Gallery: Cars with literal names

Lazy marketing? Not when they make sense
by Ollie Kew | Jul 26, 2020
CAR BRANDS IN THIS ARTICLE

1) Nissan Cube

The Nissan Cube was, once upon a time, the best-selling car in Japan. This is why we love Japanese car culture at Top Gear—they tend not to buy boring cars.

The second-gen Cube really ran with the boxier-than-a-box-of-Rubik’s-Cubes-in-a-phonebox styling vibe. You could even spec an electric motor to make it four-wheel-drive, reducing fuel consumption when accelerating. Handy—the aerodynamics probably weren’t up to much...

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2) Ferrari 812 Superfast

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Ferrari’s two-seat mega-GT is powered by a 789hp 6.5-liter V12. All those rampaging horses and the small matter of 718Nm are channeled to the rear wheels via a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox of seamless shift quality. It can, as a result, scorch from 0-100kph in 2.9sec, and top out beyond 340kph. Super fast? As our American cousins are apparently fond of saying in all the films: You do the math.

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3) Toyota Hilux Invincible

If you’ve been down a deep enough Top Gear YouTube wormhole, you’ll remember the film off the TV show from many years ago when Jeremy and James subjected a well-worn Toyota pickup truck to a series of damaging tests, to see if it could be broken. Incredibly, despite being drowned in the sea, set on fire, hit with a wrecking ball, and placed onto a momentarily demolished tower block, it kept running, and kept driving. So, if any car in the world car truly claim to be ‘Invincible,’ it’s the cockroach-tough Hilux

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4) Mini

This name’s become a millstone around the ‘new’ Mini’s neck. Because ‘mini’ is defined in the dictionary as ‘anything of a small, reduced, or miniature size.’ And while a current Mini Cooper is smaller than, say, an ocean liner or a space station, it’s not as small a car as it’s possible to make. And the original...kinda was.

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The latest Mini remains enormously successful and huge fun to drive, though. And besides, the “ugh, it’s not a small car any more” brigade can always help themselves to...

5) Smart ForTwo

… a clever car that seats strictly two people. Hmm, wonder what to call it?

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Problem is, since Smart went fully-electric, this car is now actually called the ‘Smart EQ ForTwo,’ to tie in with its parent brand Mercedes-Benz’s burgeoning family of EVs and hybrids. So, it’s not as literal as it might’ve been. Still, at the other end of the size scale...

6) Renault Espace

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... there’s the original MPV—the very, um, spacious Renault Espace. We ought to also give an honorary mention to the Mitsubishi Space Tourer, another van-with-windows with oodles of room, but gaining a handful of extra cool points for wearing a name that sounds like a hero craft out of Star Wars.

7) Maserati Quattroporte

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Could Jaguar or Bentley pull off naming a new model the ‘Four-Door’? It’s short, snappy, and it even rhymes, so perhaps they just might. But it wouldn’t have the lyrical quality that makes Maserati’s equivalent such a joy to roll around your mouth. 

NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: TopGear.com
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