‘What’s in a name?’ – it’s an age-old question and, as the recently revealed Ferrari 812 Superfast demonstrated, they’re pretty easy to get hung up on.
Car names can range from the ridiculous (the Mazda Bongo and Mitsubishi Pistachio are our go-to favourites) to the straight-up ferocious (Lamborghini Diablo), while some seem to lose something in translation (Isuzu Light Dump, anyone?).
But here, we’ve picked out the cream of the crop, those names that perfectly capture a car’s essence and speak to us. First up…
Land Rover Defender
Production of this beloved boxy SUV may have ran its course, but we all know it won’t be too long before the Defender nameplate is revived.
Part of that is because the name perfectly evokes (weak pun intended) everything about the Defender. It’s strong, honourable, trustworthy and selfless enough to do whatever it takes to serve its owner. Come back soon, Defender!
Alfa Romeo Disco Volante
With names like Giulietta and Mito stinking up Alfa Romeo’s current model range, the Disco Volante is proof that they don’t name Alfas like they used to. The ‘Disco’ part shouldn’t need a translation, but ‘Volante’ is Italian for ‘flying saucer’.
It’s unclear if martians had a boogie in this car or Alfa’s naming department was just smoking something funky that day.
Whoa, talk about cocky! This monstrous sedan from the late 1930s literally reckoned it owned the road.
The Roadmaster was available as a convertible and as a estate wagon while it was Buick’s flagship model between 1946 and 1958. It re-emerged in the early ‘90s after a 33-year absence but failed to cut-through in the heavily-populated high-end sedan marketplace.
‘Master of none’ more like.
The breathtaking LaFerrari may sound a little silly when translated into English (Ferrari The Ferrari) and it’s the same with the Testarossa: the Ferrari Red Head sounds much cooler in Italian.
With its 12-cylinder engine and iconic Pininfarina-penned design, it’ll take more than a dorky name to undo the Testarossa.
The Magnum is the Dodge named after Magnum P.I., Dirty Harry’s handgun of choice, or a delicious brand of ice cream? It’s irrelevant because this overblown coupe would ‘blow your head clean off’. Renault also has a truck named Magnum, but it doesn’t carry the same kind of cool without the Dodge prefix.
Another Dodge and one we had to include because, well, car names don’t get much more unhinged than going on a destructive frenzy. For the sake of saving time, just pretend we’ve included the Dodge Viper too.
The Ford Fiesta, Nissan Note and Dacia Duster are all living proof that alliteration doesn’t automatically result in a cool car name. But it certainly works in this case. Plus, anyone who’s ever fallen victim to a wasp’s wrath knows their sting is bigger than their size suggests.
We mentioned it at the start but it deserves proper focus because any car named after the devil isn’t mucking around.
Few car names scream ‘power’ quite like the Veyron, but what is a Veyron?
Well, apart from a river in Switzerland, the one-time fastest road-legal production car actually derives its name from Pierre Veyron, a Grand Prix motor racing driver active between 1933 and 1953.
As much as we like the Chiron as a car, its name – which refers to a man-horse archery enthusiast from Greek mythology – doesn’t come close to the magnificence of the Veyron.
Have we missed out any of your favourite car names? Tell us in the comments below…