Wikipedia:WikiProject Automobiles/Conventions

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WikiProject Automobiles follows these conventions for all automobile-related articles.


Automobile nomenclature, including article titles, should generally take the form of make and model, for example, "Toyota Corolla" or "Volkswagen Passat". A two-part name is needed because many automobile model names, when taken by themselves, have multiple alternate meanings, such as "Fiesta," "Golf, "Cressida" or "911". Rather than create ad hoc disambiguations for model names, it is preferred for editors to follow a consistent standard. The make and model naming scheme is not only the preferred naming scheme, it is also the de facto standard used in most applications internationally.

The make should be the short form of the name, as would be commonly used (see: Wikipedia:Common name), unless disambiguation with other brands is required. The model name should be the basic name for that model.

Sometimes, listing the make and model alone is ambiguous when referring to vehicles with multiple versions. In these cases, the nomenclature should be suffixed with a disambiguator in parentheses:

  • Location: often the same automobile model name can refer to different cars in different locations (for example, the Ford Falcon). When referring to these cars in prose, disambiguation does not need to be shown, but may be required for article titles. If the amount of information available is small, it should be possible to put information about all national variants in one article. However, if the article should grow unwieldy, disambiguate by nation or geographical area. For example, Ford Falcon (Australia) and Ford Falcon (North America). The bare, non-disambiguated page should explain that the same name refers to different cars in different areas and point to the disambiguated articles.
  • Version: more often, automobile models are ambiguous temporally; they refer to different vehicles produced at different times. In order to avoid ambiguity, reference to vehicles with multiple versions should be explicit in which version is being referred to. With respect to article titles, when the information is scant, there is no need to use more than one article. If the article becomes unwieldy, splitting into multiple articles should be considered.
    • Model code: when disambiguating between identically named automobiles, or referring to different generations of the same lineage (such as when splitting up an existing article into separate generational pages), disambiguation should usually be made using the applicable model code. In most cases, the model code should be placed in parentheses after the make and model. For example, the fourth generation Lexus LS (2006–present) is designated "XF40", so this article is thusly titled, "Lexus LS (XF40)" and this is also the term used when referring the vehicle elsewhere in long form. Sometimes different model codes are utilized for automobiles that are very similar, and therefore grouped into the same article. For example, the fifth generation BMW 3 Series has different model codes for each body style: sedan (E90), wagon (E91), coupe (E92), and convertible (E93). The most common or prominent version should be given precedence. In the case of the fifth generation BMW 3 Series, the sedan (E90) is given priority, and the article is resultantly titled "BMW 3 Series (E90)". This is because the sedan was the first version to be released, and also because the sedan sold in higher volumes than the others.
    • Generation: many automobiles are not designated by model codes, or these designations are never publicly revealed by the manufacturer. In these cases, disambiguation by generation is usually the preferred style. The generation should be placed in parentheses after the make and model, for example, Ford Taurus (first generation). Note: "first generation" and "second generation" should be written in lower case, and used in lieu of "1st generation" and "2nd generation", et cetera. In some cases, the mark series is more common so this alternative terminology may be utilized instead (for example, Volkswagen Golf Mk4).
    • Year: if identically named automobiles do not replace each other directly, then usage of the generation terminology can be misleading (for example, the Bentley Mulsanne). In these cases, and if no model code has been assigned or it is unknown, then titles should be disambiguated by year series. These year ranges should be placed after the name in parentheses, for example: Bentley Mulsanne (1980–92). It is important to note that model years are used in North America, and these do not accurately match to calendar years, as used in most other markets. See WP:MODELYEARS for more information.
  • Sometimes the same model name is used to refer to unrelated vehicles at different times or in different markets. In situations like this, it might be preferable to make an article to cover multiple versions in one. For example, the Ford Courier article outlines the evolution of the "Ford Courier" name over the years, referring to other articles for the information about the individual automobiles marketed under that name. In some cases, creating a pure disambiguation page may be preferred, especially when a name has been applied to many different cars which already have existing articles with different names. Mazda 929 is an example of such a disambiguation page.
  • Sometimes make and model do not adequately correspond to the actual cars produced. This is particularly prevalent among North American manufacturers who historically used different model names to distinguish what are essentially different trim levels of the same car. To make things even more confusing, the model names sometimes "move around", referring to different level cars in different years. In situations like this, it may be preferable to make an article to cover multiple versions in one. For example, the 1955 Ford article refers to a series of very similar cars distinguished by different trim levels and body types sold under various nameplates, including Mainline, Customline, and Fairlane. These nameplate articles are better represented as a disambiguation page or by outlining the evolution of the name itself, referring to other articles for the information about the cars marketed under that name in different years.

