Car Abbreviations List

April 7, 2013 By Mike Lee
Last updated on December 29, 2014

Our Comprehensive Car Abbreviations List

Abbreviation Stands for
2WD 2-wheel drive
4WAS Four wheel anti skid
4WD 4-wheel drive
4WS Four-wheel steering
4X4 4 wheel drive, see 4WD
ABC Active Body Control
ABS Anti-lock braking system
AC Air conditioning or Alternating current
AC AC Cars (formerly known as Auto Carriers)
ACC Adaptive cruise control also Adaptive chassis control
ACD Mitsubishi’s ‘Active Center Differential’
ADS Aston Martin ‘Adaptive Damping System’
AFS Advanced front-lighting system
AIR CON Air conditioning
ALR Automatic Locking Retractor
ALS Active lighting system or automatic lighting system
AMG Aufrecht, Melcher, Grossaspach
AMT Aston Martin ‘automated manual transmission’
ASC Automatic/Active stability control
ASC+T Automatic/active stability control with traction control
ASD Automatic limited-slip differential
ASR Anti Slip Regulation (Audi Traction Control)
ATV All Terrain Vehicle
AT Automatic transmission
AUT Automatic transmission
AUTO Automatic transmission (also Automobile and Automotive)
AWD 4 wheel drive, see 4WD & 4X4
AYC Active yaw control
BEV Battery electric vehicle
BHP Brake horse power
BLIS Blind spot information system, infra-red sensor that helps detects those in the blind spot
BMW Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works)
BSD Blind-spot detection
CAB Cabriolet
CABRIO Cabriolet
CAT Catalytic converter
CC Cruise control. See also ACC
CCM ccm or cm³, cubic centimetres
CCM Jaguar ‘Carbon Ceramic Matrix’ brakes
C/CODED Colour coded
C/CON Cruise control. See also CC & ACC
CFRP Carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic
C/L Central locking
CNG Compressed natural gas
CO2 Carbon dioxide
COD Audi ‘cylinder on demand’ system
COND Condition
CONV Convertible
CPE Coupe
CPU Central processing unit
CRS Child restraint system
CVT Continuously variable transmission
DAC Driver Alert Control
DCT Dual-clutch transmission
DDI Direct diesel injection
DHC Drop Head Coupe
DIS Audi ‘Driver Information System’
DISI Mazda ‘Direct Injection Spark Ignition’
DIVCT Jaguar ‘dual-independent variable cam timing’
DOHC Double overhead camshaft
DRC Audi ‘Dynamic Ride Control’
DRL Maserati ‘daytime running light’
DRP Dynamic rear proportioning
DSC Dynamic stability control
DSG Direct shift gearbox
DSP Dynamic shift programme
DSTC Dynamic stability with traction control
DPF Diesel Particulate Filter
DTI Diesel direct-injection
EAD Jaguar ‘Electronic Active Differential’
EARS Enhanced Accident Response System
EBA Electronic brake assist, helps maximise braking in an emergency
EBC Electronic brake force control (see EBD and EBV)
EBD Electronic braking differential or Electronic brake force distribution (see also EBC and EBV)
EBM Electronic brake management system. Optimises driving stability, traction, and braking function (BMW)
EBS Electronic braking system
EBV Electronic brake force distribution (see also EBD and EBC)
ECC Electronic climate control
ECM Electronic control module
ECU Electronic control unit
EDC Renualt ‘Efficient Double Clutch’
EDL Electronic Differential Lock
EEPROM Electrically erasable programmable read-only memory
EFI Electronic fuel injection
EGD Electronically regulated shock absorption
EI Electronic ignition
EMS Electronic Management System
E/M Electric mirrors
ENCAP European new car assessment program – motor industry measurement/grading for car safety
EPROM Erasable programmable read-only memory, programmable or erasable with UV light
ESC Electronic skid control (also see below)
ESC Electronic stability control
ESP Electronic stability programme, another designation for vehicle-dynamics control (FDR)
E/S/R Electric sunroof
ESR Electronic slip reduction, another name for ASR
EST Estate
EV Electric Vehicle
E/W Electric windows
FCEV Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
FDSH Full dealer service history
FFS/R Factory fitted sunroof
FHC Fixed Head Coupe
FIAT Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino
FSH Full service history
FT/LB Foot Pounds, The amount of energy or work needed to raise an item weighing one pound, a distance of one foot, used in the measurement of torque
FWH Free wheeling hubs
