The CAR Top 10: offensive car names

Published: 20 February 2015

Whatever your marketing guys call the new model, somewhere in the world it probably means something awful. Read on for our Top 10 of the most offensive car names we could find.

1. Ascari KZ1-R

A road-going version of the firm’s GT3 racer, this British-built 200mph carbon-bodied supercar had performance to make you gasp – and a name that could elicit the same response, at least in Germany, where by appalling coincidence, KZ is the abbreviation for Konzentrationslager, or concentration camp.

2. Mitsubishi Evo Zero fighter

Tasteless special edition rally rep was named after Mitsubishi’s WWII dogfighter, a plane that took thousands of allied lives and was used in Kamikaze raids at the end of the war. Over in Britain, of course, Triumph named its sports car after the RAF’s ace fighter weapon. And until Triumph fixed the swing axle suspension in 1970, the Spit’s handling caused almost as much terror as the plane it was named after.

3. Honda Jazz

Honda’s small car was called Fit in many markets, and Jazz in the UK and Norway, much to the relief of sensitive Scandinavians, to whom the original name – Fitta – is a coarse slang word for female genitalia. As is cona in Portuguese, meaning your acquisition of Opel’s version of our Cavalier was hardly suitable conversation fodder at the pesticos table.

4. Hudson Wasp

What else is a black-hating middle-class American family man going to drive in the deep south in 1950s America? Sadly for wealthy NAACP members looking to parry, the British-built Invicta Black Prince had ceased production at the beginning of the decade. Not America’s finest hour, either culturally or automotively.

5. Mitsubishi Pajero

The original name for the butch SUV we Brits know as the Shogun means wanker in Spanish, which – coincidentally – is what we’d call you if you bought one instead of a Land Rover Discovery. Buick’s Lacrosse also suggests masturbation, this time in French, but we’d rather be known for that than the Spanish translation for Ford’s combustible 1970s econo-car, the Pinto: ‘small penis’.

6. Isuzu GIGA Light Dump

Merely by adding the suffix ‘truck’ Isuzu could have saved us from whole seconds of schoolboy merriment. Mind you, better a light dump than Mazda’s offering, the Titan Dump, a true giant in the world of automotive excrement. And to think, none of this even crossed the marketing team’s minds…

7. Daihatsu Scat

With its four-wheel-drive transmission and knobbly tyres, the precursor to Daihatsu’s Fourtrak liked nothing better than chewing up the brown stuff. Compared to today’s sophisticated SUVs, of course, it’s an absolute shitbox. Toyota’s MR2 certainly wasn’t that, but it still sounded dispiritingly like the French word for faeces.

8. Mazda Laputa

Hypothetical adverts extolling the Mazda’s bargain price, eagerness to swallow loads, and generally describing the zesty 660cc kei car as a real goer, take on a slightly different meaning when you discover that in Spanish, la puta means ‘the whore’.

9. Volkswagen Beetle

The Hebrew word for Beetle isn’t offensive  – unless it’s heard through English ears: hipushit. Which seemed pretty apt back in 1998 given the new Bug’s woeful luggage space and vague handling.

10. Dodge Kahuna

Nearly 1000 Hawaiians signed a petition requesting Dodge change the name of its Kahuna surf woodie concept. Although Kahuna has entered surf slang, it actually means ‘priest’. Rumours that the Chinese are working on a Geely Dalai Lama rival to the Nissan GT-R are unsubstantiated.

By Chris Chilton

Contributing editor, ace driver, wit supplier, mischief maker