Alternative names[edit]

By the design of Wikipedia's software, an article can have only one title. For automobiles, alternative names often exist and these should be mentioned in the lead section of the article, or the relevant section if applicable only to one generation/version. Indeed, alternative names can be used in article text in contexts where they are more appropriate than the name used as the title of the article. Automobiles sold under different names should not be dealt with via separate articles. Instead, a combined article should be established covering all versions, with the primary name given precedence, established using the criteria listed below.

Automobile articles are titled with the model name used in the subject vehicle's home market, unless a single name other than the home-market name is used in English-speaking markets, and the home market is not English-speaking. In such cases, the article shall be titled with the model name used in English-speaking markets.


  • Home market refers to the market the vehicle was primarily designed for, which is usually the country that the vehicle's manufacturer is headquartered. Where no such market is applicable or cannot be ascertained, it should be assumed the "home market" is the market where vehicle was launched first.
  • Manufacturer headquarters refers to the entity chiefly responsible for designing and/or producing the subject vehicle, not necessarily the uppermost corporate parent.


  • The Mazda Axela is known as such only in its original home market of Japan, where English is not an official language. In all English-speaking markets, the car is called the Mazda3. Therefore, the article shall be titled Mazda3.
  • Vehicles badged Lexus worldwide were branded as Toyota in Japan until the mid-2000s (e.g. Lexus IS and Toyota Altezza). Under this naming convention, the articles shall be titled with the Lexus names (e.g. Lexus IS).
  • The Daewoo Lacetti in South Korea is known in English speaking markets as the Chevrolet Lacetti, Chevrolet Nubira, Chevrolet Optra, Chevrolet SRV, Holden Viva, Suzuki Forenza, and Suzuki Reno. Under this naming convention the original Daewoo Lacetti name shall be selected for the article title.
  • Some automakers have substantial national operations remote from their corporate seat, for example, Ford Australia and Toyota North America. Use care to discern a vehicle's home market and its manufacturer headquarters from the location of the corporate seat. The Holden Commodore (VF), for example, is designed and built by Holden and its home market is Australia, despite Holden's corporate parent being the US-based General Motors and the car being sold there as the Chevrolet SS. Under this naming convention, the article shall be titled Holden Commodore (VF).


Articles shall utilize boldface markup for the first occurrence of the model name(s) within the first paragraph of articles. For example, '''Ford Mondeo''' displays as Ford Mondeo. This is in accordance with WP:BOLDTITLE.

  • We do not embed links in these names, such as Ford Mondeo. Instead, we link to the appropriate manufacturer or division in the opening sentence of the article. Only the first instance of the name will be emphasized. For example:
    The Ford Mondeo is an automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. It entered production in 1992 was updated in 1996. A second generation Ford Mondeo entered production in 2000.
  • We bold the make and model name (e.g. Ford Mondeo), but not standalone variants (e.g. Ford Mondeo Titanium). Standalone variants comprise trim levels and option packages, and should never be emphasized by bold or italicized text.
  • It is especially important to bold (and list in the lead section of the article, or the relevant section if applicable only to one generation) the names of any models that are redirected to the page/section in question. In other words, since the Mitsubishi Montero and Mitsubishi Shogun models sold over multiple generations redirect to Mitsubishi Pajero, the Pajero article mentions the Montero and Shogun using boldface in the lead section of the article. However, the Toyota Avalon, built over several generations was only sold as the Toyota Pronard during the second generation. As such, the Pronard name is only boldfaced at the second generation section of Toyota Avalon, which is where the redirect points towards.

Marketing terms[edit]

Defer to the terms used by the manufacturer when using terms that might appear improperly spelled or used. For example, Ferrari convertibles are "spiders", not "spyders", Porsche 550 convertibles are "spyders", not "spiders", BMW xDrive is "xDrive", not "XDrive", and Mazda's Wankel engines are "rotary engines".


Dedicated infobox templates have been developed for use in articles about automotive subjects. The templates include blank examples that users can copy into articles, usage instructions that describe the correct entries and formats for data entered into the template fields and an example showing the template code with example data and its corresponding appearance when published. Infobox data should follow the conventions described in this article, and as detailed in each template's usage instructions.


