What’s in a name?
A car were it called any other name would drive so sweet were it not called a car…
All right carmakers, what's the deal? I know, I know; you want to be different. You want to stand out. You want to make yourselves memorable, but how about we do it with design and technology instead of a horrendous name.
Let's bring up a few recent, modern day examples: Ford Focus ST D, Subaru STI, Bentley Bentayga, Jaguar F-Pace, Tesla Model D...
If you don't see a trend here, let me delve a little deeper. I explored the bad name choice decision in my latest review of the Model D. I am fairly certain Musk did it entirely on purpose. There's something impishly childish about chuckling over someone who's just uttered the phrase, "Oh my god, I absolutely love the D."
Then we've got the ST D and STI, and those two just speak for themselves really. It's a wonder their names don't elicit a more cautious approach from buyers.
The Jaguar and Bentley are a little harder to harp on unless you're in my mind (a dangerous place to be), but I'll give it a go. I don't know why, but as soon as I hear F-Pace I think f*ckface. And now you will, too. You're welcome. And when I see Bentayga, I somehow read Bentley Gay, absolutely not on purpose.
Perhaps it's just me then.
And don't even get me started on all the numerical alphabetical mumbo-jumbo Mercedes, BMW and Infiniti try to make us remember. I'd rather tell people I'm driving a f*ckface, pardon me F-Pace than a 435ixyzDrive35aeou. It's all very unnecessarily complicated in my opinion.
But no, these aren't the first uber-odd names to surface in the auto industry. Does anyone remember the Ford Probe? The Mazda Scrum Wagon? The Studebaker Dictator perhaps? Oh, and of course the Nissan Homy Super Long.
In the end, is the name really all that important? I'd like to believe it is. I think manufacturers go through a great deal when naming their vehicles. From linguistic significance to cultural and historical references, names generally mean something -- just like yours and mine do.
Do I think a Mercedes MirandaX sounds better than an E 350 4MATIC? Of course. They should look into that.