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Has Every Single Automaker Called a Car "GT"?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2016

The most common sequence of letters in the automotive world is "GT." These two letters are so common that you can't simply tell someone that you drive a GT, because there's no way for them to know what you're talking about. A BMW 5 Series GT? A Ford GT? A Mustang GT? I could go for days. Really, I could probably go for days naming only GT cars. And this got me thinking: Given just how ubiquitous the GT designation is, has every single car company used the letters at one point or another?

So I decided to go on a little research mission to find out. Here's a listing of every single car company that currently makes vehicles in any sort of large numbers, and a few remarks about whether they've ever used "GT." Although I've spent some time researching this, it's by no means a comprehensive list, so feel free to add in your own GT-related notes in the comments.

Acura: To my knowledge, Acura has never used the designation "GT" on any production car.

Alfa Romeo: Although Alfa Romeo has avoided the U.S. market for much of the last 2 decades, it's back now. In foreign markets, Alfa sold a car called simply the Alfa Romeo GT, a coupe made throughout most of the 2000s.

Aston Martin: Aston Martin has a long history of using the GT designation, going back at least to the DB4 in the early 1960s. Modern Astons using "GT" include the sporty V8 Vantage GT and the luxurious DB9 GT.

Audi: While the best-known modern Audi using the GT moniker is a high-powered version of the R8, Audi sold a car called simply the Coupe GT in the 1980s. It was the 2-wheel-drive version of Audi's now-famous all-wheel-drive Quattro Coupe.

Bentley: Bentley's most famous use of "GT" is undoubtedly its Continental GT coupe, which has been on sale since 2005.

BMW: Although BMW shied away from using "GT" for a lot longer than most everyone else, hatchback versions of the 3 Series and 5 Series sedans are now called the 3 Series Gran Turismo and the 5 Series Gran Turismo -- shortened to "GT" by virtually everyone, including BMW, who sticks a GT badge on the back of both models.

Buick: I couldn't think of any Buick models that use "GT" -- but apparently, the Verano sedan is sold as the Excelle GT in China.

Cadillac: I can't think of a single Cadillac that has ever used the GT designation.

Chevrolet: Although Chevrolet doesn't use the GT name much -- likely in deference to rival Ford, who uses it a lot -- Chevy has used it before. For example, there was a Chevy Vega GT in the 1970s, along with a Beretta GT in the 1990s.

Chrysler: The only Chrysler I can find that's used the GT designation is perhaps the least likely -- the PT Cruiser, whose sporty turbocharged version, sold from 2003 to 2007, was dubbed the PT Cruiser GT.

Dodge: Dodge doesn't shy away from the GT designation. In addition to the obvious GT-badged Dodge (the Viper GTS, from 1996 to 2002), the brand's Dart sedan offers a trim level called GT. There's also a new Durango GT for 2017.

Ferrari: Numerous Ferrari models have been dubbed "GT" over the years -- from earlier vehicles like the 250 GT, the 275 GTB and the 330 GTC to more recent models like the F355 GTS and the 488 GTB.

FIAT: Although FIAT hasn't sold a GT-branded car during its short time in the U.S., the automaker has used the designation on many foreign models -- most notably, the sporty Punto GT in the 1990s.

Ford: Perhaps the most famous modern usage of "GT" comes from the Ford GT supercar, named after the original GT40, which will soon begin its second generation. But Ford has also used "GT" to denote V8-powered versions of its popular Mustang, along with a few other models -- including the 1990s Probe coupe.

GMC Yukon

GMC: Although you probably wouldn't expect it, GMC has used the GT designation. Throughout the 1990s, 2-door versions of the brand's full-size Yukon SUV were named the Yukon GT.

Honda: I don't think Honda has ever used the name "GT" on a road car. It might be the biggest brand that hasn't.

Hyundai: Hyundai has used the GT designation at various times. Today, automaker's lone GT-badged car is the Elantra GT 5-door hatchback -- a name Hyundai also gave to Elantra hatchback models in the mid-2000s. In the past, sporty versions of Hyundai's Tiburon coupe were known as the Tiburon GT.

Infiniti: I don't think there's ever been a road-going Infiniti that has used the GT designation. But Infiniti is clearly aware of the mythical forces of GT -- the luxury brand released a concept supercar last year called the Vision GT.

Jaguar: I can only find one Jaguar, past or present, that has used the GT designation -- a high-performance, limited-production, track-ready version of the recent XKR-S, dubbed the XKR-S GT.