We use the local standard first when making judgments on localized units and terms. The unit order follows a vehicle's major market. For example, American-market cars use "horsepower" (hp) with "kilowatts" (kW) in parentheses. British cars will use brake horsepower (bhp) and kilowatts (kW). Rest-of-world cars will use kilowatts (kW) and metric horsepower, with the general Wikipedia standard suggesting German pferdestärke (PS) as metric horsepower.

General conventions for units:

  • We use the standard International System of Units (SI) describing automobiles, and will generally follow the SI writing style.
  • We separate units from numbers with a non-breaking space (for example, we type 3.2&nbѕp;liters so that 3.2 liters will be displayed in the article). When used adjectivally they contain a hyphen, e.g. 3.2-liter.
  • We use commas but not spaces in numbers used as measurements, and will separate decimals from whole numbers with a full stop/period, not a comma. That is, we use 1,796 cc rather than 1 796 cc, and 2.2 L rather than 2,2 L.
  • We express compound units in lowercase letters. For example: rpm (not rev/min, not REV/MIN, not Rev/Min, not RPM) for revolutions per minute, km/h (not KM/H, not kph, not KPH) for kilometers per hour, mpg (not mi/gal, not MI/GAL, not Mi/Gal, not MPG) for miles per gallon, and mph (not mi/hr, not MI/HR, not Mi/Hr, not MPH) for miles per hour.

Due to the complexity of some unit conversions, it is highly recommended to convert units using {{convert}}.

Conversion examples
Code Result
{{convert|2786|cc|cuin|0|abbr=on}} 2,786 cc (170 cu in)
{{convert|170|cuin|cc|0|abbr=on}} 170 cu in (2,786 cc)
{{convert|4.5|L|cuin|0}} 4.5 liters (275 cu in)
{{convert|275|cuin|L|1|disp=flip}} 4.5 liters (275 cu in)
{{convert|20||impgal L|0|abbr=on}} 20 U.S. gal (17 imp gal; 76 L)
{{convert|100|kW|0|abbr=on}} 100 kW (134 hp)
{{convert|100|hp|0|abbr=on}} 100 hp (75 kW)
{{convert|148|bhp|kW|0|abbr=on}} 148 bhp (110 kW)
{{convert|148|bhp|kW PS|0|abbr=on}} 148 bhp (110 kW; 150 PS)
{{convert|100|PS|kW hp|0|abbr=on}} 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp)
{{convert|100|PS|0|abbr=on}} 100 PS (74 kW)
{{convert|100|N.m|lb.ft|0|abbr=on}} 100 N·m (74 lb·ft)
{{convert|100|lb.ft|0|abbr=on}} 100 lb·ft (136 N·m)
{{convert|22.4|kg.m|Nm lbft|abbr=on}} 22.4 kg·m (220 N·m; 162 lb·ft)
{{convert|100|km/h|0|abbr=on}} 100 km/h (62 mph)
{{convert|62|mph|0|abbr=on}} 62 mph (100 km/h)
Fuel consumption
{{convert|10|L/100 km|mpgus mpgimp|0|abbr=on}} 10 L/100 km (24 mpg‑US; 28 mpg‑imp)
{{convert|30|km/L|mpgus mpgimp|0|abbr=on}} 10 km/L (24 mpg‑US; 28 mpg‑imp)
{{convert|23|mpgus|L/100 km mpgimp|0|abbr=on}} 23 mpg‑US (10 L/100 km; 28 mpg‑imp)
{{convert|28|mpgimp|L/100 km mpgus|0|abbr=on}} 28 mpg‑imp (10 L/100 km; 23 mpg‑US)


Engine displacement should be expressed in liters or cubic centimeters (display as cc). Cubic inches (display as cu in) can be used to express the displacement of engines originally engineered, designated, and marketed in cubic inches, such as pre-1980s American and pre-1974 Australian engines. When dealing with engines that were originally marketed using cubic inches, but later adopted metric designations, use {{convert}} with the |disp=flip parameter. For example, the 350 cu in Chevrolet small-block engine used from the 1960s through to the 2000s, {{convert|350|cuin|L|1|disp=flip}} gives: 5.7 liters (350 cu in). Without the disp=flip, {{convert|5.7|L|cuin|0}} gives: 5.7 liters (348 cu in), which would be incorrect due to the rounding error.


