Grading Model Names from the 2013 Geneva Motor Show

Lamborghini Veneno

Photo by Valentin Flauraud for Bloomberg News

Another year, another Geneva Motor Show. Sure, we Americans get to kick back and watch the unveiling of generational updates to familiar friends such as the Volkswagen GTI, but the Geneva Motor Show really serves two main purposes. The first: to show us what awesome European cars will remain off-limits to American car fans. The second: to provide us with endless laughs at the peculiar names car manufacturers give to their newest rides. What’s in a name? Let’s find out.

Lamborghini Veneno

Grade: A-

Spanish for “poison” and the name of an historic fighting bull, “Veneno” is the perfect name for Lamborghini’s new work of art. At $3.9 million, the Veneno is not only poisonous to one’s wallet, but “strong like bull” under the hood with a V12 that gets the car from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds. Double the points for double the meaning. Oh yeah, and the fact that only 3 were produced leaves us saying, “That’s bull#*&%, we want more!”

Ferrari LaFerrari

Grade: B+

Perhaps “peculiar” is the wrong adjective to describe Ferrari’s name for its new V12 hybrid. Redundant? Maybe, but the “La” kind of adds some flair. While it might not be the most creative name, it has the ring of a potential classic. All in all, the LaFerrari is a beautiful car and a fitting successor to the Enzo.

Subaru Viziv

Grade: B

Grading the name of Subaru’s newest concept was very tough, because to be honest, I like it a lot. The body has great lines, and I think the Aston grille really finishes it nicely. Mechanically, the plug-in diesel hybrid engine is also extremely intriguing, but let’s get back to the task at hand. When I think “Viziv,” I instinctively think of a certain television manufacturer. According to Subaru, Viziv is short for “vision for innovation.” I like the play on words here, and as a co-worker pointed out, it can be spelled the same way backward and forward. Points for palindrome status.

Rolls-Royce Wraith

Grade: C+

If you’re like me, you had an idea of the meaning of “wraith,” but needed to look it up for a clearer definition. Per, a wraith is, “an apparition of a living person supposed to portend his or her death.” We knew it was a ghastly, supernatural term, but that’s some heavy stuff. Well, the Wraith is a sportier 2-door version of the Ghost, so maybe the name isn’t so bad after all. Bonus points for vocabulary, but a little too Dungeons and Dragons for mass appeal.

Kia pro_cee’d GT

Grade: D+

As a hot-hatch fanatic, it is with a heavy heart that I give such a dismal grade to the pro_cee’d GT. Let’s be clear: I am rating the pro_cee’d on name only, and I suspect that on that basis, some people might accuse me of being generous with a D+. Two different types of punctuation marks? Lower-case only? I have to hand it to Kia for originality, but man, what a weird name. That said, I’d love to drive one!

What are your thoughts on some of the model names introduced at Geneva? Which is your favorite debut vehicle, regardless of name?


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