If you take a look at the alphabet, there’s a good chance you can find a car or car manufacturer named for every letter. Even uncommon letters like X, U, or Q all have at least one car or car brand they can call their own.
While the list for these more uncommon letters might not be too long, that’s not the case for the first letter of the alphabet, A. It will hardly come as a surprise that one of the most common letters (and vowels) is part of some of the most iconic car brand names. Similarly, you have many famous vehicle names and manufacturers that start with the letters C, V, U, B, W, and Y.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and best-known car names and brands that begin with the first letter of the alphabet.
Founded all the way back in 1909 in Ingolstadt, Germany, Audi is one of the best-known car manufacturers around the world, and as of 1964, a subsidiary of another popular automobile manufacturer, Volkswagen. Audi vehicles are easily identified through the company’s iconic four-ring logo, which is symbolic of the four brands that came together to form Audi: Audi, Horch, DWK, and Wanderer.
Audi can also lay claim to being the first automobile manufacturer to crash test their cars beginning with tests as early as 1938. Perhaps one of the most notable facts about Audi was that a young engineer by the name of Karl Benz once worked for Audi’s founder, August Horch. Benz worked for Horch for three years before going on to form his own car company, Mercedes Benz.
Today, Audi makes a wide range of luxury coupes, sedans, and SUVs and is often at the forefront of creating new technology to help push safety and driving enjoyment into the future. Popular models include SUVs like the Audi Q5 and Q7 as well as sedans like the A3, A4, and A6. Audi is also looking toward the future with its fully electric e-tron lineup which includes four different SUV types as of February 2023.
One of the best-known Italian automobile brands, Alfa Romeo was founded in June 1910 by Ugo Stella, Nicola Romeo, and Alexandre Darracq. Today, Alfa Romeo is a subsidiary of Stellantis, which is currently the fifth largest automobile manufacturer on the planet behind Hyundai, General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
For many around the world, their introduction to Alfa Romeo has been around racing as the Italian manufacturer is a staple on the international racing circuit, including one of the ten teams currently on the grid for F1.
In the United States, Alfa Romeo offers five vehicles including two sedans with the Giulia and Giulia Quadrifoglio, and three SUVs with the Stelvio, Stelvio Quadrifoglio, and pre-orders for the upcoming Tonale. Beyond vehicles, Alfa Romeo is also known for its work on buses, aircraft engines, railway locomotives, and much more beyond their core business of automobile manufacturing.
One surprise note about Alfa Romeo’s history in racing is that its 1920 to 1940s racing team was run by an individual named Enzo Ferrari. As that name likely sounds familiar, Enzo left the team in 1939 and would go on to start his own car brand, Ferrari, shortly after the end of World War II.
Best known as the luxury division of Honda, Acura is an automobile manufacturer with a heavy emphasis on the North American market. First introduced to the United States in March 1985, Acura has some of the most iconic designs of the 1980s and 1990s with the Acura Legend, Acura Integra, and NSX. After a surge in sales during the 1980s that lasted until the mid-1990s, Acura would find new life in the 2000s with the release of the TL sedan and MDX SUV.
Today, Acura is still well known in the luxury space but doesn’t quite have the cache in the same way Lexus or Infinity does. Even so, the ILX, TLX, RDX, and MDX are always well-reviewed vehicles, and the re-released NSX is one of the most underrated supercars on the road today. Helping Acura’s staying power has always been the idea that Acura vehicles come better equipped with standard amenities than most of its direct competitors providing more value for the price.
Acura can also lay claim to being the first Japanese luxury car brand to hit the American market. You’re likely to see Acura as a staple vehicle manufacturer in the Marvel film series including Captain America, Thor, and The Avengers as well as early The Fast and The Furious films.
Martin, Aston Martin. Popularized by the James Bond film series after its use in the 1964 film Goldfinger, Aston Martin is an iconic luxury sports car brand based out of England.
Founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, today the brand is something of a British cultural icon and even supplies the Prince of Wales with cars since 1982. Even without its significant cultural presence, Aston Martin is still highly regarded for its fantastically crafted vehicles which also include the race cars the company began to produce beginning in 1947.
What’s most significant about Aston Martin vehicles is that they continue to be made by hand. The company has resisted many of the technological advancements that could help produce more vehicles faster in favor of more care and attention to detail that is only found in their existing manufacturing processes. Their current vehicle lineup includes luxury models like the DBX, Vantage, DB11, DBS, Valhalla, and Valkyrie models. One fun Aston Martin fact is that the DB models are actually named after David Brown, the man who bought the company in 1947.
Even as most Aston Martin models can reach speeds over 200 miles per hour, they are eclipsed by the company’s F1 team which can go even faster. After a 61-year absence from the sport, Aston Martin returned in 2021 by taking over the Racing Point team.
Another car brand currently best known for its F1 racing team, Alpine is a French racing and sports car manufacturer founded in 1955. After decades of car manufacturing, Alpine eliminated its public car lineup in 1995 only to reintroduce it to the world in 2017 with the Alpine A110. Since then, Alpine has grabbed up another well-known French name in automobile manufacturing with Renault and formed the Alpine business unit.
Available in a multitude of different configurations, like its race car namesake, the A110 was built for speed and is available in more than three dozen countries around the world. Unfortunately, Alpine has yet to publicly disclose plans to bring the A110 to North America. Regardless of where you can get the A110, this urban sports car, even in its entry-level trim, can hit speeds of up to 155 miles per hour and 0-60 in 4.5 seconds.
Even with the availability of the A110, Alpine is still likely to be best known for its F1 racing team which made its debut during the 2021 season after rebranding from the Renault team.
A proud Italian racing and car manufacturer, Abarth was founded in March 1949 and is currently a subsidiary of Stellantis. Founder Carlo Abarth created the brand with a series of sports cars but the company is likely best known for its sale to Fiat in July 1971. The Fiat brand is instantly recognizable both verbally and visually for its small box-like cars that are popular throughout Europe for being able to easily travel through tight streets.
After production stopped for Abarth in 1971, the company would rise again as Fiat revived the business in 2007 with models like the Abarth Grande Punto. Today, Abarth models include familiar Fiat-like designs with the 595 and the Scorpionissma. These limited edition models are available in two fun colors, poison blue and acid green, and both models are only available as either a hatchback or cabriolet (convertible).
One of the more unique names on this list is Arcfox which is best known as a dedicated electric vehicle brand out of China. A subsidiary of BAIC or the state-owned Beijing Automotive Group Company, Arcfox was formed in 2017. The first model went on sale as a microcar called the Lite which targeted the Chinese premium market. The brand would then make its first major appearance on the world stage at the 2019 Geneva Motor show where it indicated plans to bring its cars and operations to Europe in the near future.
Even as a smaller player in today’s Chinese market, bringing in Walter de Silva has put the company on the world’s radar. As the former head of design for both Alfa Romeo and Volkswagen, Walter de Silva is expected to bring a unique sense of style to Arcfox so it can forge its own path in the ultra-competitive Chinese market.
Arcfox started sales of the Alpha-T in China in August 2020 and, in order to compete in the heavily saturated Chinese market, the crossover SUV that is the Alpha-T offers 406 miles of range on a single charge and Level 2 autonomous driving. The Arcfox Alpha-S is the second vehicle from the brand and is co-developed with Huawei and can drive between 326 or 440 miles on a single charge depending on which trim level is purchased.
As this list shows, A is one of the best-known letters in the alphabet as far as big-name car manufacturers. Audi and Acura, in particular, are responsible for hundreds of thousands of cars sold each year, and Aston Martin is easily one of the coolest brands thanks to its close ties to the James Bond film franchise. While other letters may have more car manufacturers available, few of them can say they are part of the James Bond world!