  • Metric: 2.4 liters or 2,398 cc (as appropriate)
  • Imperial: 2.4 liters (146 cu in)

Where conflict exists between the actual and advertised displacement of an engine, we treat the advertised displacement as a part of the engine's designation or name, placing it in italics. We also express the actual displacement.


  • Ford's 4.9-liter (4,942 cc, 302 cu in) 5.0 Windsor engine
  • Chevrolet's 6.6-liter (402 cu in) Turbo-Jet 400 engine.


Power figures should usually be written in metric form with the imperial conversion in parentheses. SI measurements should be expressed in kilowatts (kW). Metric horsepower (pferdestärke, PS) may be included for older vehicles.

In some cases power figures should be written in imperial units first, with the metric conversion in parentheses. Imperial measurements should be expressed in horsepower (hp), or brake horsepower (bhp) for British and pre-1972 American vehicles. Cases where imperial units should be given precedence include vehicles produced by companies based in the United States, or those produced by companies that utilized imperial units at the time of the vehicle's manufacture (such as in Australia prior to 1974).


  • Metric: 75 kW (101 hp) or 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp)
  • Imperial: 100 hp (75 kW) or 100 bhp (75 kW; 101 PS)


Torque figures should be written in metric form with the imperial conversion in parentheses. Metric measurements should be expressed in newton meters (N·m).

In some cases torque figures should be written in imperial units first with the metric conversion in parentheses (see above for more details). Imperial measurements should be expressed in pound-feet, which is abbreviated to lb·ft, not ft·lb or ft·lbf.


  • Metric: 100 N·m (74 lb·ft)
  • Imperial: 74 lb·ft (100 N·m)

Fuel consumption / performance figures[edit]

Care must be taken when including fuel consumption and performance figures. Performance figures should be limited to the manufacturer's claim unless there is a compelling reason not to. Performance figures should follow the industry standard 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) time.

Fuel consumption figures can be included if the article is dedicated to a particular market or if the article has a separate section dedicated to an individual market. Fuel consumption should be limited to the government figures only. There should be no mention of independent tests unless the figure(s) deviate strongly from the real-world usage and this is widely reported by reliable third-party resources.


  • Metric: 10.5 L/100 km (22.4 mpg‑US; 26.9 mpg‑imp)
  • Imperial: 23 mpg‑US (10 L/100 km; 28 mpg‑imp)


Example of a freely licensed high-quality image. This image, from the Toyota Aurion (XV40) article illustrates the "front ¾ view" mentioned.
Another example, from Land Rover Freelander.
Another example, from Honda S2000.

Minimum standards[edit]

We strive to illustrate our articles with high-quality images. We agree to the following general standards:

  1. Images shall enhance the article in which they are placed and must feature the subject of the article section near which they are placed.
  2. The image subject—automobile, engine, or component—must be the center of the image's composition.
  3. Use the "thumbnail" option for all images other than those inside infoboxes. In accordance with Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Images, do not specify the size of the thumbnail as this is specified in user preferences.
  4. Always use free images, preferably uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. Images of vehicles are seldom irreplaceable. Do not use "fair use" promotional images of vehicles.
  5. The image selected for an article's top (lead) infobox does not need to show any particular version or generation of the vehicle, such as the latest, the last, the first, the best-selling, or any other. However, the image must be representative; low-volume, obscure/unusual, or otherwise unrepresentative variants are generally not preferred for the lead infobox image. Vehicle production date is not a factor when determining the quality of an image and its suitability to illustrate the lead infobox. Regardless of the ages of the vehicle shown, pick a clear, high-quality image according to the image quality guidelines; one that clearly shows a vehicle relevant to the article without photoflash glare or other photographic faults, against a simple and contrasting background. Such an image is always to be preferred over a lower-quality image, such as one that shows photoflash glare or a distracting background.
  6. Use images of cars in good, complete, clean, and original condition whenever possible. Avoid pictures of customized cars (e.g. incorrect wheels or other aftermarket components like bodykits or conversions for police or taxi applications) as they are not representative of the vehicle's factory specification (unless the text in context to the picture is dealing with the customization of the vehicle). The vehicle's hood should be closed unless the engine is also a focus of the picture and the text in context is referring to the engine.
  7. The quality of an image is always more important than the quantity of images included—a gallery or a link to Wikimedia Commons is preferable to flooding an article with images.
  8. The caption must clearly identify the vehicle. The year or model year (single year or range), model code, or any other relevant descriptor (for example, "pre-facelift" and "facelift") should be included in the image caption. If available, the trim level should also be included.
  9. Infobox pictures shall depict the front ¾ view from the height of an ordinary person.


