VW Explains Why Its SUVs Always Start With The Letter T

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T-Cross, T-Roc, Taos, Tiguan, Touareg, and more.

Volkswagen recently teased a new crossover called the Taigo. Although it will wear a different name, the Taigo will be similar to another VW crossover called the Nivus, sold in Brazil. The Taigo is not planned to arrive in the United States, but a different crossover, the 2022 Volkswagen Taos, will soon arrive at dealerships. With all of VW's recent crossover-related announcements, we noticed that the German automaker often gives these models a name starting with the letter T.

What began with the Touareg and Tiguan has now expanded into a massive roster of T-branded models globally. CarBuzz couldn't help but wonder if there is a reason for all of the T names, so we reached out to Volkswagen for an answer. As it turns out, Volkswagen's T obsession has an origin story.

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Volkswagen

"The T-strategy has naturally grown after the Touareg and the Tiguan. Two strong names were developed that were well received by customers. In order to create a recognition value here, a 'T' was always requested as the first letter for the next names," a company spokesperson told CarBuzz on behalf of the naming department in Germany. "Of course, after the Touareg, it was not yet clear that so many SUVs would follow."

The Touareg traces its name back to a North African tribe, while the Tiguan is actually a combination of the German words for tiger and iguana (leguan). Eventually, VW had to get clever with the naming scheme.

"So that the names don't sound too similar and can be differentiated, the names 'T-Roc' and 'T-Cross' were developed. Here there is the 'T' as a connecting means, but these names have been loosened up and differentiated again by the hyphen," the spokesperson added.

For US readers, the T-Roc and T-Cross are small SUVs sold in global markets, with the former spawning a cute two-door convertible variant akin to the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet.

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen
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Each time VW plans a new crossover or SUV for a specific market, it discusses whether or not to give that vehicle a T name or a T name with a dash, like T-Roc or T-Cross.

"For example, with the Taigo, we discussed for a long time whether the vehicle should actually get a 'T-' or a 'T' again, or simply get the name from the Brazilian market Nivus. We, therefore, started a query in front of all importers when the vehicle was first presented. The request to use a 'T' came up very consistently since the customer is most likely to use it to identify an SUV/CUV from Volkswagen, and that throughout the world."

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen

So, how expansive has VW's T-named roster become? The list includes the following current and discontinued models: Atlas (also called Teramont), T-Cross (also called Tacqua or Taigun), T-Roc, Taigo, Taos (also called Tharu), Tayron, Tayron X, Tiguan, Touareg, and Touran. That's a sizable list, but trademarks dating back to 2019 hint that even more could be on their way. VW owns the rights to T-Sport, T-Go, and T-Coupe, so expect the T-named onslaught to continue.

Volkswagen
Volkswagen

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