What were they thinking?
Every time an automaker lays out plans to build a new car, a very important question needs to be answered. “What will we call it?” Most of the time, carmakers hit their mark. For instance, just imagine all the “oohs” and “ahhs” when someone at Plymouth nominated “Barracuda.”
However, not all car names appear to follow such sound rationale. Some car names–like the following 10 examples–are just plain odd, and for the rest of time they’ll leave us thinking, “what went on in that meeting?”
Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard
Never before has such a bizarre group of words fit together so perfectly. Incidentally, the Mysterious Utility Wizard, better known stateside as the Isuzu Rodeo, has a strong lineage of weird car names. It’s based on the Isuzu Faster pickup truck, which was also the Chevrolet LUV.
Subaru Gravel Express
If you told me the “Gravel Express” was a motorcycle gang, I would believe you. If you told me it was a special Japanese market variant of the Subaru Impreza, I wouldn’t believe you. Guess which one it is. Ford Probe
For most people, the word “probe” doesn’t conjure up a pleasant thought. Nevertheless, Ford decided to plaster that name on its Mazda-based two-door, and had already done so on a number of concept cars. Did nobody say anything?
Honda Life Dunk
Don’t knock the “Life Dunk” until you try it. Honda decided its boxy Life kei car was a bit on the slow side, so it added a turbocharger for more pep. The name it chose for that wicked little machine? You guessed it, Life Dunk. Suzuki Cappuccino
In terms of cars named after hot drinks, the Suzuki Cappuccino comes out a winner…by a long way. The kei sportscar packs a tiny turbocharged engine, 50/50 weight distribution, and utterly brilliant looks. Lots of flavor in one little shot–they should’ve called it the “Espresso.”
The “That’s” follows the same kei formula as the Life Dunk. Boxy wagon body style, turbocharged engined, but with less of a verbal punchline. “I’m sorry, you drive a what?” Yes (sighs), a That’s.
A name like “Charade” doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in a car…you know, something you’d like to have when buying a car. Perhaps “Life Dunk” or “Utility Wizard” would have been better.
If it’s mechanical confidence you’re after–why not buy a car named after a creature that causes unexplained mechanical faults? Weird car name or not, the Gremlin is just one of those shapes you either love or hate.
There was a massive void in the auto world for cars named after animal skin tent dwellings. Thankfully, Peugeot filled that void with its Tepee multipurpose vehicles. The Tepee currently comes in two confusing flavors–the Partner Tepee or Expert Tepee.
Mitsubishi Delica Space Gear
Once again, Japan corners the market on awesomely weird car names. Sure, it’s a van, but it’s the Lunar Lander or the Buzz Aldrin of vans–the Delica Space Gear! Space suit not included, but you do get a bull bar.