Here in the United States, the American mindset towards driving is almost intrinsically tied to a sense of adventure and a desire to explore. One might liken it to an automotive manifest destiny, urging us to conquer untraveled roads, unhindered by uncertainty or fear of the unknown. But this sensibility applies to more than just ‘how’ we drive. In many ways, you could argue that this sense of adventure defines ‘what’ we drive.
Of course, we’re referring to the inspired names bestowed upon countless vehicles that convey this incurable desire to push forward with a sense of fearless momentum. Even the blandest, uninspired and family-friendly of vehicles (yep, crossovers) receive adrenalin-infused monikers like Nissan’s Rogue, Ford’s Explorer, or become evident when comparing the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. 2018 Nissan Pathfinder.
This proves appealing, especially as a counterpoint to our rather mundane lifestyles. Few of us fancy ourselves gallant explorers or picture ourselves as a fierce warrior of the Cherokee nation. And with that in mind, such names conjure aspirational visions of how we’d like to envision ourselves, rather than how we truly are.
But just as we wonder where we’ll venture once every road has been explored, what direction will automakers follow once they’ve depleted their pool of super-cool names? Sure, we might see translations of foreign and ancient languages, in an attempt to sound cool. But I don’t want to drive a Honda Axolotl just because the Aztec word for Salamander has a nice ring to it.
Perhaps we’ll see automakers find their inspiration from other kinds of adventure that people face each and every day. You know what we’re talking about, those exciting moments that spice up your day. Some are good, some are bad. Okay, most are bad. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at five examples of model names that automakers might consider if they’re trying to make adventure more relatable.
Conjuring all the uncertainty of online dating, the Ford Catfish might only be available for purchase over the internet. Will it be everything you’ve made it out to be in your head? Only time will tell!
Raw and priced to sell, this back-to-basics vehicle might come back to haunt you like a suspiciously half-priced sushi luncheon special. Are you ready to roll the dice?
The perfect vehicle for your wife, daughter or even a female friend. No, seriously…tell her why. We dare you.
Built for speed, this car will get you anywhere as quickly as you need it to (even if that place is home, after a rich dining experience full of heavy cheese and sauces).
Think of it as a vehicle that defies expectations, in terms of what it has under the hood. Get it home and take a look for yourself! After all, you THINK you bought a Honda…emphasis on the word THINK.
Sure, it all sounds crazy, but each year approximately 300 new model year offerings are released into the U.S. market alone. While many are continuations from the previous model year, there will inevitably come a day when the names run out. Even today, we’re seeing younger generations turn a shameful eye on anything that reeks of expansionism, or cultural appropriation. Assuming that trend will continue in the decades to come, is it that much of a stretch to think that everyday threats could inspire automakers? It really isn’t. And while you might cringe at the idea of driving a Dodge DUI, or a Chevy Chlamydia, your great, great, great grandkids might love the inherent sense of danger.