There are plenty of car brands that have a Z logo on them. For some, the letter Z represents the name of the parent company while for others, it stands for the vehicle’s make or brand. While there are many cars with Z emblems out there, it’s not always easy to differentiate them.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the most popular and not-so-popular models. Some rocked the streets back in the day and are difficult to find. Others are still in production and can be found almost anywhere. A few have, however, been discontinued. Let’s take a look.
Z Shaped Car Logo Brands
The car brands that have a Z-shaped logo include Opel, Nissan Z, Zagato, Zenos, Zotye, and Zastava. Other cars that start with Z but do not share the same logo design include Zenvo, Zarooq, Zhongtong, Zinoro, Zeekr, ZAZ, and Zytek.
Opel Automobile GmbH was established in 1862 by Adam Opel. The company first manufactured sewing machines. It began making bicycles in 1886 and vehicles in 1899.
It is currently owned by Stellantis which makes Opel-branded passenger vehicles, car parts, and light commercial vehicles.
The brand’s logo has gone through several changes throughout its lifetime. The first Opel logo was made up of the letters A and O to represent Adam Opel’s initials.
It was redesigned in 1890 to include the words ‘Victoria Blitz’. Victoria referred to Lady Victoria while Blitz was the German translation for ‘lightning’.
It was then changed in 1909 to have only the company name Opel. A year later, the logo took the shape of an eye surrounded by laurels. The designers included the text ‘Opel’ at the center.
Between 1930 and 1960, Opel vehicles carried a logo with a ring and a flying object in the middle. The object took the shape of a bird, arrow, or airplane in various versions.
The logo we have today is a result of the success achieved by the truck Opel Blitz in the Nazi Germany military. The truck had a logo with two stripes that represented a lightning symbol.
Subsequent Opel models modified the logo to form a horizontally stretched letter ‘Z’. This replaced the flying object symbol with the ring.
It resulted in the unique, simple, and easily recognizable logo that we see today. Some of the most iconic Opel vehicles ever made include Corsa, Calibra Turbo, Ascona 400, GT, and Manta 400.
2. Nissan Z
The Nissan Z is a sports car that has been around since 1969. It competes against the Toyota Celica, Toyota Supra, Mazda RX-7, and Mitsubishi 3000GT.
It goes by the name Nissan Fairlady Z in Japan and Nissan 350Z in other countries. The Z is well-known for its performance, affordability, reliability, and looks.
In fact, the first model was an instant success in the United States. The 240Z sold 16,215 models in the early 70s. Subsequent models have shown exemplary performance in rallies, national championships, and civil service.
It’s currently in its seventh generation and carries a distinctive Z logo on it that sets it apart from the crowd. The Z represents the last letter of the Latin alphabet.
It shows the ‘ultimate’ nature of the car. Some sources say that Nissan’s design department gave the car the name Z after realizing they had already used other letters of the Latin/Roman alphabet in previous projects.
Zagato is a coachbuilding company that was established in 1919 by Ugo Zagato. Ugo Zagato was an Italian automotive designer and builder that wanted to transfer his knowledge in aeronautics to the automotive industry.
He dreamt of making cars light while maintaining their strength. In the early 1920s, he worked on racing cars made by Alfa Romeo.
By the end of the decade, he had been part of the team that developed vehicles from Maserati, Bugatti, Rolls Royce, Lancia, Ferrari, and other notable brands.
Throughout the years, Zagato has collaborated with big car companies to produce several legendary cars. These include models like the Alfa Romeo 1500.
Cars feature double-bubble roofs, minimal frontal areas, flat door handles, no outside rearview mirrors, and no bodywork where the headlights are located.
The company’s Z logo is one of the simplest you’ll meet out there. It has a metallic silvery coat that represents the innovative quality employed in making car designs.
The stand-alone Z is the bumper identity for the company’s name and place of origin. Its simplicity reflects Zagato’s hidden ability and creativity.
Zenos is a sports car manufacturer based in Norfolk, UK. It was founded in 2012 by Mark Edwards and Ansar Ali. The two had worked together at Caterham Cars and Lotus Cars.
They ventured out to produce contemporary, affordable, lightweight, high-performance sports cars. In October 2015, they began producing their very first sports car – the E10.
The company announced that it had made 100 vehicles by September 2016. Production stopped in 2017 following a reorganization of the company. The plan is to move to South Africa, as per the date of writing this article.
The name Zenos comes from two words – ‘Zen’ and ‘os’. Zen represents purity while os is the Latin for spine. The logo includes a uniquely designed Z that matches the meaning behind the name and the architectural elements of the company’s cars.
Zotye was a Chinese automobile manufacturing company that started out as an exporter of automotive parts. It was established in 2005 by Zotye Holding Group.
The brand decided to expand into the production of complete cars to benefit from the growing Chinese market. It obtained licenses to produce different models in 10 different countries.
Total revenue grew to about $290,073,950 in 2006. It was ranked 352nd on the list of Top 500 Chinese Companies by Fortune China in 2018. Unfortunately, most of its models were a direct copy of other makes.
Zotye produced cars that resembled popular vehicles around the world such as the Toyota Allion, Audi Q5, Volkswagen Toureg, Range Rover Sport, and Porsche Macan.
It faced bankruptcy and liquidation in 2021 following financial issues. The Z logo used on cars was simple and represented the brand’s name.
Zastava Automobiles was a car manufacturer that traced its origins all the way back to 1853. It was initially a cannon-casting plant. It started manufacturing car parts and offering repair services in 1904.
Production of vehicles began in 1939. Zastava assembled military trucks made by Chevrolet. In the last few decades, it has produced different truck and car models under its brand name.
Production stopped in 2008 and the company went bankrupt in 2017. Vehicles were sold in different countries, including Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia, Poland, Ecuador, Montenegro, and Egypt.
Today, Fiat Automobili Srbija runs the company’s facilities. This is after extensive renovation and reconstruction. The Z logo on cars made by Zastava represent the brand’s name.
Some of the most notable vehicles produced include Fiat Campagnola, Fiat 1800, Zastava 620B, Zastava Skala, Fiat Punto Classic, Zastava Z10, Zastava Florida, and Zastava Koral.
Not every car brand that starts with a Z has a Z-shaped logo. The others mentioned earlier have different emblems that have different meanings. The cars described in this article are just but a few of those that have a logo that takes the shape of a Z. If you have more to add, please let me know in the comment section.