Jeep: Since Jeep primarily focuses on SUVs, I don't think they've ever used the GT name on a vehicle.

Kia: Surprisingly, Kia hasn't done much with the GT name. Sporty versions of the Optima sedan are sold in foreign markets as the Optima GT, while the most prominent Kia ever to wear a GT badge was a concept luxury car (dubbed simply the Kia GT) released several years ago.

Lamborghini: Early Lamborghini models frequently made use of the GT designation -- including the Jarama GT and (my personal nomination for the most beautiful car ever made) the 350GT and 400GT, which were built in the 1960s.

Land Rover: Being an SUV manufacturer, Land Rover hasn't used the GT designation.

Lexus: I don't think Lexus has ever used the GT name on one its vehicles.

Lincoln: I can't think of an example of a Lincoln vehicle that has ever been given a GT designation.

Maserati: Maserati gets a lot of use out of the GT designation. Its current 2-door vehicle is dubbed the GranTurismo, which is generally agreed to be the full meaning behind the letters "GT." Meanwhile, the GranTurismo's predecessor was called the Coupe GT -- and, in Europe, the 3200 GT or 4200 GT, depending on engine size. Historical Maserati models have also used the GT designation, including (most notably) the 3500 GT of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Mazda: Mazda uses the GT name as a top-of-the-line trim level on most of its vehicles -- although it now spells out the trim level as "Grand Touring." Mazda has also used the GT trim on various versions of its RX-7 sports car.

Mercedes-Benz AMG-GT

Mercedes-Benz: The best-known Mercedes to use the GT name is the new Mercedes-AMG GT sports car, which debuted for the 2016 model year.

MINI: I can't think of any MINI model that has used the GT designation. Yet.

Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi is no stranger to the GT designation. Its most famous use on a Mitsubishi was the 3000GT sports car, which was built throughout the 1990s in coupe and convertible forms. Another popular Mitsubishi GT: the Eclipse GT, which was the top-of-the-line version of the brand's sporty, 2-door Eclipse.

Nissan: Nissan has been using the GT designation for decades, going back to high-performance versions of its Skyline coupe in the 1960s. Throughout the 1980s, Skyline models were badged GT-S, GT-T and GT-R, depending on their level of performance -- though today's version is called simply the GT-R. Other Nissan models to use the GT designation include the sporty Pulsar GTI-R hatchback.

Porsche Carrera GT

Porsche: Porsche might just be the king of the GT world, having used the designation on each one of its cars -- including the 911 GT1, GT2, GT2RS, GT3, GT3RS and GTS; the Panamera GTS; the Cayman GTS and GT4; the Cayenne GTS; and the Boxster GTS. Of course, there was also Porsche's other most famous GT: the Carrera GT, which I believe is the greatest car ever made. Going back through Porsche's history, you can also find a lot of other usage of "GT," including the 924 Carrera GT, the 928 GT and the 928 GTS.

Rolls-Royce: It doesn't look like Rolls-Royce has ever used "GT" on a vehicle. It wouldn't be proper.

smart: Not surprisingly, there's never been a smart model called GT.

Subaru: For years, sporty versions of the Subaru Legacy were dubbed the Legacy GT. Unfortunately, modern Legacy models have dropped the GT designation -- and the accompanying high-performance turbocharged engine.

Toyota: Toyota has used the GT designation on and off over the years. The most recent usage is the brand's GT-86 sports car, called the Scion FRS (and now simply the Toyota 86) here in the U.S. Other Toyota GT models include the 1960s 2000GT sports car and the more modern Celica GT (and GT-S).

Volkswagen: For more than 30 years, Volkswagen has used the GT designation with an "I" at the end to name its high-performance GTI hatchback. A budget-priced version, without the performance (or the expense) of a real GTI, was available in the 1990s -- and it was called simply the Golf GT.

Volvo: Although it's been a long time, Volvo has used the GT designation on at least one model -- the 242 GT coupe, the sporty model in the brand's 240 lineup. The 242 GT featured performance-oriented styling, improved suspension and enhanced brakes.

So there you have it: all the GT vehicles from all the various manufacturers. By my count, there are 39 manufacturers listed here -- and all but 10 have used "GT," in one form or another, on some vehicle. Now, please feel free to tell me where I'm wrong.

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Has Every Single Automaker Called a Car "GT"? - Autotrader