Whether it be a Volkswagen or a Mercedes AMG almost every brand one can think of has at least one model they have made that has worn the GT badge. But one must wonder, what these letters even mean? How come everyone is using them? What does it signify?
What is the meaning of “GT” today?
It may surprise you, but in today’s world, GT could literally mean anything. Although this term once had genuine meaning to it, by the time we hit the 1980s it started to lose its meaning. This was simply due to being overused or poorly applied to vehicles. Today, however, it mainly depends on the specific automaker. For some, it directly points towards the term, “Sportscar” while for other people it may mean something that is a little sportier than the regular make of the particular car model. The GT badge is also observed on some of the fastest most powerful cars some companies make as well. End of the day, it’s use can range from a little sporty trim of a car to an outright street-legal race machine, it is used in a racing video game to titles in racing series.
What did “GT” mean back in the day?
GT originally stood for the term Grand Turismo or Grand Touring. This term was coined by an Italian individual. Roughly GT implicated that it was a car that sat between a supersport hypercar and a luxury car. A GT should ideally have a big engine with high displacement, while also having a comfortable ride with a luxury interior and a sophisticated body design. It needs a dual characteristic of being capable of taking a corner like a sports car but being able to absorb a bumpy terrain and in turn provide a soft drive. Essentially it must be capable of covering a continent at high speeds and comfort while also being able to travel past a mountain pass quickly.
The first automobile to be the GT name was the Alpha Romeo 6c 1750 GT. This car came into production in 1930 with two different engine variants. The less powerful variant came with a SOHC engine and was given the name Touring, whereas the more powerful variant came with a DOHC. The c6 was the original GT car and even participated in major racing events with podium finishes.