Ever seen a car where it looks exactly like another car but it has a totally different name? Well in some cases it’s just a matter of two manufacturers collaborating such as the Mazda Rustler and the Ford Bantam. Or more recently a Toyota Altezza and a Lexus IS200.
Those similarities can be easily explained but truth be told they lack the rib-tickling reasons of our list. I mean why would you name a car a… um, self pleasurer.. for lack of a better word, well that’s exactly what Pajero means in Spanish. In most Spanish-speaking countries, the Mitsubishi Pajero is rebadged as the ‘Montiero’ (which is roughly translated as ‘Mountain Warrior’). In the UK it is rebadged again to Shogun (not sure why).
Here’s a list of other cars that changed the names (or should have); while others just didn’t bother.
Chevrolet Nova / Lada Nova
“Nova”, which was used by both Chevrolet and Lada, means “doesn’t work” (“no va”) in Spanish.
The name Laputa came from Jonathan Swift’s book Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. Unfortunately in Spanish (again), it’s mistaken for “La Puta” which means er ehm “Wh*re”.
In a more recent entry, we have the Kona which in Portuguese is a very rude way to describe a female’s privates. So in the Portuguese market, it will be sold as the “Kauai” (a main island of Hawaii).
Fellow Gran Turismo lovers and general car enthusiasts gather here for yes our beloved MR2 is on the list, how? Well, Toyota MR2, the name is a shortcut for “mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive two-seater”. However, the French pronunciation “M-R-deux” sounds like the French word “merde”, which means “sh*t”. And that car is most definitely not that…. Toyota reacted by selling the “poor man’s Ferrari” as the “Toyota MR” in France. yeah Deuces to the Deux 😂😂😂
Audi TT Coupé
Ok even in English i can see where the problem with “TT” could arise. But noooooo the english speakers let that slide. The Audi TT Coupé is pronounced similar to “Tete coupé” – which is French for a cut-off head. Yikes…imagine being a French Murderer in such a car, the irony would be hilarious.
Mitsubishi Town Box
Now this was totally the English speakers being silly… Granted Mitsubishi kinda asked for it when they abbreviated it and called it the T-Box. This got word search experts to play around with the spaces in the car’s name. Guess what they settled on. “Mutsubi Sh*t-Box” 😂 People are brutal!
The French also got a taste of getting their brands associated with something less than appealing in another language. Uno means “fool” in Finnish; so if someone asks you what you drive in Finland and you say “Fiat Uno”? It sounds like you saying “Fiat, you fool”. looool. I’d pay to see that interaction! Better yet imagine if Mr T drove a Fiat Uno in Finland 😂😂😂😂😂
So if you know anything about Lambo and its car naming tradition. You know this was probably named after some fighting bull. Unfortunately in Spanish (yet again lol) Reventon means to blow out, as in Tyre blow out. And knowing how fast these Lambos go, let’s hope it doesn’t become a literal definition of the car.
In Brazil, Pinto is an expression for small PP…so yeah if ever there was something like reverse compensating…this would be the car hehehehehe!
Audi A3 e-tron
It sounds suspiciously similar to the French word “étron”, which means “pile of sh*t”. Look Audi fans I hear you screaming as you read this but just so you know I do not think the Audi is a Pile of …that.