe. It likely will not be called a Mustang, but instead something Mustang-esque, like Mach E or Mach 1. But make no mistake: The multiple Mustang design cues (like the three-bar brake lights and galloping pony logo) make it clear the connection they are trying to establish here in the mind of the buyer. 3D CAD drawings of this car recently leaked, and there are numerous renderings available online, a sampling of which I have captured in this article.
But name desecration is hardly a new phenomenon. Remember when Ford tried to put the Mustang name on what ultimately became the Ford Probe? The Korean Pontiac LeMans? I could go on, but I have to leave some for everyone else.
So I’ll kick it to you: What do you think is the worst form of Automotive name reuse?