Hooniverse Asks- What's a Good Un-Used Real Thing Car Name?


TSX, SL500, 300C, Venza, Impreza, the list goes on. Some say all the good real-world names are gone, just like there are no original movie plots any more. I say, they’re just not trying hard enough. I’m also getting pretty sick and tire of all the made up names blighting everything from the little pills that help us make sexy time more enjoyable to the cars that our partners in that activity drive home in after completing the walk of shame. I think we can do better, and there’s nobody better to come up with awesome product names that you fine folks.

Let’s stick to cars here, after all  this is a car blog, and see if you can think up some killer labels that are actual things -whether animal, vegetable or mineral – that really exist. Some makers convolute real words to make new ones that have no real meaning, but evoke some sort of emotional response based on how close they are to their progenitor. Intergra, Impreza, Maxima, the Japanese are masters of this tact, taking an emotive word, truncating it and adding an a to the end. I hate those.
335i, 348GTB, 350E; these are based on some parameter of the vehicle – usually engine displacement and lineup position, and that’s okay, but unless there’s years of storied history backing the nomenclature, it lacks uniqueness. The names that really have impact are ones that drive both imagery of the brand and a connected positive attribute- the strength of a galloping herd of horses in the case of the Mustang, a powerful light warcraft for the Corvette. Names like these elicit a connection that’s weighted in reality, and because of that, they seem to have  greater sense of permanence than the made up names that come and go on other cars.
There are also names that are real English words, but because of a weak connection to an external image, they seem to lack that kind of impact. Honda sold the Prelude for a long time, establishing it as a significant member of their lineup. And then it went away. Miss it? Now think about the Thunderbird, a name steeped in both automotive and Native American culture. It’s been a few years since it went away, and I’ll bet a bunch of folks would like to see that name resurrected. Same thing with ‘Cobra.’
So, is it true, are all the great car names gone? Is there any animal name, force of nature, or powerful icon from which a memorable name can be derived? What would you like to see as a car or truck name that has never been used before?
Image sources: [cartype.com]

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89 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What's a Good Un-Used Real Thing Car Name?”

  1. tonyola Avatar

    Thunderf*ck Roadcrusher SS5000GTZ Maniac Babymangler

    1. damnelantra![™] Avatar

      o0o, the 2010 babymangler!

      1. Thrashy Avatar

        I hear the "Meatgrinder" option package is sick.

  2. SSurfer321 Avatar

    The new 2010 Armageddon SUV. What's more powerful than Armageddon?

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      The Post-Apocalyptic Taco Truck, of course.

  3. tonyola Avatar

    "Honda sold the Prelude for a long time, establishing it as a significant member of their lineup. And then it went away. Miss it?"
    Yes. Yes I do miss it.

    1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

      my prelude owning friends and i (not a prelude owner) always wondered.. "prelude to what?"
      but yeah.. i'd like to see it come back…

      1. ptschett Avatar

        I don't remember much about usenet, but I do remember that I used to read a usenet group (rec.autos.makers.ford.mustang perhaps?) where the Prelude was consistently renamed to Quaalude.

    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      I miss the real Honda Motor Co.

  4. Maymar Avatar

    I'm still waiting on my Utopian Turtletop or a Thundercougarfalconbird.
    If I'm not mistaken, Blackbird remains unused though, if you're into the aeronautical connection.

    1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

      mmmmm maybe even a Super thundercougarfalconbird… i'd buy it.
      (i love that show… i don't have a dvr (well… kinda but it's slow to process/encode) I use my dad's dvr.. apparently i accidentally set it to 'record series' when setting it to record the new episodes….. so… now it records all the re-runs too… well.. i had been deleting them (while my dad was out of town– own the whole series on dvd… ) i've gone over there a few times for lunch to find them watched… and not deleted… guess my dad now likes the show too… awesome.)

    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      While it's not technically a car, I think Honda would have a problem with another "Blackbird" vehicle:
      <img src="http://www.wallpaperspage.com/image.php?v=./data/media/315/honda blackbird wallpaper.jpg">
      In the same way, Ford stopped Kawasaki from using Zephyr for their bikes.

  5. P161911 Avatar

    The 2011 Toyota Sheep

  6. Josh Avatar

    How about "Burning Man" special editions of Italian super cars?

  7. Deartháir Avatar

    The BMW Douchebag Special?
    The Lexus Octogenarian?
    How about the Dodge Stubborn? I can see the commercials now. "The 2013 Stubborn: because this company should have been dead decades ago, but goddammit we're staying put."

    1. Goingincirclez Avatar

      That (Dodge Stubborn) would be especially appropriate from the company that gave us the LaFemme.