Here are some things to keep in mind for creating an image of a car:

  1. The front ¾ view from the height of an ordinary person is normally the best angle for a single picture of a car.
  2. The lighting of a car is critical to obtaining a good image. Try to take pictures in the middle of the day or under bright but indirect lights. Make sure the sun is behind you—do not shoot into the sun.
  3. Make sure the car is entirely in frame and is not obscured with objects, people, mud, snow, etc.
  4. Crop out distracting elements like parking lots, objects, or other cars.
  5. Do not take photos through window glass, fog, or with poor focus.


Calendar and model years[edit]

Within the automotive sphere, calendar years are typically used internationally except in North America where the model year format is utilised. Unless the article is about an automobile produced by a North American company primarily for North American consumption; for example, many General Motors, Ford and Chrysler products, articles should prioritize calendar years over model years. Chevrolet Impala, being a General Motors product sold mainly in North America should use model years as the primary format, for example, in section headings. Production years or dates should still be included in the infobox automobile "production" parameter and/or the prose of the article. Conversely, while the Toyota Camry is manufactured in North America (among other places) and has the United States as its largest market in terms of sales, the article is about a car from a Japanese company sold internationally. Therefore, calendar years should prevail over model years for the article. This does not preclude the mention of model years when referring to the Camry within a North American context.

However, articles that utilize the model year format in any capacity should clearly differentiate such years from calendar years.

  • Prose: when dealing with model years, prose should include the actual model year (e.g. 2006) followed or preceded by the words "model year" (e.g. 2006 model year, model year 2006). This is only necessary in the first instance per section/paragraph, although longer sections may repeat the term intermittently.
    Instead of this:
    For the 2008 model year, curtain airbags were made standard with dual knee airbags offered as an option. 2009 model year versions received a revised grille, and for the 2010 model year, the manual transmission variant was deleted from the lineup.
    we write this:
    For the 2008 model year, curtain airbags were made standard with dual knee airbags offered as an option. 2009 models received a revised grille, and for 2010 the manual transmission variant was deleted from the lineup.
    Where model years are being used, it is recommended that calendar years or dates be included in addition to the model year. For example, an automobile introduced for the 2006 model year is better represented by stating, in 2005 for the 2006 model year, or even better again on 26 October 2005 for the 2006 model year.
  • Image captions: when dealing with model years for vehicles sold in North America, image captions should include the abbreviated and linked "MY" prefix (e.g. MY2006).
  • Language usage: when referring to model years, state: for 2010 curtain airbags were made standard as opposed to in 2010 curtain airbags were made standard as the latter suggests calendar years, and not model years.


Car classification can be contentious because not all vehicles fall neatly into a particular class. Also, some classes are too subjective and should be avoided, such as "supercar", "hypercar", and "exotic".

Trivia and popular culture sections[edit]

Wikipedia generally does not support the addition of trivia and pop-culture sections within articles. There is a tendency for such sections to degenerate into long lists of movie and TV show appearances, song lyrics, and the like. Similarly, lists of celebrity owners of cars tend to grow to inappropriate length. The guideline that has been widely accepted for automotive subjects is that mention of pop-culture references should be strictly limited to cases where the fact of that reference influenced the sales, design or other tangible aspect of the vehicle. It is not sufficient to note that the vehicle had a major influence on its owner or some movie or TV show—such facts belong in the article about the owner, movie or TV show.

For example, the Koenigsegg CCX article mentions the appearance of the car on Top Gear because the relatively poor initial performance (and crash) of the car on their test lap directly resulted in the provision of an optional rear spoiler. The addition of the spoiler and critical effect on the handling capabilities of the car are notable facts. On the other hand, a mention of the film Redline in which the Koenigsegg is prominently featured would not be appropriate, because that movie had no noticeable impact on the design, operation or sales of the car.

Unannounced vehicles[edit]

In accordance with WP:CRYSTALBALL, information about future or speculative vehicles that have not been officially announced by their manufacturer should not be discussed. If an article is created or information added to an existing page about a speculative vehicle, it is to be either deleted or redirected to an article whose subject is most relevant to the redirect's subject.