Naming cars is a tricky business, one that I seem to have way too many opinions about, often bad ones. And while it seems like there are hardly any rules governing the odd mishmash of alphanumerics, animal names, location names and made-up words that form most car badges, there are a few unspoken rules. Like how, for supercars the name has to be some hard-to-pronounce word, ideally an obscure word from a non-English language. I may have some suggestions for those.
Just take a moment to consider the names of some notable supercars: Huayra, Ghibli, Zonda, Veneno, Huracan, Jesko, Tuatara, Regera, Veyron, Reventón, Nazca, Spano, Jalpa. Regardless of the origin or source of the name, they all have a similar feel to them.
Supercar names tend to sound exotic, unexpected, and are usually hard to pronounce, which is likely a bit of rich-dingus gatekeeping so people can know who has only read the names and who travels in circles where such names are actually spoken.
So, with that in mind, I wanted to come up with some good potential supercar names for the future, should any supercar makers be stumped when it comes to picking a name. I’m also a bit of an unreliable source for this, because I have something of an agenda: I think supercars are stupid, deeply stupid.
With that in mind, I set out to make a list of potential names that sound and feel right for supercars but mean something kinda’ shitty, or at least very unsupercarish.
I think I came up with a decent list of words that fits both of these requirements quite well:
That’s the word for a marsupial mole in the Anangu language of Australia. They’re not exactly pretty.
This is the Dutch for “vain.” They probably think this list is about them.
That’s the word for “garage queen” in Indonesian.
Hey, that sounds fast! Too bad it means “urine storm” in Samoan.
This one feels like a supercar off-roader, like a modern take on a Lamborghini LM002. It means “shit box” in Irish, too.
Man, I can totally see this as a supercar name. Lamborghini Uvivu just seems so plausible! I wonder if they’d care that it means “sloth” in Swahili?
Oooh, this one is nice and exotic, and has an “x” in it, which is a plus. It means “mosquito” in Basque.
This one feels more like a Koenigsegg one, maybe? It’s also how you ask for diapers in the Hausa language.
Any kind of accent mark helps, too. This one has a powerful brevity and would lend itself to a cool logo made of straight and angled lines. I can picture a Pagani Nivîn, no problem. In Kurdish, it means “bedwetter,” though.
This one feels like some new supercar maker, trying something bold and exciting. It’d be a car that would demand attention, like its namesake, what Greeks call an asshole.
I know McLaren tends to prefer alphanumericals, but sometimes it goes for words, as it did with Elva and Speedtail. Somehow, McLaren Limax sounds right to me, even though it would just sound like “slug” if you spoke Latin.
If you’re about to get a job with a supercar maker and you don’t mind maybe losing that job soon, why not consider one of these for your next supercar? I think they all sound great, and let’s be honest, they’d bring a little bit of approachable humility to supercars, which they desperately need.