SANTA MONICA, California — When it comes to naming colors, automakers often turn to food for inspiration with their compact models and racing heritage for more performance-oriented cars.
The color specialists might have been snacking on sweets when they came up with such hues as Toasted Marshmallow for the 2016 Chevrolet Spark, Iced Chocolate for the 2016 Mini Cooper, Brown Sugar Metallic for the 2016 Toyota Corolla, Blue Candy for the 2016 Ford Fiesta and Toffee Brown for the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle.
Spicy dishes inspired colors like Cayenne Red on the 2016 Nissan Juke, Salsa on the Chevy Spark, Electric Spice for the Fiesta, Pepper White and Chili Red on the Mini Cooper and Habanero Orange on the Beetle.
And fruits and veggies appear to have been on the menu when designers came up with Tangerine Splash Pearl and Electric Lime for the 2016 Toyota Prius, Kiwi Green on the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage, Passion Berry Pearl on the 2016 Honda Fit and Kalamata (a dark purple, like the olive) for the Spark.
Meanwhile, in the performance-car department, those choosing color names clearly wanted to evoke images of these models' racing aspirations.
For example, the 2016 Dodge Viper can be ordered in Competition Blue; the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette's palette includes Racing Yellow and Night Race Blue; the 2016 Ford Mustang GT comes in Competition Orange and Race Red; and the 2016 Jaguar F-Type's selections include Italian Racing Red and (no surprise) British Racing Green.
Some manufacturers even take the concept a step further by naming their colors after famous races or racetracks.
With the 2015 Ferrari 458 Italia, the Maranello firm celebrated its long racing heritage — and signature competition color — with choices like Fiorano Red and Mugello Red, both references to the company's own racetracks; Corsa (race) Red; and Scuderia Red, paying tribute to Ferrari's highly successful racing team.
Edmunds says: Performance-car buyers have a need for speed and everyone likes food, so these smart designers seem to be right on target.