As the story goes, the Lamborghini Countach takes its name from a Piedmontese expletive shouted out when the car was first shown to the head of design. The origin of the name is a very derogatory cat-call, however, Lamborghini intended it to be outrageous and funny - which is why it won't go on this list.
This list is strictly for the cars with names that are unintentionally funny, inappropriate, offensive, outrageous, and hilarious. How bad are they? Let's just say that some of the translations in this list are just too bad to be published, so they had to be censored - sorry about that. Instead, we'll try to describe it in a way that's just vague enough to keep at least a couple of brain cells active, yet colorful enough to keep it fun. Ready? Let's have some fun.
20 Mazda Laputa
Car manufacturers really seem to struggle with the Spanish language. In Spanish, the word "La" means "The," and we think most people already know what the word "puta" means. In case you don't: it's a word used for women who sell certain favors. Thankfully, there weren't any adverts mentioning the Laputa's bargain price or load capacity.
19 Dodge Dart Swinger
The Dodge Dart Swinger came out in a different time. We've heard of the swingin' 60s, but apparently, Dodge was a bit late to the party and launched this car in the 70s. We're wondering if they advertised it in the back pages of adult magazines? Or if there were any commercials with beautiful car owners grabbing keys from a bowl?
18 Studebaker Dictator
When Studebaker unveiled the Dictator in 1927, it had no way of knowing what would happen in the years to come. Still, continuing to produce a car named Dictator in the era of Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini probably wasn’t the greatest idea the folks over at Studebaker ever had. Thankfully, it was scrapped in 1937.
17 Ford Probe
The car that became the Probe was originally put forward as a replacement for the Mustang. That would’ve been a huge mistake. Naming it after an alien’s favorite investigative technique wasn’t all that great either. The Probe was actually a very decent car - we just wish they gave it a different name.
16 Ford Escort
True story: Ford actually started using the name Escort for a stripped-down version of the Squire in the 1950s. Squire itself once meant “to have a romantic relationship with a woman,” and squires were traditionally the male equivalent of what you now think of as, well, an escort. How's that for coming full circle?
15 Ford Pinto
Blowing up whenever someone lightly tapped its rear-end wasn't the only problem with the Pinto - at least not when it arrived at the Brazilian market. You see, in Brazil, the name "Pinto" was quite controversial - it is an expression for small male genitalia. We struggle to come up with a more unfortunate name for a car.
14 Gaylord Gladiator
Back in the mid-'50s - a simpler, more repressed time - the brothers James and Ed Gaylord set out to build the best car ever made. The end result, the Gaylord Gladiator, certainly was the most flamboyant automobile of the era, however, the project ended after only four of the strange-named cars were made.
13 Hyundai Kona
You'd think carmakers would learn their lesson? Presumably, they have access to the internet and could google the potential names?! The Hyundai Kona proves the opposite: Its name sounds very similar to the Portuguese word “cona”, which is a very vulgar expression for the female genitalia. Hyundai’s solution: The Kona is sold as the “Kauai” in the Portuguese market. The Opel Ascona was also pretty unpopular in Portugal.
12 Mitsubishi Pajero
The Pajero is also known as Shogun in Japan and the UK, and Montero in Spanish speaking areas. Pajero is a Spanish adjective meaning "male self-pleasurer" - which, if you happen to own one, could be the reason why people are making certain hand gestures to you when stuck in traffic. Even after learning about the name, Mitsubishi keeps cranking them out.
11 Buick LaCrosse
Lacrosse is a term used among Quebecois teenagers that has two meanings - none of them related to the actual sport Lacrosse. It can mean "to trick someone", or, ahem, "the act of self-pleasuring." Thankfully it didn’t still use its 1950s slogan: "It makes you feel like the man you are."
10 Toyota MR2
It's not only Spain and Portugal that get carmakers in trouble: They also have their problems with the French-speaking market. A nice example is the Toyota MR2 - which stands for “mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive two-seater”, except the French pronunciation “M-R-deux” sounds very similar to the French word “merde”, which means "cr*p". Toyota sold the poor man’s Ferrari as the “Toyota MR” in France.
9 Audi TT Coupé
Another example from the French-speaking market, although this time the car in question kept its name: The Audi TT Coupé is pronounced similar to “Tete coupé” - which is French for a cut-off head. If there's ever another French revolution, we think this will be the car to own - unless Renault starts making a car called Guillotine.
8 Audi A3 E-tron
Audi sells its plug-in hybrids under the "e-tron" label, and for all we know, they might be amazing cars. However, there's a problem with its name - it sounds suspiciously similar to the French word “étron”, which loosely translated means “pile of steaming manure”. That could certainly be a factor as to why nobody buys it.
7 Jaguar 420
Ok, we realize there probably wasn't anything wrong with this name back when it first saw the light of day. This was the highest level of luxury you could get from Jag in the mid to late 1960s without jumping to the much more expensive flagship models. It was just £200 more than the lesser S-Type, so you'd have to be smoking something not to spring for the 420 (get it?).
6 Volkswagen Jetta/Vento
In Italy, the word "Jetta" sounds very similar to the Italian word "ietta", which means "losing streak" or "streak of bad luck". In Europe, the Vento was introduced in 1992 as the successor to the Jetta. Volkswagen wanted to change the model's image, but they messed up again. "Vento" is indeed Italian for "wind", but it's also a word used for "fart" - so basically, the car is called "Volkswagen Fart."
5 Isuzu GIGA Light Dump
Merely by adding the suffix ‘truck’. Isuzu could have saved us from a couple of seconds of schoolboy merriment. Mind you, better a light dump than Mazda’s version - the Titan Dump; a true giant in the world of automotive excrement. And to think, none of this even crossed the marketing team’s minds!
4 Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard
Stateside it was known as the Rodeo. We have no idea what's so mysterious about the Isuzu MU - really, that stands for Mysterious Utility - and its five-door sibling the MU Wizard - because adding two extra doors apparently gives it a magical touch. Clearly, this is the car that should've been used in the Harry Potter movies!
3 Mitsubishi Town Box
The Mitsubishi Town Box, a box-shaped Kei minivan, was produced from 1999 to 2011. How could this straight-forward name cause any controversies? Well, the problem was that Mitsubishi often used the abbreviation “T-Box” - which also seems fine, at least until you remove the space between the words. Because then you’re driving around in a car called MitsubishiT-Box.
2 Fiat Uno
Another car that seems to have a really straight-forward name is the Fiat Uno. How can the Italian word for “one” cause any trouble? Well, apparently, in Finnish, Uno means “fool”. Which is also a pretty fitting name if you ask us. With its legendary Italian build quality, one pretty much has to be a fool to buy one.
1 Honda Fit / Jazz
Originally, Honda was going to call the Fit the "Fitta," however, they quickly ditched that name when they found out it's a very rude expression that means the "C-word" in Swedish and Norwegian. This really would've made their ad slogan 'small on the outside, big on the inside' rather unfortunate.