The Car Geek: A Toyota Topless? And Other Odd Vehicle Names

The Car Geek

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Toyota Topless? And Other Odd Vehicle Names

Admit it: some vehicle names are just plain weird. We think automakers have opted for grand doses of name recognition that would still be instilled in our minds, say, if we’re already 90 years old. Speaking of names, a book that features 75 vehicle names has just been published in the UK. The Register of Model Titles is controlled by the SMMT, the British car’s industry umbrella organization. Even though some particular facts are plain boring, it also suffices to interesting facts that might just keel you over with fascination and hilarity. Significant highlights:

Leyland Titanic – although it’s not a car but a bus, you might think otherwise. Read: a sinking ferry boat. It’s not a good name.

Ford Era – say it wrong and an extended period of time becomes a mistake.

Saab Tjugofem – it’s a meaningless word. Enough said.

Daihatsu Widget – I’m thinking donuts or is that a midget?

Toyota Lightening – sounds more like a whitening product than an automobile name.

Toyota Topless – obviously, the Japanese automaker liked the sound of it. It should be based on its exterior car parts whether it has full frontal, ahem, nudity.

Toyota Tsunami – bring on the waves and wash this ridiculous name away.

And here are gems which could hack lawyers for a potential killing:

Cayman belongs to Porsche, but Caymen is Citroen. Optima belongs to Citroen (and Kia in the U.S.), Optimo is Toyota. Insideout belongs to Ford, but Inside Out is Daihatsu. Rally belongs to Peugeot, Rallie and Rallye are VW, but Rally Raid is Nissan. Pzazz belongs to Kia, but Pzzazz is Citroen.

Despite the entire feud over vehicle names, this book is one handy and quick informative book for an automaker’s naming division to see if anyone else if using the signature titles they want for their new vehicles and products.