Can You Name All These Cars Named After Animals?


By: Beth Hendricks

7 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons by JoachimKohler-HB

About This Quiz

Do you believe cars have personalities? No, we don't mean like "This Ford is happy" or "That Chevrolet is mad." But rather, personalities based on their names? Think about it. Would a big, bad muscle car be perceived differently if it were a Dodge Kitten? Do you think you'd question the speed of a Chevrolet Cheetah? What if it were called a Chevrolet Sloth? Changes things, doesn't it?

There's importance in names, and not just for people. Auto manufacturers go to great pains to select just the right moniker for a vehicle. They have trademarks to consider, negative connotations of words or awkward translations to think about and, quite frankly, the "coolness" factor. Does a vehicle's name convey that it's rugged, powerful, fast or luxurious? 

It's no secret, then, why automakers choose animals to represent their new rides. Nothing says "speed" like a Roadrunner or a Leopard. When you think of something "unusual," your attention might turn to a Beetle or a Panda. You might equate ruggedness with a Ram or a Bronco. Nothing is cuter than a Bluebird or a Rabbit. (OK, maybe those last two are bad examples.)

Can you think of auto manufacturers who have turned to the animal kingdom to inspire their product line? What four- (or more) legged creature has found its way to the back of your vehicle? From Barracudas to Wildcats, we've got a wild list of cars named after animals. See how many you can catch!

If someone punches you after seeing one of these cars, don't take it personally. That's just how the game goes. Which vehicle inspires this friendly competition?

The German-made Volkswagen Beetle, sometimes referred to as a "Bug," has been the vehicle entertaining passengers and backseat drivers for years. As the game goes, when you see one, you announce "Slug bug!" with a (gentle) punch administered to your neighbor. The vehicle's name translates from the German word for beetle: "Käfer."


These little guys can multiply quickly ... just like the name for this VW car. Which one is it?

Is it a Rabbit? It is a Golf? Volkswagen likes to keep people guessing with this one, changing its name multiple times from Rabbit to Golf and back again. This car's hatch has plenty of room for a basket of baby bunnies.


This manufacturer was famous for the Hornet, so why not add another stinger? What did they name it?

The Hudson Wasp does feel like a natural accompaniment to the Hudson Hornet, doesn't it? The Wasp and the Hornet were both produced in the 1950s, with the Wasp serving as a souped-up version of the manufacturer's Pacemaker (yes, that was really its name!).


This Dodge model's name was selected to play off of a competitor's "Cobra." What did they name it?

The Dodge Viper is an intimidating specimen — in name if nothing else. The image of a viper brings to mind venomous snakes with giant fangs, which Dodge gave a nod to when it chose its name to rival the Ford Cobra.


Ford went historic — prehistoric, that is — when selecting a name for this truck. What is it?

Ford choose the "Raptor" name for its truck as a mash-up of the prehistoric velociraptor and modern-day birds of prey. It's a fitting name for a vehicle that chews up the road with its rugged appearance and features.


Wanna race? Which of these Hudson classics dominated early stock car racing?

Hudson was the first auto manufacturer to ever get involved in stock car racing, pitting its virtually unbeatable Hornet against the rest of the field. The Hudson Hornet was manufactured for seven years in the 1950s.


Technically a mythological creature, we're still calling the Ford vehicle named after this supernatural being animal-influenced. What is it?

The Ford Thunderbird went through two production runs, from 1954 to 1997 and again from 2002 to 2005. Though it's named for a mythological creature, Native Americans believed it possessed traits of power and strength. Those aren't shabby characteristics for a vehicle.


Behind this car's name is an animal whose speed can reach 50 miles per hour. Luckily, the car itself can go even faster. Which one are we talking about?

The Chevrolet Impala is named after a type of antelope indigenous to parts of Africa. It's likely that Chevy gave its car this name in honor of the animal's known speed and prowess in making a swift escape from predators.


This Buick's styling changed a lot during its five decades, just like the song of the bird it's named for. Which one of these is it?

The skylark is a songbird that exhibits different sounds at different times and, though they may not have intended it, Buick's Skylark shares that changeable characteristic, with its look morphing over its five decades of production.


This car's sleek design is reminiscent of the predatory ocean creature it shares a name with. What is it?

There's no question that the Chevrolet Corvette Stingrays are the stuff car lovers' dreams are made of. Early on, it earned its name for the sleek shape it has, similar to the flat-bodied stingray.


It's a "young" name for a small car. Which of these Dodge vehicles shares its name with a young male horse?

The Dodge Colt is appropriately named; its small body is a perfect fit for the term "colt," which is representative of a young male horse. Manufactured from 1971 to 1994, the Colt was a subcompact vehicle.


