Car names - the unpronounceables - Auto Trader UK - News and Reviews Hub

Car names - the unpronounceables

Car names - the unpronounceables - News image
How do you say...?

02 April 2008

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or is it a Ka?

Carmakers spend thousands getting their car names just right - from the Alfa Romeo Mi.To to the Lamborghini Gallardo - but like John Thomson and Charlie Higson from The Fast Show, sometimes how we pronounce car names isn’t what they had in mind…

Vijay Pattni shows you how to pronounce the car names which are a little tongue-twisting. Altogether now – you say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to

View our car names slide show

Alfa Romeo Mi.To

The stunning new supermini looks like a baby Alfa Romeo 8C supercar and was the centre of a naming competition by Alfa’s bosses last year.

The winner of the competition was ‘Furiosa’ – prompting fans to believe this would be the name of the hot new supermini.

But Alfa took a different route – taking the first two letters from the car’s design base and production centre meant the new junior Alfa would be called Mi.To – after its design base in Milan and production hub in Turin (Torino).

It looks great and should handle superbly, but can you say it properly?

“You pronounce it in the same way you say Milan and Torino (Mee-toh)”, explains a spokesperson for Alfa Romeo.

“And a word exists like this in Italian which roughly translates as ‘myth’”, she added.


Nissan Qashqai

One of the safest cars on the road also has one of the most unique names in the car industry.

The Nissan Qashqai was awarded the highest ever EuroNCAP crash test rating for adult occupancy when it was tested last year, and on top of the excellent safety features, is a well-specced, eye-catching mini SUV which gives good value for money.

But avoid the temptation to pronounce Qashqai in the same way as “squash” – it reads “Cash-Kai” – where ‘Kai’ rhymes with high.


Lamborghini Gallardo

The Italian carmaker names its stunning supercars after famous fighting bulls – and the Gallardo is no different.

The car has won a number of high profile fans, including Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, who actually bought a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder.

But don’t say it as looks – Gallardo is pronounced “Guy-are-dough”.


Skoda Fabia

Skoda - once a name chanted in derision in school playgrounds across the country and responsible for some unique motoring memories has now become a well-respected car manufacturer.

Owned by Volkswagen, Skoda now churns out a host of exciting motors – including the hot vRS editions.

But while the new cars may be fantastic - how exactly do you say "Fabia?"

Avoid the tempation to pronounce it like you would "fabulous" - it is pronounced "far-bee-a."


Ferrari Scaglietti

Italian exotica at its absolute best – Ferrari is famous across the globe for making the world’s best supercars, and it has a back catalogue including the ultimate Enzo Ferrari, the hardcore Ferrari F40, and the technically sublime Ferrari F430.

But Ferrari also makes GT cars – motors capable of cruising effortlessly through continents at crushing speeds.

And the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti is one of them – pronounced “sca (as in scant)–li–etti” – with a silent ‘g’.


Ford Ka

One of the UK’s best-selling city cars, the Ford Ka blends everyday practicality and heaps of driving fun – all wrapped up in a bargain price for brilliant budget motoring.

Despite the offbeat name, the humble little Ka is ranked among the UK’s best handling city cars – which, however you pronounce it – is excellent value.

But how do you say Ka? Is it pronounced “Car”, is it pronounced “Ca” – as in “Cat”, or is it spelled out as in “K A”?

We got official confirmation from the top brass at Ford – it’s pronounced “Ca” – as in “Cat.”

View our car names slide show

What other car names can you think of? Tell us on the Auto Trader Blog.

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