A car model (or automobile model or model of car) is the name used by a manufacturer to market a range of similar cars. The way that car manufacturers group their product range into models varies between manufacturers.
A model may also be referred to as a nameplate, specifically when referring to the product from the point of view of the manufacturer, especially a model over time. For example, the Chevrolet Suburban is the oldest automobile nameplate in continuous production, dating to 1934 (1935 model year), while the Chrysler New Yorker was (until its demise in 1996) the oldest North American car nameplate. "Nameplate" is also sometimes used more loosely, however, to refer to a brand or division of larger company (e.g., GMC), rather than a specific model.
Without any equipment, upholstery and exterior trim is usually determined by the trim level, the car model often defines the styling theme and platform that is used. The model also defines the body style(s) and engine choice(s).
Some models have only one body style (e.g. the Mazda 2 hatchback), while other models are produced in several body styles (e.g. the Audi A3, which has been produced in hatchback, sedan and convertible body styles). Similarly, some models have a single engine/powertrain specification available (eg the Chevrolet Volt), while other models have multiple powertrains available (eg the Ford Mustang, which has been produced with inline-4, V6 and V8 engines).
In some cases, a manufacturer has marketed a body style as a separate model — for example the Volkswagen Jetta and the BMW 4 Series, which are based on the Volkswagen Golf and BMW 3 Series platforms respectively.
The same car model may be sold by the automaker in different countries under different model names. Examples include Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero, Mazda MX-5 / Miata, Volkswagen Golf / Rabbit and Ford Everest / Endeavour.
For a particular model, the trim level identifies the level of equipment or special features. For example, the Acura MDX has 11 different trim levels, each with different combinations of drivetrains (All Wheel Drive or Four Wheel Drive) and technology/entertainment packages.
The model year (MY) is a manner of indicating the version of a car that has been produced and changed over multiple years. In the U.S. automotive industry, it is common for the model year of a car to indicate the year after the vehicle is released for sale, as many models are released in the months preceding the model year.
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