Ford's subcompact car, sold during the 1970s, sounds more like a food than the horse for which it's named. What is it called?

A pinto is a type of horse, but in the case of Ford, it was one of the smallest subcompact cars ever made. It wasn't overwhelmingly popular, though, only lasting through the decade of the 1970s.


When this car first came out, Lincoln-Mercury advertised it as a car "for the man on his way to a Thunderbird." Which one is it?

The Mercury Cougar, first introduced in 1967, was advertised as a step toward Ford's Thunderbird. What it really was, was a slightly souped-up version of the Ford Mustang. Cougars are known for their power and ability to challenge animals even bigger than themselves


It's a horse! It's a plane! It's this popular member of the Ford line-up. Which is it?

There's some discrepancy in Ford history about whether the Mustang was named after the horse or a fighter plane from World War II. Whichever it was, a mustang is still a horse, and Ford's Mustang remains one of the brand's most popular sellers.


You can off-road in this vehicle, which is appropriate given the name it shares with a large animal that likes to roam the plains. What is it?

American bison are well-known for roaming the Great Plains, perhaps more so historically than today. The Bison, though, is a very current addition to the Chevrolet line-up, a cross between a truck and an off-road vehicle.


An animal that means "he who kills with one leap," lends it name to one entire brand of vehicles. Which one are we talking about?

The word "jaguar" comes from a Native American word that means "he who kills with one leap," so it's not a leap to imagine a brand, Jaguar, singularly using that word to represents its entire line.


If a 1929 Mercedes-Benz SSK roadster is too rich for your blood, this kit car named after a swift antelope might fit the bill. What was its name?

OK, we know this one is a bit of a stretch, but the CMC Gazelle really was a thing, a kit car that resembled the much pricier Mercedes-Benz. The animal known as a gazelle, on the other hand, is also a thing, a swift type of antelope found primarily in Africa.


It was the world's first pony car, sharing its name with a snake-like fish. What did Plymouth name it?

The Plymouth Barracuda was very nearly the Plymouth Panda, but that didn't nearly represent the styling or sportiness that the world's first pony car exuded. As for the fish it's named for, the barracuda is a predatory fish with a snake-like appearance.


This car has a feline name that's also favored by sports fans in Kentucky. What is it?

Which came first: University of Kentucky Wildcat basketball or the Buick Wildcat? (We're glad you asked.) The Buick Wildcat was introduced in 1962; the Wildcats' first basketball season dates back to 1903.


This animal can't change its spots ... but the manufacturer that created it changed its status to "discontinued" in 1999. What is its name?

The Nissan Leopard lived a good life, in production from 1980 to 1999. It was marketed as a "personal luxury car" and sold exclusively at dealerships in Japan. So, don't be disappointed if you've never seen one actually on the road.


American Motors Corporation chose an iconic American animal for the name of which of these cars?

What better name for an American Motors Corporation vehicle than the bird that represents American itself? The Eagle was a compact car sold in the 1980s, while the eagle is America defined.


A mash-up of a planet name and the name of a small weasel-like mammal indigenous to Russia gives you which of these vehicles?

The Mercury Sable was on the roads off and on between 1986 and 2009. While the manufacturer shares its name with a planet in our solar system, the model can be traced to a small mammal indigenous to Russia.


Plymouth paid for the rights to a cartoon character of the same name to advertise this car. Wile E. Coyote got nothing. What car are we referring to?

If there's one thing that the name Road Runner conveys, it's speed. And the ability to escape the clutch of one Wile E. Coyote, but we digress. Plymouth did manage to strike up a deal with Warner Bros. to use the world's most famous roadrunner in its advertising.


Creepy-crawly! Which of these vehicle names dates back to horse-drawn carriages?

The Fiat 124 Spider is just one of the numerous cars that have shared the Spider moniker over the years. The term dates all the way back to horse-drawn carriages, where passengers sat atop a carriage with no overhead covering — resembling, they say, a spider.


Don't try to power this car with bamboo ... despite its name. What is it called?

What emotions come to mind when you think of the Panda? Cute? Lovable? That's exactly what Fiat hopes you'll think, and why it attached that name to its cute, compact car. And, yes, while real pandas eat bamboo, this Panda needs good old-fashioned gasoline.


Agent Maxwell Smart gave this car its stripes, driving it frequently in the "Get Smart" TV series. What was it?

The Sunbeam Tiger's most notable claim to fame was as the vehicle of choice for Max Smart in the 1960s television series "Get Smart." His, of course, had a machine gun. We could only be so lucky.


The people at Lamborghini dug deep to find this name for its SUV, an extinct type of cattle. What name did they choose?

