Zeitgeisters, it’s well known that car-names are getting zanier. After more than half a century of mass-produced vehicles with snappy ‘handles’, automobile manufacturers have been left scraping for attractive and engaging names.
In Australia, Ford is the most sober of the players with the Focus as the only slightly poetic and evocative entry in the Fird range.
Misubishi has the Triton and the Grandis. At first these two seem to work on Jerry Seinfeld’s theory that car companies make-up words that sound like real ones – a la the Integra. However Triton is a moon of Neptune (yeah, me either) and Grandis is Latin for big, so, some of these made-up words turn out to be gaps in my education.
Holden, or GM to you outside of Oz, has a great roster of pointless names. Although Caprice is a sudden impulse and Viva means live; Tigra, Ventra, Vectra and Adventra all come off as half-baked. Adventra? Come on, Holden! I guess it’s not too late to rename the Rodeo, the Rodetra and the Commodore, the Commodtra.
Toyota has to have the best names, though. Avensis, Aurion, Aurion – Presara, Yaris and Prius. Prius is Latin for ‘ahead’, the others are harder to find definitions for – at least for me. (Nomenclature Geeks you may care to step in now.) Whatever they mean, they all sounds ethereal, sexy and Turtle Waxable, except for the Toyota Kluger which sounds a little awkward. At best its Luger with a K in the front. Not sure about naming a car after a firearm.
Poking around the ‘net to research this story, I discovered some interesting stuff about Volkswagen. Yeah, the Touareg and the Jetta are amusing enough, however there’s a VW concept car due to be released in 2007. It’s the Tiguan. According to the www:
Tiguan’s peculiar name arrives compliments of some 350,000 readers of Germany’s Auto Bild magazine, who elected Tiguan over four other equally strange titles. The name is a fusion of the words “tiger” and “leguan” (German for the word “iguana”) The name Tiguan was developed by Volkswagen Marketing along with four other alternatives Nanuk, Namib, Rockton and Samun.
Volswagen Nanuk, huh?
Elevate the insignificant,