What's in a name? For cars, it's often an unintentional joke such as Audi's "e-Tron" EV in French slang, or a serious misstep, such as Ford's self-sabotaging "Probe." Many of these car names fail the valet test: hand over the ticket and say in a loud, confident voice "I need the green Probe!" Usually, car companies are better at targeting their international markets, such as Nissan's renaming of the "Fairlady" to the renowned "Z-car" line in the USA. Here are some of the best of the many "wait, what?" car names that, surprisingly, have made it to showrooms around the world.


1. Tata Buzzard

A family vehicle's name should reflect both safety and comfort. Still, "Buzzard" is the European name for this 7-seater family SUV, introduced in 2019. It's the flagship of Tata Motors of India, where it called the "Harrier," perhaps from the military jet. "Buzzard" was chosen by the company that, in 2008, bought the elite brands Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford, clearly understanding the value of a prestigious name, but perhaps not how to choose one.

Tata Buzzard Sport (Harrier) at Geneva International Motor Show, five-seater mid-size SUV produced by the Indian automaker Tata Motors Grzegorz Czapski / Shutterstock.com


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