The Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Aston Martin Vanquish, Ford Mustang and Lamborghini Diablo are four very different vehicles that share one thing in common — an awesome name.
The Giulietta is beautiful, in appearance and etymology. The Mustang is a wild horse, which coincidentally best describes the hijinks you can get into with the car itself. As for the Vanquish and the Diablo? How are they not intimidating?
Over the years, there has been no shortage of strange, obscure and downright weird nameplates affixed to trunk lids, printed in brochures and mentioned in commercials. Some are hilarious, others are obscure and many are simply lost in translation.
Whatever the case may be, here is a list of 12 such cars with the weirdest names which you may or may not have heard of, but which should bring you a chuckle.
1. Daihatsu Naked
What It Is: A kei car that’s somewhere between a real Hummer and a Power Wheels Hummer.
Why The Name Sucks: Well, is it the name of a car, or the dress code for its driver? I mean, come on what kind of name is that? No doubt whoever thought that one up had an entirely different meaning in mind. But it got lost in translation somewhere, and so we now have the option of taking the Naked out for a drive.
It was supposed to be a label to describe the way the exterior features exposed some nuts and bolts – but it just left customers feeling a little awkward.
Well, at least anyone that did purchase one can say the have driven around naked, and not be lying about it.
2. Mitsubishi Lettuce
What It Is: Released in 1989, it is sixth generation of the Mitsubishi Minica.
Why The Name Sucks: Lettuce might be a great vegetable but naming a car after it sounds plain stupid. Khair, what else would you expect from a car that was not only developed in partnership with, but also sold directly by one of Japan’s major grocery store chains?
As for its looks, this motor looks more like a bug you’d find in your lettuce, rather than the vegetable itself. Sadly, this variant of the Minica wasn’t followed up by the Mitsubishi Tomato and Mitsubishi Sesame Seed Bun. And it could have been worse…
3. Mitsubishi Mini Active Urban Sandal
What It Is: A concept for what would have been the Smart For Two if it had been made in Japan in 1985.
Why This Name Sucks: “Mini,” “active,” and “urban” are all things one expects to see on a concept car’s name. When they all get thrown together at once it starts to look like somebody just drew some buzzwords out of a hat.
And then we get to “sandal,” and we have absolutely no other explanation for that except that maybe someone misspelt “Mouse” on the paperwork and the product team had to think on the spot, looked down and said “sandal!”.
Thankfully the Mini Active Urban Sandal is incredibly adorable, so can almost be forgiven for it’s incredibly ridiculous name.
4. Honda That’s
What It Is: A Japanese domestic market kei car that takes the form of a particularly tall wagon. It only lasted four years in the market and its manufacturer dropped it in 2006 – and that was that.
Why This Name Sucks: That’s what? What is the “that” that we’re referring to? Is “that” the car or is the car trying to tell us about something else but not quite getting it out, like a dying mentor in a fantasy epic?
Our hunch is that the designer was about to say “that’s going to be named [something]” while pointing at the car when he suffered a massive heart attack. The marketing people just had to assume that, with his last moment, he pointed at the car and spoke its name: “that’s.”
Naming your car such that it represents an incomplete sentence is a stroke of post-modern marketing genius that we don’t know where to celebrate the Honda That’s or-
5. Hyundai Kona
What It Is: An all-electric five-door subcompact crossover SUV.
Why The Name Sucks: You might argue that most of the cars in this list are pretty old, and that the carmakers probably have learned their lesson but this subcompact SUV was introduced in 2018 and proves the opposite: The word kona means butt in Pashto language. Given the bizzare meaning of the name, this car seemingly will have no future in the Afghan or Pakistani market. No Pashtun will bother sharing his kona with friends, right?
The name also sounds very similar to the Portuguese word “cona”, which is a very vulgar expression for the female genital.
6. Mazda Scrum Wagon
What It Is: A teeny-tiny van.
Why The Name Sucks: Misters Merriam and Webster tell me that scrum means “a tightly packed or disorderly crowd.” While the name is certainly accurate, given this van’s pathetic stature, that’s really not the trait you want to advertise. It’s like if Ford had called the Pinto the “Ford Fiery Death” or if Daewoo had called all of its cars the “Daewoo Total Shit-Piece.”
7. Toyota Supra
What It Is: A two-seat sports car and grand tourer manufactured by Toyota Motor Corporation.
Why The Name Sucks: While the U.S ranked it #8 in Luxury Sports Cars, we highly doubt it will make its way to the Pashtun community because the word “supra” literally means “asshole” in Pashto.
Our best bet is that it was an attempt to sound high-tech. It came across as being high-tech in the same way as a perverted alien abduction story.
Sure, we recognize that the way it’s written and pronounced in Japenese (トヨタ・スープラ, Toyota Sūpura) doesn’t necessarily mean “asshole” but that’s the first thing a Pashtun will think if he ever reads the word.
8. Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard
What It Is: A 4-door version of what Americans received as the Isuzu Rodeo.
Why The Name Sucks: You can see how this might have sounded really cool in Japanese. In English it just sounds like something that would hang out with that annoying paper clip from Microsoft Office.
Perhaps they weren’t sure how owners would put them to use? Or maybe they had been cursed by an ancient power older than time itself? We’ll never know.
9. Daewoo Espero
What It Is: A four-door, five-seater mid-sized notchback saloon produced by the South Korean company Daewoo Motors
Why The Name Sucks: Would you drive a car named “I hope”? Well, that’s exactly what the Spanish word “espero” means. The word “espero” also sounds very similar to the Pashto word “spero”, which is means the cursed one.
And although it may actually be fitting for that car (you never know if it will start), Daewoo reacted by re-naming it to “Aranos” in some countries.
10. Volkswagen Gol
What It Is: A product of Volkswagen do Brasil, an entry-level car that’s been a strong seller in Brazil and Argentina since its introduction in 1980.
Why The Name Sucks: This might be the least inspiring name of any sports car ever made as “Gol” literally translates to “circular-shaped” in both Urdu and Pashto.
We can understand calling it “Gol” given that it looks like a bug, but again it is a very strange name for a line of subcompact cars. Perhaps the trunk lid wasn’t big enough to allow for a nameplate of more than three characters?
11. Nissan Homy Super Long
What It Is: The longest iteration of Nissan’s small camper van.
Why The Name Sucks: How is this not a penis joke?
12. Daewoo Matiz
What It Is: A small town car, with 5 seats and still room for a reasonable amount of shopping or luggage in the boot.
Why The Name Sucks: The word matiz means a man who has eloped with another’s wife or daughter. While this might not bother people from other communities, having a car named Matiz in a Pashtun neighbourhood will be no less than a nightmare.
Pashtuns not only take the word “Matiz”as a curse but also are of the view that runaway marriages bring shame and dishonor to the family.
The problems car manufacturers have is that a word that sounds great in one language, can mean something completely different in another. It is even harder when that manufacturer itself does not speak English, never mind Spanish or French or even Mandarin Chinese.
Even when they pay multi-linguists to check names out for them, sometimes undesired words slip through. This is partly because there are many slang words in many languages that you will not find in a dictionary.
We doubt these automobile companies know how funny their car names sound in another language. There are plenty of others out there, so leave us a comment below telling us about your favourite one.