The Lamborghini Urus is named after a now-extinct type of wild cattle, similar to today's calmer cows you've seen from the side of the road ... hopefully while driving your Urus SUV.


If you're of a certain age, you'll probably remember this vehicle for a famous "chase" involving "The Juice." What vehicle is it?

The Ford Bronco reached new levels of fame in 1994 when one of them driven by Al Cowlings was used to take O.J. Simpson on a slow pursuit through the streets of Los Angeles. The Bronco itself is named after a type of wild horse.


This Bill Thomas-built sports car had a large cat name and a Corvette engine. What was it called?

Cheetahs never win ... unless they're the type built by Chevrolet performance tuner Bill Thomas. Thomas developed the Cheetah, named after one of the world's fastest land animals, to rival the Cobra built by Carroll Shelby.


A subcompact choice, a bunch of these VW models in one place might be called a "skulk," after their animal alter ego. What is it?

A group of foxes together is called a "skulk." A group of Volkswagen Foxes together is, well, just a group of subcompact cars. The Fox is most popular in Europe and Latin America; in Brazil, it's called a SpaceFox. How cool is that?


Say the name of this vehicle in your best Australian accent. What animal is represented?

Dingo was its name-o! Wait, that's not how that song goes, but it is how Mitsubishi chose the Dingo's name, replacing the "B" in "Bingo" with a "D" in honor of its company logo. A dingo is an animal, though, similar to a dog and found only in Australia.


Later, gator! Which member of the reptile family did Porsche choose for one of its models?

OK, in fairness, Porsche calls its vehicle a "Cayman," but the word is derived from the reptile, "caiman," a close relative of the alligator. A Porsche Cayman is precisely what you'd expect from the brand: luxury meets speed.


This scaled-down Datsun B-210 was made to appeal to to budget buyers; its black-and-yellow striping was a fun add-on. What was it called?

When Datsun introduced the Honeybee in the mid-1970s, it did so to appeal to buyers on a budget. But that doesn't mean those buyers didn't want something distinctive, which is exactly what the car's striping and accompanying honeybee decal gave them.


Nothing says "rugged" like a horse trained to do battle. Which vehicle bears a name meaning the same?

A charger is a war horse. Sounds tough, right? That's exactly what Dodge thought when it chose the name for its muscly, horsepower-fueled Charger. And who wouldn't want a car you could take into battle?


This car, like the fish it's named for, was relatively rare, in production for only two years under the Rambler and AMC names. Which one are we talking about?

The Rambler Marlin (later the AMC Marlin) was in production for only a short period in the 1960s. Its fishy name is fitting, then, since some varieties of the actual marlin are considered vulnerable to extinction.


It sounds like it's named for a musical instrument, but it's actually named for a type of antelope. Which one are we talking about?

The Mazda Bongo is a van and, yes, it's sort of shaped like a drum, but that's not quite where its name comes from. Instead, it shares a name with the African bongo, a type of antelope.


In the market for a new car? This one conveys power and an air of mystery, with a name that translates to "tiger." Which is it?

The Porsche Macan, a smaller version of its Cayenne SUV, earned its name for its "suppleness, power and fascination," according to company execs. Perhaps the fascination part comes from the "Macan" name itself, which comes from the Indonesian word for "tiger."


The TV show, "Top Gear," famously rolled this car ... not so reliant, after all. What is the model?

Maybe the Reliant Robin has a hard time staying upright because it only has three wheels. Yeah, you heard that right. Three. Wheels. "Top Gear" famously rolled one similar to Mr. Bean, who regularly rolled another Reliant product, the Regal.


Datsun, a now-defunct auto manufacturer, elected to name this model after a territorial winged creature. Which one did they choose?

Ever heard of the Datsun (later, Nissan) Bluebird? Don't worry if you haven't. This Japanese-made car enjoys greater popularity in international circles and even serves as a model frequently used as a taxi!


Dodge produced this truck, naming it after an animal with up to 30 pounds in horns alone! Which is it?

When you think tough, think ram ... which one is up to you! That's exactly what Dodge hoped to convey with its Ram truck, synonymous with the tough-as-nails male bighorn sheep whose horns can weigh up to 30 pounds by themselves.


Explore More Quizzes

About Autoversed

Welcome to Autoversed: your online auto destination. If you consider a vehicle more than just means of transportation; if you treat your ride with love and care; if, even after years of driving, the feeling of accelerating hard on the open road still gets you revved up – you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re a daily commuter looking for a reliable ride, a car enthusiast thinking about your next hot rod, or a parent who needs to get the kids from A to Z, Autoversed has something for you. We’ve got the lowdown on hot exotic rides, pricy luxury vehicles, eco-friendly green machines, rugged off-roaders, and more. Come take a look!