Photo: Kristen Lee (Jalopnik)
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Names are one of the most important parts of cars. Names represent a car in the abstract, act as a stand-in for them when they aren’t physically before you. Names can evoke wonder or awe or even laughter. But which are the best car names?

Personally, I’m split. I think alphanumeric cars names that provide useful information are great. Like what Mercedes used to do before everything went to hell in a hand basket. You could look at the bumper of a Mercedes C32 AMG and know that it was a C-Class with a 3.2-liter engine. Or the Toyota MR2, which was a contraction of “mid-ship, run-about, 2-seater.”

Things start getting weird when the letters and number stop meaning anything at all. A BMW M240i? It’s not a true M car and nor does it have a 4.0-liter engine. Tesla’s S3XY scheme is just idiotic. Plus, illogical alphanumeric names can be hard for people who aren’t car people to remember. We don’t want to be exclusionary, here.

Cars with name-names can be much easier to remember, just like remembering people names. The Nissan Silvia, for one. The Monica 560. The Jowett Jason. And then you get awesome names, like the Kia Stinger and the Mitsubishi Debonair. These are names chosen specifically to sound cool, I’m convinced of it.

So, which do you prefer? Neat and orderly, information-driven names? Or names that have some dramatic flair to them?