The hidden meaning of car logos

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It may look like a fancy ornament, but the badge on your car actually has some hidden meaning.

Some of the most iconic brands in the automotive industry certainly did not stumble upon their symbols by accident.

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Do you know what each of them represents?

From the handshake to a horse meant to bring good luck, there is a lot of story behind every logo.

So can you guess what each one really means?

Read on to see what hidden meaning is behind the badge on your engine.

Audi

    The four rings are a nod to Audi's historic partnership

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The four rings are a nod to Audi’s historic partnershipCredit: Reuters

Audi’s four-ring logo was born after a company merger in 1932.

The company has teamed up with three other German automakers in Horch, Wanderer and Dampf-Kraft-Wagen (DKW), to create Auto Union AG.

Each logo ring represents an automotive union arm, with the overlapping circles showing their partnership.

Hyundai

    Can you see the two men shaking hands?

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Can you see the two men shaking hands?Credit: Getty – Contributor

While the Hyundai symbol may look like the letter “H” in italics, it actually has a much deeper meaning.

The company originally designed its logo to show a company salesperson shaking hands with a satisfied customer after they had struck a deal.

The end product is a silhouette version of the image, with the connecting crossbar meant to represent the exchange of trust and satisfaction from the company to the customer.

Mercedes-Benz

    Mercedes logo represents their desire to dominate the market

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Mercedes logo represents their desire to dominate the marketCredit: Getty – Contributor

The Mercedes three-pointed star is designed to represent the company’s desire to be dominant in all areas of engine manufacturing.

The three dots represent land, air and sea as a nod to their quests for efficient and luxurious boats and planes.

The star was first seen in the 1980s, before the brand added “Mercedes-Benz” to its official logo in 1990.

Rolls Royce

    Spirit of Ecstasy is present on most Rolls-Royce cars

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Spirit of Ecstasy is present on most Rolls-Royce carsCredit: Getty – Contributor

The logo of the UK manufacturer itself is simply the initials “RR” of the company name.

But the brand’s most iconic symbol is its “Spirit of Ecstasy” beanie ornament.

The original ornament was created when British politician John Douglas-Scott-Montagu commissioned sculptor Charles Robinson Sykes to create a personal mascot for his 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.

Using Montagu’s mistress, actress Eleanor Velasco Thornton as a model, Sykes created the famous “The Whisper” statue, which has featured on almost every Rolls-Royce car since 1911.

Opel

    The griffin on the Vauxhall badge dates back over 600 years

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The griffin on the Vauxhall badge dates back over 600 yearsCredit: Handout

The griffin seen in Vauxhall’s badge dates back to the original 13th century, when it was featured on the coat of arms of mercenary soldier Fulks the Breant.

The soldier was given the Luton mansion by King John and was given a house in Lambeth, London, naming the building “Fulks hall” – which over time became “Vauxhall”.

Vauxhall Ironworks adopted the griffin in 1857 as its logo and retained the same image when the company began manufacturing cars in 1903.

Ferrari

    The prancing horse is supposed to bring good luck

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The prancing horse is supposed to bring good luckCredit: AFP – Getty

Enzo Ferrari chose the famous Prancing Horse logo after learning it would bring good luck.

The symbol is said to have been painted on the side of Franceso Baracca’s fighter plane during World War I.

After Baracca’s mother told Ferrari about the lucky charm, he adopted it as his brand mascot and added a touch of yellow to represent his hometown of Modena.

Porsche

    The Porsche badge is designed to show a strong connection to the region in which it was created

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The Porsche badge is designed to show a strong connection to the region in which it was createdCredit: AP: Associated press

The Porsche badge has several meanings mixed into one.

First designed in 1952, the red and black represent the coat of arms of Württemberg-Baden, the region around Stuttgart where the company was based, while the black steed appears on the Stuttgart coat of arms.

The bold horse is also believed to express the power of the cars for which Porsche would become famous.


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