One thing that’s always bothered me about German cars, personally, is their lack of interesting names. Most German car names are comprised of some alpha-numeric combination that rolls off the tongue about as well as a spoon-full of cyanide-laced peanut butter. So when Audi finally created a car with something close to a proper name — the Audi e-tron — I was actually sort of excited. Turns out, that wasn’t a great name choice either.
The Audi e-tron is actually a good name. Instantly, it sounds like something electric. There’s “e” in it, which is always good for electric stuff, right? Then there’s “tron”, which was a sci-fi movie from back in the ’80s (and then remade with Jeff Bridges). So there’s a lot of techy-sounding stuff in the name that immediately makes it recognizable as an electric car. However, its name might also have a less pleasant meaning.
In this list from Top Gear of the rudest car names, the Audi e-tron was named due to its names translation in French, actually. If you pronounce the name “e-tron” like “etron” in French, it actually means “turd”. That’s not great.
Obviously, that’s not how it’s pronounced, so it’s not a problem. It’s also not the first car in history whose name translates poorly into other languages. Still, it’s sort of hilarious that when Audi finally gives one of its cars a real name, made from, ya know, words, it has such a silly translation.
If you read through the rest of the list, there are some other really funny name translations and interpretations that actually make the Audi e-tron seem boring. My personal favorite is the Subaru “Forester Ultimate Customized Kit Special”. Abbreviate that it and spells, well, you know. There’s no way that was an accident, even though apparently Subaru in Japan claims it was. I don’t buy it but I do love that it was made.