  8. P161911 Avatar

    Has there ever been a car named Hero?
    Amp for an electric car.
    Box for those things like the Nissan Cube, Scion tB, Kia Soul, Honda Element, etc.
    Hellfire would be a great name for a muscle car. You could brand engineer a platform mate the Brimstone.

  9. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    Blaster.
    – Yamaha used it for an ATV and had a couple of Waveblaster PWCs
    – Harley had the Buell Blast
    – There was the Road Blaster video game…
    …but I don't think it has ever been used for a car.

  10. tonyola Avatar

    We could also have a discussion about what name least fits the car. My entry? Buick Wildcat. More like Buick Garfield, especially in later years, Fat, slow, and lazy, like an overfed housecat.

  11. Baron Von Danger Avatar

    Toyota Adversity

  12. tonyola Avatar

    Bugatti Narcissus

  13. Thrashy Avatar

    Which makes one wonder, how long until we have to contend with four-ton Toyota Blockades barreling down our streets and highways?

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      Get yerself one of them new Lotus Blockade Runners…

      1. Baron Von Danger Avatar

        I prefer a two-wheel'd blockade runner.

        1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

          I recall that when Motorcyclist reviewed the Honda FT500 Ascot, they dubbed it a "decongestion bike."
          What a great term.

  14. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    Toorineko – Japanese for alleycat, literally "street cat"

  15. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    Using the Corvette as a model, another ship type that sounds classy, "Brigantine"

  16. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    Zarathustra. Though it would probably only be a nietzsche product.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      With special Zara-thrusters!

    2. tiberiuswise Avatar

      It wouldn't need an accelerator. Just a will to power.

  17. Corvette_Poncho Avatar

    What about the cars named after races and tracks? Daytona, Talladega, Grand Prix etc… Maybe they could try using "Bristol" or maybe "Pikes Peak" for some Jeep type vehicle.
    Otherwise maybe some musical terms for car names. The new "Jazz" or the "Crishendo" or the "Treble Cleff"…wait, that last one might not work.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      I really want to buy the new Dodge Donnybrooke, but only if it can take Turn 1 WFO in top gear, the way the big boys do it.
      <img src="http://www.brainerdraceway.com/images/stories/grounds/maps/09roadcoursemap.jpg"&gt;

  18. buzzboy7 Avatar

    The first model will be called Geoff, then the second generation will change the name to Hammerhead Eagle iThrust
    But why not more animal names. The Piranha or the Osprey or the Gazelle.
    Still nothing beats the Legend though. "It's our first car so it must be great"

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      I heard a rumor the Honda Crosstour was originally going to be called the Platypus?

    2. Rob Avatar

      The original name for the SVT Focus was the Piranha. Some people have made replica name plates and everything

    3. JumpJet27 Avatar

      Actually, the hatchback nissan 200sx sold in Japan as the Gazelle.

  19. scroggzilla Avatar

    We've named cars after birds, snakes, horses and cats. My inner 6 year old demands cars named after dinosaurs! Be honest, you'd all line up for test drives in a Volkswagen Monoclonius, Dodge Iguanodon or Nissan Ceratosaur.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      I could see the Dodge T-Rex truck.
      There's a good chance the Ford Raptor is named more for the Velociraptor than birds.

    2. bzr Avatar

      They were going to call it the Chevy Brontosaurus, but turns out all the spy shots were inaccurate.

  20. Baron Von Danger Avatar

    Heh, Chrysler Shihtpoo

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      Part Bull Mastiff, part Shih tzu, all bullshiht.

  21. Baron Von Danger Avatar

    Ford Bigballs LRG DIK

    1. name_too_long Avatar

      And it would be a <1.0l diesel super mini… only available in pink

  22. dukeisduke Avatar

    Toyota Deception.

  23. dukeisduke Avatar

    Buick Incontinence.

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      With ultra-absorbent seats!

  24. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    Métisse means "half-breed," but Rickman already used it for their custom motorcycle frames.
    <img src="http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a352/Chase2/RickmanBultaco.jpg&quot; width="400">
    BTW: "Mmmmmm, Métisse."

  25. BGW Avatar

    I hear the new Renault Trébuchet is a real tosser.

  26. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    Cadillac Arroganté

  27. Goingincirclez Avatar

    Buick Casketeer… Honda Poser… Chevy Clusterfumble…

  28. Goingincirclez Avatar

    Jaguar E-12 Codpiece Edition…

    1. Jim7 Avatar

      I was too slow!

  29. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    There are still unused snake names…
    – Anaconda
    – Mamba

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      The Anaconda would need exceptionally wide seats.
      My Anaconda don't want none unless you got BUNS, hon!

  30. muthalovin Avatar

    Ford Mariachi
    Cadillac Ego
    Toyota Divinity
    Honda Fap

  31. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    Once I was thinking how many car names were also professions… I had limited it to FMC names at the time.
    Explorer, Ranger, Mountaineer, Navigator….. and I figured I could count Escort as a profession too.

