For the automotive industry, 2018 is what Major League Baseball would call a “rebuilding year.” Most of the major introductions this year are evolutions to current nameplates. There are only 11 brand new cars with new names this year, and almost all of those names leave a bit to be desired.
Names for new cars pretty much universally come from high-priced “brand identity” firms, with teams of Mad Men types that sit around thinking up different variations of letters and numbers (See: “Infiniti QX5832.72“).
A brand identity firm typically charges between $30,000 and $80,000 to do the research and development for coming up with a single name for a product, and that number can be a lot higher.
For that kind of money, you get the occasional Alfa Romeo Stelvio but you also get a lot of made-up nonsense like “Daewoo Nubira,” which sounds like a pharmaceutical. Looks like one, too, now that we think about it.
Over here at BestRide, we think we can do better, for a lot less money. In fact, we can do it for free in ten minutes.
To come up with better names for the Class of 2018’s new models, we simply consulted the list of over 1,000 new words added to the Oxford English Dictionary this past year.
Try these monikers on for size:
Jaguar XF Sportbrake
We’re all in with the idea of a sport wagon, but the all-new Jaguar XF Sportbrake combines two things we hate:
- Alphanumeric names for cars
- The use of British English when American English has a perfectly good word for the same thing
You don’t have to hang around a British car owners in America for long before they bust out pretentious phrases like “Jolly good show, old bean, open the boot and fetch me a spanner.”
98.395 percent of the American car-buying public has no idea that “brake” is the diminutive version of “shooting brake,” which is a highfalutin term for a “station wagon” here in the Land of the Free.
If you’re going to insist on using a British English word, how about “Jaguar Fatberg“? It’s a noun added to the OED this year that describes a giant clot of detritus plugging up London’s sewer system.
Better yet, just call it what it is, Prince Charles: A “sport wagon.”
Here’s another actual “car,” as opposed to a “crossover,” and a hell of an exciting one.
We’re on pins and needles to drive this hot rod, but we’re tired of the alphanumerics.
We’re just calling it the Lexus Yass, which the OED describes as an informal or exaggerated pronunciation of “yes,” used when expressing great pleasure or excitement.
Rear-drive, 471hp V-8, 0-60 in 4.6 seconds?
Ferrari 812 Superfast
We don’t necessarily have a problem with Ferrari’s use of numerals. They’ve been doing it since day one, and in some way or another, it makes sense.
The problem is with the “Superfast” part. It’s like naming your kid “Braeden ‘Handsome’ Smith” or “Jaeden ‘Awesome Middle Infielder’ Williams.”
Plus, as every kid knows, “Superfast” is the name of Matchbox’s entire line of cars. Come on. How about “Power Wheels.”
We’re throwing a penalty, Ferrari. You get “Ferrari 812 Through-Smite,” which the folks at the OED tell us is an obsolete word that’s been reinstated in the dictionary which means “‘to pierce or run through, as with a spear or other pointed weapon.”
Yay, another subcompact crossover SUV.
Hyundai chose the name Kona, which we’re assuming refers to the district in Hawaii.
Maybe it refers to the type of coffee grown there. Either way, not all that great.
If you’re going to name a car for a beverage, why not go with the all-new entry to the Oxford English Dictionary “Hyundai Liquid Courage.”
Who wouldn’t want to pilot a shot of Jameson before you walk in an ask the boss for a promotion?
Ford likes the “Eco” prefix the way a hungry dog likes a baloney sandwich. They put it on everything. Up to this point it’s been on engines: EcoBoost, EcoBlue, EcoTorq. Soon it’s moving it onto entire models.
The first (if you don’t include the Eco-Noline) the EcoSport, which arrives for the 2018 model year, though it’s been on sale around the world since the advent of the electric light bulb. It’s a — SURPRISE — subcompact crossover SUV that was originally produced in Brazil in the Mesozoic period of 2003.
We’re going with something a lot more forward thinking: Ford Leptoquark, a new entry to the OED which references “hypothetical particles that carry information between quarks and leptons that allow quarks and leptons to interact.”
That sounds like the future!
The Ferrari Portofino is an all-new hardtop convertible GT-type thing that looks pretty hot. It’s what you’d call an “entry level” Ferrari, with a doorbuster price tag of just $228,000 (estimated).
Ferrari has been naming its cars with numbers so long that it’s weird to see one with just a regular name. “Portofino” is lousy, though. Sounds like one of those restaurants that’s hung around since the 1980s, still riding the wave of sundried tomatoes.
We’re calling it the Ferrari Squad Goal, because Taylor Swift is the target audience.
Find a Ferrari Squad Goal at BestRide.com
Range Rover Velar
Here’s what we know: The new Range Rover Velar is a — stop the presses — CROSSOVER SUV based on the Jaguar F-Pace, powered by a either a 3.0-liter V6, a gas-fired 2.0-liter turbo or a diesel-powered 2.0-liter turbo. It sort of splits the difference between the Range Rover Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery.
Here’s what we also know: “Velar” is the dumbest name in the history of naming cars, and we’re including the Daihatsu Charade.
Not only is it ridiculous, it’s going to require all kinds of explanation at the gas pumps if you decide to buy one. Here’s the back story: In 1970, engineers were banging around the countryside in some kind of half-baked prototype that was badged with leftover letters from a L A N D R O V E R.
If you want to go explaining that every time somebody asks you what you’re driving, knock yourself out.
We’re going for the straightforward: RANGE ROVER SAUSAGE FEST.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
We love it when manufacturers resurrect names like “Camaro,” or “Bronco.” We hate it when they resurrect names like “Monterey” and affix them to garbage minivans.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse was the dream car of just about every gas-huffing, pimply faced high school kid in the 1990s. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is not.
It is — SPOILER ALERT — a COMPACT CROSSOVER SUV that wedges itself between the Outlander Sport and the Outlander.
Given its fake news, bait-and-switch name, we’re going to call it the “Mitsubishi Post-Truth,” a new word in the Oxford English Dictionary that describes our abandonment of facts in political debate.
BREAKING NEWS: The Kia Stinger is NOT a crossover SUV, like every other vehicle introduced since 2009. It is a sedan, and a pretty exciting one, too, with up to 365hp, and a tested zero to 60 time of 4.6 seconds. Yowza.
“Stinger” honestly isn’t half bad, but we’re going with the OED’s “Kia Particle Zoo,” which is “a relatively extensive list of the then known ‘elementary particles’ that almost look like hundreds of species in the zoo.”
You know what? Just stick with Stinger.