Regal sonata legacy

So-called luxury brands of automobiles tend to denote individual models, not by names, but by alphanumerics: 328i, LS460, E550. Sometimes they even skip the numerics: MDX, CTS-V. I’m not sure why they do this, but actual names aren’t so hot these days, according to P. J. O’Rourke in the June Car and Driver:

[T]here’s banality even in the model names. I made fun of Jeep for calling itself Rubicon, but at least Caesar’s road trip provided Rome with a little excitement. It’s better than Toyota’s fake Latin: “Corolla Yaris Venza Matrix.” Or Ford’s New Age babble: “Focus on your Fusion, Taurus.” Or Honda’s e-mail from the local zoning board: “Does the Civic Insight Fit? We’re in Accord.”

It’s things like this that make you wish Studebaker were still around and producing the Dictator.

Addendum: Joe Sherlock is waiting for the “Panther Thunderass 9000.”


  1. Lisa Paul »

    26 April 2010 · 3:09 pm

    I’m still nostalgic for the great animal names of yesteryear. So much more fun to ride a Mustang, Bronco or Impala than something faux Latin. Which is why my Priuses (Prii?) always have classic ranch horse names: Old Paint and now Flame.

  2. CGHill »

    26 April 2010 · 3:13 pm

    More than one Prius would be Priora.

    Although I don’t think they’ll let me get away with saying that I have owned two Mazdae.

  3. unimpressed »

    27 April 2010 · 4:58 am

    Wouldn’t they, in order, be “A Priori” (previously owned), “Prius” (always, if there is only one) and then Priora (but only with two or more).

    How, then, are the older and newer of two currently owned models differentiated? How would you differentiate between the older and newer models of two previously owned cars?

    If you tell me “Prior” fits somewhere in this list then I haven’t a prayer of understanding Faux Latin–as it is so different from the Porcine variant–the only one with which I am even marginally familiar.

    It could very well be that I have my priorities all wrong.

  4. fillyjonk »

    27 April 2010 · 6:35 am

    I’m waiting for a car company to come up with the Unpronounceable Symbol, a la Prince.

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