MRCA was the official project designation, from 1969. When Panavia was formed to make a multi role combat aircraft for the UK, West Germany and Italy.
I remember when the Airfix model kit of it came out, around the time the first prototype flew, they ran ads titled 'The Tornado That's Sweeping Europe'.
While you don't base things on model kits I'm pretty certain by the time the first prototype got airborne, it was named Tornado.
MRCA hardly trips off the tongue either.
Plus they would hardly name an ambitious new aircraft after a failed WW2 design, it's because it never or hardly entered service, so few were built, who remembers it?
I'll take your second point first; I'm not suggesting that they named the new Tornado after the "failed WW2 design", merely that it was a coincidence. Are you now suggesting that they named the Eurofighter Typhoon after the successful WWII design? That is definitely news to me. I just thought that was a coincidence too. Since you mentioned one coincidence, I thought it was an oversight not to mention the other. That is all.
As for your first point; when did the Tornado name take over from the MRCA appellation? There could well have been a time when both names were in common use. But I did promise you a link if it was required, and so here is Flight International from January 1976, well over a year after
the prototype flew. In fact it refers to MRCA P.06. (the sixth prototype)https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFA ... 200049.PDF
I can find other references throughout 1975 to back this up, whereas I cannot find any mention of "Tornado" until Hansard dated 1977.
But ahead of all that, the clincher must be this little gem. "In 1975 Airfix released the MRCA in kit form....".
Elsewhere it uses the name Tornado, but not in conjunction with the 1975 Airfix kit.http://model-scale.com/panavia-tornado-gr4
I hope that brings back some memories for you, although the heading photo is actually from a more recent Revell kit.
I was going to add a witty sign-off, but all the best ones have already been taken.