When push comes to shove, people’s names aren’t really that important. My mum named me after Matthew Ridge. She could’ve named me Toothbrush, Bad Decision, or even Keith, and the world would’ve continued to spin on its axis undeterred.
Names of cars however are a matter of life and death. Name your car correctly and appropriately, and you could help push your product into the realm of being a future classic or a sales phenomenon. Name it poorly, and consumers could forgo your spec-sheet or showroom entirely without as much as a glimpse of its qualities — or worse; you could feature in today’s Thursday Five.
You could search the globe high and low and you would still fail to find a car more innocent and innocuous than the humble little Honda Jazz — named the Fitta in its earliest guise. Upon its launch it won numerous automotive awards, many impressed with its practicality, economy, and reliability.
Potentially the last car on the planet then that you’d expect to have a four-lettered curse word as a name.
Yes, and they didn’t mess around with their selection of swear either, electing forth the absolute daddy of all the single-syllable swears. I’ll leave you to your own devices to hunt down what it means — mainly because I rather like working here and wouldn’t mind keeping this job.
I love irony. You probably love irony. Everyone loves irony.
Everyone also finds the Mitsubishi Charisma to be a drab, dull, forgettable footnote in four-door sedans.
I scowl every time I see one of these.
Ah the Starion, you knew this was coming.
The story goes that the name was a case of Chinese whispers (Japanese whispers, if you will) between Mitsubishi staff in Japan and Australia. The car had supposedly been intended to be called the ‘Stallion’, but communication issues over the phone sealed the platform’s fate, and it was released all over the world with its bastardized moniker.
It’s a story that has travelled far and wide, with many believing it to be gospel. However, colour me skeptical.
Mitsubishi isn’t just the local fish and chippery, giving you three fillets of their finest shark instead of four. No, we’re talking about one of the biggest manufacturers in the world, a multi-million dollar empire. To think that they would make such an outlandishly stupid error is ridiculous.
That said, they do have a four-wheel drive named the Pajero, which is Spanish for wan... Oh, I'll let you Google it.
Some lament the names of cars from the ’70s and ’80s, unashamedly loud and proud verbal bullets like Mustang, or Firebird, or Corvette.
Clearly not Chinese company Dongfeng though, who saw the alphanumeric craze gain momentum, before instantly falling head-over-heals in love with it. Above we have the EQ7240BP, which in all honestly was probably named after a random jumble of letters a Dongfeng executive saw their child arrange on the fridge.
Clearly as a treat they then handed said child some crayolas, a hit of ecstasy, and a picture of an early Hyundai Coupe and told them to go nuts.
Yeah, it’s an engineering masterpiece, and yeah Ferrari have a long and storied road and race history that, yeah, makes them one of the most decorated marques on the planet.
But naming your car the Ferrari The Ferrari has to be one of the most arrogant, childish things a manufacturer has ever done.
I think I understand why they did it; to prod home the notion that this was ‘the’ definitive Ferrari. And in some ways they’re spot on. The definitive Ferrari among many is a cesspool of arrogance and brooding emotion, so in that regard maybe the name is perfect.
I think I’ll just keep quietly referring to it as the ‘F150’ under my breath.