The Meaning Behind 10 Common Estate Acronyms And Names
Every car maker who sells estate cars has a different name for them. But have you ever wondered what Avant, T-Model, Touring and co actually mean? You’re about to find out!
Audi uses the ‘Avant’ name since 1977. The first car to have this name was the Audi 100 C2 Avant, although it was a liftback (car with a Coupé roof and a big tailgate hinged at the top) and not a station wagon.
I couldn’t figure out the exact reason why Audi decided to use this name, but as ‘Avant’ is French for ‘before, earlier’ it probably means that Audi models are ahead of their time.
‘Touring’ is English and means ‘travelling’ or ‘driving around’. BMW started using the name in the seventies, but just like the Audi, the 1800 Touring was a liftback and not an estate.
So basically, Touring stands for ‘the ideal travel car’. This makes sense, as the Touring models come with a big trunk for luggage.
I bet you wouldn’t have expected to see a Dacia on this list, but its name is actually rather interesting. The first generation Dacia Logan MCV was essentially an estate version of the Logan, however it could seat seven people. The first generation’s MCV acronym meant ‘Multi Convivial Vehicle’.
However, the second generation has changed drastically - not only has it become a ‘normal’ estate, but the meaning of the acronym also changed: Now, it means ‘Maximum Capacity Vehicle’ - which is definitely less complex.
If you’re American and have never heard this name before: Don’t worry, it’s only called ‘Mondeo Turnier’ in Europe - in the rest of the world it’s known as the Fusion.
In German, ‘Turnier’ usually means ‘competition’, but according to some well-known translation websites, it’s also the German translation for ‘Shooting Brake’ (although I never heard that before). Shooting Brake is the name for a certain style of estates which we will cover in a second.
Shooting Brake doesn’t mean that the car’s brakes are equipped with guns. It actually is an early 19th century British term for a vehicle used to carry shooting parties with their equipment and game. Nowadays, Shooting Brakes are defined as estates with their main focus on styling rather than on maximum storage capacity. The name is commonly used by Mercedes for their coupé-ish CLA and CLS estates.
Just like ‘Touring’, Tourer stands for a travel car. This is very fitting for the Accord Tourer, but the Civic Tourer is more like a Shooting Brake with it’s coupé style roof.
According to Wikipedia, the XF Sportbrake is another example of a lifestyle-estate which focus on design instead of trunk capacity.
The first car to establish this trend was the Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon, and it became so successful that many other car makers decided to use the ‘Sport-‘ term for their estates.
Apparently, so did Jaguar, and it looks like they also mixed it up with ‘Shooting Brake’.
‘T-Model’ (or ‘T-Modell’ as we Germans spell it) is another iconic name for estate cars. The ‘T’ stands for ‘tourism’ and ‘transport’, and has been used for Mercedes’ (proper) estates since the launch of the W123 in 1977.
Internally, the codes for the estates don’t begin with ‘W’ but instead as ‘S’. The ‘S’ comes from the German ‘Stationswagen’ which means - you guessed it - station wagon. Accordingly, the W123 estate was called S123, and the current E-Class estate which you can see up there is called the S213.
In 2002, German news magazine ‘Spiegel’ asked Peugeot officials about the hidden meaning in their ‘SW’ name (although back then they were of course talking about the 307 SW). Peugeot’s German press officer, Thomas Schalberger, smiled and said ‘There is no hidden meaning’. Station Wagon or Sport Wagon were already used by other companies, but ‘SW’ was free - and so Peugeot claimed it.
Variant is Volkswagen’s common term for their estate models, and it was introduced in 1962 with the presentation of the ‘1500 Variant’.
I couldn’t find any official explanation of the term, but ‘variant’ is English and means ‘versatile’ - which is one of the key features of an estate.
Alright guys, hope this was interesting!
Took ages to look this all up - and I have an English test on Monday! XD
Tobi aka The Stig’s German Cousin