A selection of cars that don’t really live up to their names.
Car naming is a dark art. Many brands prefer to stick with a combination of numbers and letters to identify individual models, but others feel that giving a car a specific name is the way to go. But how to come up with one? Many hours and vast committees of people are utilised to come up with names that we all now take for granted. Some are completely made up words.
But others use existing words, and this is dangerous ground. Existing words bring with them meaning, history, and the car has to live up to that. And sometimes, they don’t. Here are five examples we came up with around the office – feel free to add your own in the comments below.
Sebring International Raceway is one of the USA’s most historic racing circuits. Located in Florida, it’s hosted some of the world’s greatest cars and race drivers since 1950, and continues to host the 12 Hours of Sebring – one of sports car racing’s most prestigious events.
The Chrysler Sebring (top) on the other hand, was a badly made, poor-handling lump of plasticky nonsense rightly derided by anyone knowledgeable that drove it. Comparing it to one of the world’s great racetracks is like entering that soapbox racer you built when you were nine into a Formula 1 event.
We recently spent time with the Skoda Rapid, and don’t get us wrong, it’s not a bad little car. In fact, it served us very well. It is many things to many people, but one thing it ain’t is rapid. The most powerful car in the whole range takes 9.5 seconds to reach 100kph, and tops out at a mere 205kph. It’s a lovely, well-built and comfortable little machine, but come on Skoda, who are you trying to kid?
The Odyssey is a classic piece of literature by the Greek poet Homer, charting the epic journey of Odysseus as he embarks on a ten-year journey home after the fall of Troy. The word has since come to mean a long series of wandering adventures, encountering many hardships.
The Honda Odyssey is a minivan with three rows of seats. It is noted neither for hardships nor adventures.
Ford Country Squire
A country squire, historically, was the young whippersnapper responsible for looking after the armour belonging to a knight of the realm. Jousting, damsels in distress, that sort of thing. The Ford Country Squire was sold mainly in the USA, where there are no knights of the realm. It was a station wagon with wood panelling on the side of it. Wood panelling is no good in a joust.
Ailuropoda melanoleuca, the Giant Panda, is a large omnivorous bear native to China, which feasts mainly on bamboo and is an endangered species. The Fiat Panda is a small European hatchback that feasts mainly on petrol or diesel, and there are tens of thousands of them sold every year. It is in no way endangered, and rarely spotted in the zoo. Although it is apparently quite hard to the Fiats to breed.
Do you have more examples of inaccurately-named cars? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.