    1. tonyola Avatar

      Lincoln Aviator too.

    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      Should I be holding out hope for the Ford Publications Specialist?

  32. Tomsk Avatar

    Dodge Ocelot
    Honda Wolverine
    Lotus Egret
    Toyota Tryptophan
    Chery Ditto
    Geely Ctrl-C

  33. Hopman Avatar

    How about Kestral? It's a small member of the hawk family. It'd fit great on a Miata-sized sports car.
    Thinking of dog breeds: Doberman, Terrier, Akita, and Rottwiler.
    Cheetah
    The Elephant (plenty of TRUNK space!)
    Sherpa
    Lepard
    Racoon
    All I can think of right now.

    1. tonyola Avatar

      Some of these have already been used:
      Riley Kestrel
      Leyland Sherpa (English van)
      Nissan Leopard (Infiniti M30 and J30 in US)

  34. alcology Avatar

    The Chairman.
    Why not just have a whole series of cars named after colors. The Red. The White. The Black. The Fuschia.
    I've got a red White. A what? A red White! What is that, pink or something. No man, my White. It's red. Yeah and I've got a white Black. Naw, it's more mauve.

    1. tonyola Avatar

      Already used – Ssangyong/Daewoo Chairman.
      The Alfa 75/Milano was sold in the US in Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Verde (Green) editions.

      1. alcology Avatar

        Damn.

    2. fisheater Avatar

      My father has a 3 foot long stainless still grill from the 60's with "The Chairman" in cast iron lettering. I secretly plot how to steal it from him.

  35. KAH Avatar

    Lotus "Operandi"

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      Bravo!

  36. Eggwich Avatar

    All my names seem to have a case of the Machos or the Munchies.
    Dodge Dominator
    Chevy Altitude
    Honda Vanguard
    Pontiac Burninator (I know Pontiac is dead, that can't stop the Burninator)
    Ford Beyonder
    Chevy Regulator (cop car)
    Renault Piss

    1. tonyola Avatar

      Standard Vanguard – already used

      1. Eggwich Avatar

        Stop being smart!

    2. tonyola Avatar

      Would there also be a matching Merde edition?

    3. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      Beyonder – I love it! Would that be like an Even-Farther-Outlander?

      1. Eggwich Avatar

        I love it too. I used The Beyonder as a handle before Eggwich, and still do for takeout orders.

  37. bzr Avatar

    I wonder if the Armada sells in England.

    1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

      in the same context that the Nova wasn't a great name for a car in Spanish-speaking countries? Good one!

  38. Syrax Avatar

    Stars and constellations names are nice. There's the Toyota Alphard, the Subaru Alcyone, the Chevy Vega. Star names are always cool. Antares, Aldebaran, Procyon, Spica, Denebola, Cygnus …

  39. Bret Avatar

    That Mercedes would only be available in Gold.

  40. Mad_Hungarian Avatar

    VW was on the wind thing for a while. Scirocco, Passat, etc. Let's go with the wind theme, only let's pick some serious winds. Like hurricanes. So we would have the Kia Katrina, Hyundai Hugo, Audi Andrew, Cadillac Camille, and so on. Chevy dealers would have an accompanying captive import, the Geo Storm Surge . . .

    1. kah Avatar

      some wind names I don't think have been used yet.
      Santa Ana
      Typhoon
      Cyclone
      Northeaster
      Tornado
      Chinook
      Squall
      Bora
      Kohilo
      Solar wind
      Maria

        1. Deartháir Avatar

          Also:
          VW Bora:
          <img src="http://www.ridelust.com/wp-content/uploads/nuevo-vw-bora-2009-01.jpg&quot; width="500">
          Oldsmobile Toronado (yeah yeah, close enough)
          <img src="http://www.globalcar.com/img/17232701.jpg"&gt;
          Boeing Chinook:
          <img src="http://www.eodkingnothingscastle.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/canadian1470051.jpg"&gt;
          (Okay, technically not a car, but from the techs I've talked to, they consider it one, since it spends more time on the ground in the shop than it does actually flying…)

          1. Kah Avatar

            I should have remembered of the Maserati doh! ya the Toronado to close and a better sounding name than Tornado how about Fujita, Class 5, or F5
            anyway the rest were off my radar, thanks

  41. ptschett Avatar

    There used to be a Timberline all-terrain tire from the Dayton brand (a value line of Bridgestone/Firestone IIRC.)

  42. Straight6er Avatar

    Hammerhead-i Eagle Thrust.
    That or Geoff.

  43. CableMonkey Avatar

    Nostromo, the name of the ship in Alien

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