중앙데일리

Cracking the code of car names

Apr 09,2006
L330, 307CC ― car model names can often seem like some kind of secret code. There’s nothing undercover, though: the names are merely a simplified way of explaining the type and capabilities of vehicles.
For example, the numbers in the Hyundai Grandeur L330 or the Lexus 430 signify an engine capacity of 3,300 and 4,300 cubic centimeters, or cc, respectively. The cc number indicates the volume of gas spent when the vehicle moves. The larger the capacity, the more powerful the vehicle.
Audi distinguishes the capacity of its cars with names like A8, A6 and A4; the higher the number, the more powerful the vehicle.
BMW’s model numbers denote the car’s size, as well as its engine type and capacity. The moniker 530i, for instance, means the car is a mid-size sedan (“5”), with a 3,000-cc engine (“3”), and that it runs on gasoline (“i”,”which stands for injection). BMW model numbers are prefixed with either a “7”, meaning the car is a luxury sedan; a “5” for mid-sized sedans; a “3” for compact sedans, and a “1” for the smallest cars, which are not currently sold in Korea.
Renault Samsung has three models: the SM7, the SM5 and the SM3. As elsewhere, higher numbers equal more juice, from 1,500 cc for the smallest SM3s, to 3,500 cc for the largest SM7s.
Peugeot models are labeled by a three-digit number with a “0” in the middle. Peugeot automobiles also run the gamut from small passenger vehicles to luxury sedans ― the higher the number preceding the “0,” the bigger the car. The number after the “0” indicates what generation the car is. So, a Peugeot 206 is a sixth-generation compact car. Peugeot model numbers with the “CC” appendage are “Coupe Cabriolets,” or convertibles.
Nowadays, more companies use a combination of letters with specific meanings. Particularly common are “D,” for “diesel,” and “X,” which means the car is appropriate for more than one purpose ― say, a cross-country vehicle with some of the features of a regular passenger car. Sport utility vehicles from BMW, Volvo and Lexus include the letter “X,” as do the Tucson and Santa Fe models from Hyundai Motor.
“L”, meaning “luxury,” is also in wide use; too wide, say some in the industry, resulting in the term “luxury” becoming increasing meaningless.
Another shorthand code in the car industry is HDi, or “High Pressure Direct Injection” ― a form of fuel injection in a diesel engine.
Mercedes Benz labels its sport utility vehicles with the letter “M” to stress their mobility. Other Mercedes models take the letters “C,” meaning “compact,” “E” for “executive,” and “S” for “super salon.”


by Kim Seung-hyun


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