Recently we've come to hear of a new supercar from Holland called the Zenvo ST1. Zenvo, being the name of the manufacturer and ST1, the name or model designation of the car. Now whilst the car looks good and will go into production soon I have a nagging feeling that it may not. This is due to the fact that it has a very normal name aside from the fact that it is entering a market that is filled with names like Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Bentley and newer successful upstarts like Pagani, Koenigsegg, Spyker as well as not so successful ones like Keating, Farboud, Farbio and Arash. The latter three were started by one person who seems to be able to start one concept sportscar after another, which in itself is an epic story altogether. Now this has got me thinking. Not enough to have lost any sleep or lost my appetite, but enough to get this written down. I have surmised that it isn't only about pedigree or heritage that would make a sportscar company successful but the name of the sports car itself. Let's not put cars with tons of heritage like those from Ferrari (above), Porsche or Aston Martin. These car companies are institutions and icons. People would just buy any new one that comes along without even blinking. These companies can even come up with a car designated FXX-9325@Napoli or 911 GT3 UB40 and people will sing with joy. It's these newcomers that have a hard time trying to establish themselves. Notice that if you named it wrong, things may never get off the ground. Take for example the Keating TKR (pictured above). It was actually called the Barabus TKR prior to 2008. With a name like Barabus it may as well be called the 'TKO' for all I care as people may think its a copy of a BRABUS. Then now its called a Keating. Which isn't something that conjures up images of power, speed and glory in the first place. It does conjure up images of Ronan Keating singing a nice love ballad though. The other cars that come to mind are the Farbouds, Farbios and Arashes. It needs a stronger name and a stronger model number. You need to ensure that the image the name and model portrays are of epic proportions. If you name a car Farboud GTS some people may think that its a lawnmower. If you do not have heritage to back up that name then it is hard using just a GTS moniker. And that is why you have Pagani. Somehow Pagani got it so right with the Zonda. They've got it so right with the Zonda that there is only one model that Pagani manufactures (with different editions). Everyone with money would want one. It doesn't even build its own engines. It lets AMG make one for them. All the better, as they've got one of the most aural of all V12s (bar some Ferraris and Lamborghinis) in the universe. So Pagani designs the most outrageous supercar it can and come up with a name that is so right for it; Zonda. How right it sounds when you say it. Zonda. Of course you may argue that Koenigsegg's supercar is called the CCX and CCX are just some initials. But think about it, with a name like Koenigsegg how can you lose? It sounds so unreal. So different from everything out there in the English speaking world that it works. It is long enough to sound great and strong. If it were just SEGG or something like that it would fall into the same category as IKEA, which is nice sounding, but cute, and somehow sounds homely for some strange reason. So an IKEA XYZ would never work. Of course, even Koenigsegg have started naming their cars as their latest one is called the Agera. So what I am theorizing may be absolutely correct. Another fine example of a sports car that has a nice company name is the Wiessman. It only uses MF5 as its model name and it works. Why? Wiessman sounds so German, maybe because it is. It sounds so evil, so much like Dr No in James Bond. Sounding evil is good. Like being bad is good. If you know what I mean. This is also why there is not much interest in Tesla. While it does relate to something electrical and is a person's name, it isn't that strong a name. So a startup sports car company must find a proper name. A name so epic and strong that everyone would stop what they're doing and go buy one. This is why I think having a name like the recently unveiled Argentine manufactured Rossin-Bertin Vorax (pictured below) would work so well for a supersports car. Having a double barrelled surname like Rossin-Bertin or something like Bonham Carter or Rhys-Davis makes a name sound so distinguished. And when you combine it with an aggressive sounding word (that may not have any meaning) like 'Vorax' it gets better. The sports car could be a success regardless from the fact that it comes from Argentina for that matter. You get some kind of heritage in a distinguished name and the added aggression from a word that somehow instills power and strength. Imagine a company called Vaughn-Williams-Montague naming their V14 (yes, a large bespoke engine with a rare cylinder count would also make people buy the upstart sports car) engined Grand Tourer the Vaughn-Williams-Montague Shotgun Aggressor 10000RRR (the bigger the number the better – and it always works with more than one 'R'). The upstart sports car company should name the company and car as such even if it is owned by a Pete Butterscotch of Essex, England. Instant heritage I say. Instant heritage.
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