The Volkswagen Eos

By Mark Skoultchi

September 7, 2005

Volkswagen has announced the name of its new Concept C coupe: the Eos. The VW Eos will have all the features one expects to find in a luxury sport coupe, but at a price affordable to the so-called “masses.”

Volkswagen has a long history of naming their cars after winds: Passat, Golf, Sirroco, Jetta, Vento, Bora, and Corrado. Lately, however, they have been experimenting with new naming conventions like tribes (Touareg and Boudin). It appears that Greek and Roman gods and deities are another rich source of naming for VW. They already have the Phaeton, named after the son of Appollo who drove his father’s fiery chariot across the sky. And now Eos, the mother of the North, South, and West winds (Boreas, Notus, and Zephyrus). So far, both of the names VW has chosen tie back tangentially to the wind theme (mother of the winds, boy who drove a chariot across the sky), but with a new, fun metaphorical twist.

I like this naming direction that VW seems to be embarking on. Names with a Latinate sound convey quality and mystique. Greek names sound sophisticated. By choosing lessor known deities, Volkswagen avoids names that already have strong associations and that are heavily used in other categories: Apollo, Zeus, Saturn, Mars, Mercury, etc.

If Greek and Roman mythology truly is a new wellspring of naming options that VW is drawing upon, I’m excited to see what future car names they introduce.

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