GMC General Motors Corporation
GPS Global Positioning System
GSM Global system for mobile communication
GT Gran Turismo or Grand Tourism
GTO Ferrari ‘Gran Turismo Omologata’
HBA Hydraulic Brake Assist
HC High compression
HDI High-pressure direct injection
HEI High performance ignition system, transistorized ignition, contact less ignition
HEMI Hemispherical Combustion Chamber
HEV Hybrid electric vehicle
H/L/W/W Headlamp Wash Wipe
HID High intensity discharge (Xenon headlamps)
HP Hire Purchase, finance option when buying a car
HPI Hire Purchase Information, used for vehicle history check
H/SEATS Heated Seats
IC Inflatable Curtain airbag
ICC Intelligent cruise control, Nissan distance control system; see also ACC
ICE In Car Entertainment
IDI Indirect (diesel) injection
IDIS Integrated driver information system, similar to navigation system
IDS Interactive dynamic driving system
IFS Independent Front Suspension.
IMMOB Engine immobiliser
IPS Intelligent Protection System, integrated two-stage airbag system with retractable pedals, head/shoulder airbags, and active headrests.
IRS Independent Rear Suspension.
IVD Interactive vehicle dynamics
K-JETRONIC Continuous injection system
KERS Kinetic energy recovery system
LCD Liquid crystal display
LDW Lane Departure Warning
LED Light-emitting diode
LHD Left-hand drive
LH-JETRONIC Same as L-Jetronic with hot-wire air-mass sensor
LPG Liquified petroleum gas
L-JETRONIC Electronically controlled injection system (with direct air-mass measurement)
LSD Limited-slip differential
LTHR Leather
LWB Long wheel base
MAF Mass airflow sensor
Man Manual
MFI Multipoint fuel injection (electronic)
MFI-C Continuous multipoint fuel injection (electronic)
MFI-I Intermittent multipoint fuel injection (electronic)
MFI-S Sequential multipoint fuel injection (electronic)
MG Morris Garages
MIVEC Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control
MOD Manual Over-Drive
MOT Ministry of Transport Test
MPFI Multi-point fuel injection (electronic) or Multi-port fuel Injection
MPG Miles per Gallon
MPH Miles per hour
MPI Multi-point injection, fully electronic engine control
MPV Multi-purpose vehicles
MR2 Mid-engine Runabout
MY Model Year
NAV Navigation or Navigation system see also SatNav
NCAP New Car Assessment Program, see ENCAP
NCCB Nissan Carbon Ceramic Brakes
NDEC New European Driving Cycle (fuel consumption figures)
NM Newton-meter, used in the measurement of torque
OBC On-board computer
OBD On-board diagnostics or off-board diagnostics, vehicle-internal diagnosis with internal or external test unit
OCD Occupant Detection System
O/D Overdrive
OEM Original equipment manufacturer
OHC Overhead camshaft. Camshaft situated above the cylinder head
OHV Overhead valves (the camshaft is therefore underneath)
ONO Or Near Offer
ORV Off Road Vehicle
OVNO Or Very Near Offer
PAA Porsche active aerodynamics
PAB Power Assisted Braking
PAS Power Assisted Steering
PASE Passive Start and Entry. Keyless access to car and engine start (Siemens system)
PASM Porsche Active Suspension Management
PATS Passive Anti-Theft System
PB Power Brakes
PCC Porsche Car Connect
PCCB Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake
PCD Pitch Circle Diameter
PCH Personal Contract Hire/Lease
PCM Porsche Communication Management
PCP Personal Contract Purchase
PDC Park Distance Control. Parking aid
PDCC Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control
PDK Porsche Doppelkupplung gearbox
PDLS Porsche Dynamic Light System
PDM Power Door Mirrors
PFI Port Fuel Injection
PHC Porsche Hill Control
PHEV Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
P/HOOD Power hood for convertible
PROM Programmable Read-Only Memory
PSI Pounds per square inch
PSM Porsche Stability Management
PTM Porsche Traction Management
PTU Ferrari ‘Power Transfer Unit’
PTV Plus Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus system
PVTS Porsche Vehicle Tracking System
P/X or P/EX Part exchange
QV Quadrifoglio Verde
RAM Random access memory, read/write memory of a processor
R/CASS Radio cassette
R/C/L Remote central locking
RDS Radio Data System
RFT Run-flat tyre
RHD Right-hand drive
R/H/R Rear head restraints
ROM Read-only memory. Program memory of processor, or other memory, that can only be read.
