From Naked to Cats and Vegetables… the cutest car names ever

From Naked to Cats and Vegetables... the cutest car names ever

The world is littered with boring car model names. Not so these, which mix the cute, the funny, and the downright crazy.

“What’s in a name? What we call rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.”

So offered the great William Shakespeare in his classic 1996 film, Romeo and Juliet (That’s a joke guys, I know it was a book first).

And it’s a strong quote from The Bard that suggests that what matters is not what a thing is called, but that the essence of the thing remains important.

Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors (GWM) is hoping old Will’s philosophy will come true when it launches the GWM Ora in Australia.

Known in his native China of the altogether more memorable ones Ora Good Approxt, Australia won’t miss the ‘Good Cat’ bit for nothing. Similarly, the Ora Lightning Cat, or as it’s known in Europe, Next Cat, will arrive Down Under with less than resourcefulness GWM Ora Sport. Pooh.

Shakespeare summed it up with his rose analogy. Whether the GWM Ora will captivate hearts and minds as much as a car called the Ora Good Cat remains to be seen.

But GWM isn’t alone in producing cars with funky, memorable, or just plain cute model names. Here are some of our favourites.

Mitsubishi Minica Lettuce

Mitsi’s little Minica (mini car, geddit?) has been around since the 1960s – the first Minica rolled off the assembly line in 1962 – but it’s the sixth generation (1989-1993) that has seen things take a turn for the cute, a new twist with a single door on the right side, two doors on the passenger side and a tailgate with a single door on the driver’s side, two doors on the passenger side and a tailgate.

What else would you call it, other than “salad”? No, we don’t know why either.

Daihatsu naked

A cute kei car from Japan that lists among its features exposed hinges, external bolts holding everything together and a name that gets giggles among schoolboys.

A 658cc inline three provided motivation, with either a four-speed auto or five-speed manual sending power to either just the front wheels or all four wheels.

Production ran from 1999 to 2004 before being replaced by the Daihatsu Cast Activa.

Toyota Deliboy

A small van that shared some mechanical components with the more common KM30-generation Toyota LiteAce, the sweetly-named Deliboy was aimed at “small shopkeepers who dabble in door-to-door delivery,” according to Toyota.

Payload was rated at 750kg for the regular two-seater van, while a five-seater option reduced that payload to 500kg.

As for the name? According to Toyota: “The name conjures up the image of an agile delivery boy…”

BYD Dolphin

Aside from the fact that BYD is an acronym for “Build Your Dreams,” the Chinese automaker’s appeal to model names with such memorable designations as the D1, F3, G3, S7, and M6 (hello BMW?) is largely unimaginative.

But scattered among the alphanumeric nameplates, the BYD Dolphin and Seal conjure up images of gentle marine life lounging in the world’s seas and oceans. For what it’s worth, the Dolphin is a small electric hatchback, while the Seal is a compact electric sedan.

GWM Haval Big Dog

A bit of a misnomer, the GWM Haval Big Dog is anything but SUV country. Classified as a compact crossover SUV, the Big Dog was reportedly slated for an Australian launch in late 2023.

Unfortunately, it’s looking increasingly likely that Australia is now off the Big Dog’s radar. Not that we’re missing out on too much, with reports suggesting the ‘Big Dog’ would be known locally as ‘Dargo’. Boring!

GWM Ora Good Cat

It’s sad that locally delivered Oras will miss out on GWM’s excellent handbook of model names. Who wouldn’t want to park an Ora Good Cat in their driveway? Or a Funky Cat or even Lightning Cat. However, for me personally, I make an ora punk cat (pictured below). Yes, it works.

Instead, our locally-supplied Ora Good Cats will be known simply as the GWM Ora, while the Australian-supplied Lightning Cats will run under the decidedly unsexy and not-at-all-very-cute GWM Ora Sport. boo

As for the origins of the Good Cat name? Apparently, GWM channeled the words of Deng Xiaoping, former leader of the People’s Republic of China, who reportedly once said, “It doesn’t matter if it’s a white cat or a black cat; As long as she can catch mice, she’s a good cat.”

Volkswagen Gold

No, not a typo. Instead, the Gol is a compact car produced by Volkswagen do Brasil for the South American market. While in 1980 it looked like a standalone product with its own character, the latest generation (G5, pictured below) looks suspiciously like a VW Polo.

The Gol (named after the Portuguese word for “gate”) was Brazil’s best-selling car from 1987 to 2014.

Now in its third generation, the VW Gol has the honor of being banned in Argentina (where it’s been the nationwide bestseller since 1988) because Volkswagen do Brasil refused to fit the car with Electronic Stability Control (ESC or ESP) as standard. Argentina will make ESP mandatory for all new cars by 2022. Volkswagen do Brasil said: “Yes, no”.

We think the 1990s Gol GTI (pictured below) looks pretty cool.

What are some of your favorite car model names? Let us know in the comments below.

The post From Naked to Cats and Vegetables… the Cutest Car Names Ever appeared first on Drive.

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