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What's in a name? 


As is always the case when a new car is launched, a lot of thinking goes into the selection of a name. The name must be readily pronounceable in all the new car's target markets and must be neither inappropriate nor obscene. Furthermore it must be evocative of the image the manufacturer wishes to portray and should also draw on the manufacturer's past while being up to date.
According to Pierre Bessis who was responsible for the new name (and who incidentally invented Xanae, Scénic, Clio and Mégane) Xsara represents a feminine person such as a queen of Babylon. 
Also contained within the name is `Xsar' or Tsar with all its connotations of unbridled luxury plus `Sahara' with its connotations of a long distance journey. (A 4 x 4 version is planned). 
The combination of letters was not a matter of chance - the ending of the name in the letter `A' continues a theme used in the past (Athena, LNA, Visa, Xantia) while the use of two `A's within a car name is unusual but again, employed in `Athena' and `Xantia'. The letter `X' has also long been associated with the marque (CX and XM) and has high tech and high performance connotations.

© 1997 Julian Marsh