ROPS Rollover protection system. Automatically extendable roll bar (Volvo)
RPM Revolutions per minute
RS Restraint system or Rotational speed sensor
R/S/B Rear seat belts
RSC Land Rover ‘Roll Stability Control’ (also see below)
RSC Run-flat system component. Tyres with emergency-running properties. See also RFT
RSC Roll stability control
RV Recreational Vehicle
RWD Rear wheel drive
R/W/W Rear wash wipe
SAAB Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, which means Swedish Aircraft Company
SAS Side-impact protection, See also SIPS
SatNav Satellite Navigation
S-AWC Mitsubishi ‘Super-All Wheel Control’
SBE Seat-occupied detection
SCAN TOOL Tester for reading OBD error codes and other OBD data
SCM-E Ferrari ‘magnetorheological suspension control system’
SCS Stability control system. Simplified form of ESP (Mitsubishi). Prevents vehicle tilting or skidding.
SEFI Sequential electronic fuel injection
SFI Sequential fuel injection
SGDI Jaguar ‘spray-guided direct injection’
SIPS Side-impact protection system (Volvo)
SMPFI Sequential multi-port fuel injection
SOHC Single overhead camshaft
SPFI Sequential Port Fuel Injection
S/R Sunroof
SRC Synchro rev control
SRI Sports Rated Injected or Short-Ram Intake?
SRS Safety restraint system (generally includes airbag and seatbelt tensioner, normally controlled by a common control unit)
SST Mitsubishi’s Twin Clutch ‘Sport Shift Transmission’
STC Stability and traction control
SUV Sport utility vehicles
SVT Ford ‘Special Vehicles Team’
SWB Short wheel base
T&T Tax and tested (TNT)
TC/TCS Traction control/Traction Control System, auxiliary function with ABS
TDC Top dead centre
TDI Turbo diesel injection
T/GLASS Tinted glass
TIPTRONIC Porsche or VW electronic transmission control. The control can be operated via a small device on the steering wheel.
Ti-VCT Ford ‘Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing’
TNT Taxed and Tested
TPMS Tyre-pressure monitoring system
TRACS Traction control system (Volvo)
TRD Toyota Racing Development
TT Touring Turismo
TVR Trevor
T/WIN Tinted windows
VANOS Variable camshaft timing
VCAR Vehicle condition alert register
VDC Vehicle dynamics control
VIN Vehicle identification number
VSA Vehicle stability assist. System similar to ESP.
VSC Vehicle stability control
VTEC Variable Valve Timing, as below
VVTI Variable Valve Timing, as above
VW Volkswagen
WHIPS Whiplash protection system
WIL Lexus ‘Whiplash Injury Lessening’ front seats
WTY Warranty
XDS Electronic cross-axle traction control system