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Automakers have given their vehicles playful names since the beginning of the automobile industry. Many cars are named after animals, from the Ford Bronco to the Volkswagen Beetle. So, what about cats? Let’s dive into some weird car news and look at some of the most popular cars named after cats.

Buick Wildcat 

A red 1964 Buick Wildcat on a General Motors (GM) postcard with the Golden Gate Bridge
1964 Buick Wildcat | Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

The Buick Wildcat was first released in 1962 and was available as a two-door hardtop or convertible as well as a four-door sedan or station wagon. This classic muscle car was powered by a powerful V8 engine and had plenty of power. As the name implies, this car is named after the ferocious wildcat.

Additionally, the Wildcat nameplate is now returning to the modern automotive market. Buick revealed a concept electric vehicle (EV) named the Wildcat in 2022, with a future production model rumored to be in the works.

Chevrolet Cheetah

The Chevrolet Cheetah is a concept car that General Motors introduced in 1960. It was designed to be a lightweight racer with a fiberglass body and aluminum wheels. Powered by a V8 engine, it packed a punch. This car is named after the cheetah, which happens to be one of the fastest land animals.

Ford Puma 

The Ford Puma was first released in 1997 and was available as a coupe or convertible. It featured a front-wheel drive powertrain with manual transmission and had enough power to reach top speeds of over 120 mph. The puma is also sometimes referred to as a mountain lion or cougar, among other similar car animal names listed by Zero to 60.

Jaguar (Brand)

Jaguar is one of the oldest automakers still in existence today and has been producing cars since 1935. Its lineup includes sedans, SUVs, convertibles, hybrids, and electric vehicles. Jaguars are large cats native to South America and parts of Central America and Mexico – so it’s not surprising to name an entire brand of vehicles after them.

Mercury Bobcat 

The Mercury Bobcat was produced from 1975-1980 with multiple body styles, including two-door coupes and three-door hatchbacks. Engine options ranged from four- to six-cylinder engines. This car takes its name from the bobcat, found throughout much of North America, Mexico, and Canada.

Mercury Cougar 

The Mercury Cougar debuted in 1967 and was based on Ford’s Mustang platform but with different styling cues. Styling changed dramatically over its lifetime with multiple body styles, including coupes, convertibles, hatchbacks, and wagons. As expected, this classic car takes its name from cougars found throughout North America.  

SEAT Leon 

The Leon debuted in 1999 as part of SEAT’s lineup and replaced the Mk2 VW Golf-based Toledo. It’s based on the same platform as the Volkswagen Golf and is closely related to the Audi A3. This model takes its name from ‘leon,’ the French word for lion, referring to the big cat family.   

Sunbeam Tiger 

The Sunbeam Tiger debuted in 1964 and was based on the Alpine Series IV. Series I models were fitted with a mighty 4.3 L Ford V8 engine. Although production only lasted three short years, the Tiger left a legacy with its robust and unforgettable name.

Volkswagen Tiguan

The Volkswagen Tiguan debuted back in 2006 and offered a third-row seating option despite its compact size. According to Car and Driver, “Tiguan is the totally-made-up tiger/iguana crossbreed that inspired the name of Volkswagen’s small crossover SUV.”

Cat names have long been used when naming cars. Something about these fierce felines makes them powerful symbols associated with speed, agility, and strength. Whether you’re looking for a classic muscle car like the Buick Wildcat or something more modern like the Volkswagen Tiguan, there’s sure to be something out there that fits your needs.

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