I was underwhelmed to learn recently that Infiniti is in the process of renaming its cars. For the 2014 model year, which is bound to arrive some time in March 2013, all Infinitis will have a 'Q' or 'QX' prefix.
To quote Infiniti directly: "New nomenclature symbolises new brand direction and the commitment to Infiniti under the leadership of Johan de Nysschen The use of Q and QX captures the inspiration within the next generation of Infiniti models, while relating back to Infiniti’s roots of the Q45."
That’s the usual marketing boat hooks one expects these days from multinational companies. I doubt that anyone really cares about the Q45 and certainly QX only brings to mind those large, reliable, anodyne saloons from the 1990s with Nissan badges on them. Surely Japan, the spiritual home of bonkers (or Bongo Friendee) car names, can do better than this.
Numbers and letters do work – as the German brands have proved – but don’t we all miss the great days when TVRs were named after terrifying mythical creatures? Of course, no one wants to cause offence these days, and there has always been the problem of names getting lost in translation. Ford UK was keen to call its new family car the Caprino, until further investigation revealed that it meant 'goat dung' in Italian. Instead, Ford went for 'Cortina', which had been the Italian venue for the 1960 Winter Olympics.
On the whole, though, numbers are boring unless it is '6.2 V12'. If Infiniti is going to make an impression, it needs to use proper words. Red Bull would be a start. Okay, it’s a fizzy drink, but it is a start of sorts. So come on, let’s help Infiniti out with some eye-catching, brand-building, characterful monikers. I find it helps if I put a car name into this sentence to see how excited I get. So, I’ve got an Infiniti Dictator. I’ve got an Infiniti Labradoodle. I’ve got an Infiniti Unlimited.
What have you got?