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13 car names that would also make terrible names for Gladiators

The Gladiators are back on British telly! We have some awful suggestions for their names!

Gladiators BBC
  • Gladiators BBC logo

    Do you have the speed, the strength, the heart to be a winner? If so, fine news, because Gladiators is back! The early Nineties sports game show last month returned to British telly screens, and – at least if you’re of an age to fondly remember the original – it is magnificent.

    Not because Gladiators has cleverly updated its format for the third decade of the 21st century. Exactly the opposite: restomod Gladiators adheres religiously to the classic format of ‘disturbingly muscular professional athletes pummelling less muscular amateur athletes about the head with dense foam weaponry’. As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, smash it about the head with dense foam weaponry until it is.

    A new series of Gladiators means, of course, a new bunch of gladiators. Gone are Wolf, Lightning, Cobra, Jet, Saracen and Panther (several of whom must be well into their sixties by now), replaced by 16 fresh gladiators, many of whom share their names with cars past or present. We’ve got Viper, Apollo, Legend, Nitro, Phantom, Sabre and Comet.

    No question, these are all fine gladiator names. The world of cars clearly has much to offer the world of spandex-clad protein-shake enthusiasts.

    Which is why we thought we’d do a list of all the other Car Names That Would Also Make Good Gladiator Names. And then realised that list was a bit boring and predictable and possibly actually useful, so instead came up with a list of Car Names That Would Also Make Terrible Gladiator Names.

    So, without further ado…

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  • Jimny

    Suzuki Jimny

    While tackling this list, it is vitally important you imagine the names being read in a deep, portentous, stadium-announcer voice. “And they’ll be up against Dynamite, Bionic… and Jimny!”

    The word ‘Jimny’ cannot be made to sound intimidating, no matter how deep and portentous the voice. Sure, you’re rooting for Gladiator Jimny. But Gladiator Jimny also has two per cent muscle mass and a terrible fear of heights. No contestant fears Gladiator Jimny.

  • Celerio

    Suzuki Celerio

    As a rule, Gladiators tend to be named after fearsome animals (Cobra, Wolf, Rhino, Hawk) or fearsome natural phenomena (Lightning, Comet, Fire, Stagflation).

    Gladiators, Top Gear has observed, do not tend to be named after vegetables. Brassica, Heritage Carrot and Mr Potato Head are yet to trouble our early Saturday evening television viewing.

    Successful cars, also, do not tend to be named after vegetables. The Celerio remains proof of this.

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  • Jogger

    Dacia Jogger

    A great name for an unpretentious family SUV. An awful name for a professional athlete with biceps the size of spaniels.

  • Cygnet

    Aston Martin Cygnet

    Vanquish. Valkyrie. Vulcan. Valhalla. These Aston-derived gladiator names would strike fear into the heart of contenders. Cygnet? Cygnet’s striking fear into the heart of no one. Not even actual cygnets. Signature move: the birdie dance.

  • Wind

    Renault Wind

    A name that should never have been attached to the rear of a small Renault convertible. Also a name that should never be attached to the rear of a sturdy chap in lycra.


  • Mirage

    Mitsubishi Mirage

    In its own right, Mirage actually isn’t a terrible gladiator-name. Mysterious, faintly exotic, not the worst. But the Mitsubishi Mirage was such an appalling dung-pile of a car that its memory prevents any gladiator ever taking its name. That’s right, the little Mitsu sullied the very word ‘mirage’ for evermore.

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  • Escort

    Ford Escort

    Let’s just not.

  • Grenadier

    Ineos Grenadier

    Nearly sounds like an actual plausible gladiator name, and somehow the worse for it. Grenadier would be the first Gladiator to emerge in tartan lycra. Signature move: dunking a finger of shortbread into a piping thermos of tea.

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  • Wrangler

    Jeep Wrangler

    Jeep’s back catalogue contains many excellent potential gladiator names. Commander. Patriot. Renegade. Um, Gladiator.

    Wrangler is not an excellent gladiator name.

    Yes, cowboys wrangle their herds across the great plains, which is kinda cool, but you know who else wrangles? Conveyancing solicitors. Letting agents. Civil service bureaucrats. If Wrangler was a gladiator, he’d be a gladiator who wore a tie and thoroughly checked the small print of his contract before signing up to any of the contact events.

  • Dolphin

    BYD Dolphin

    If they ever decide to do aquatic Gladiators, Dolphin would be a strong gladiator moniker – though not as strong as Mako, Orca, Stingray or The Snapping Turtle. But for as long as Gladiators remains a land-based pursuit, Dolphin shall never be a gladiator.

    Note to self: pitch Aquatic Gladiators to the BBC, pronto.

  • Mono

    BAC Mono

    The name of a very excellent and very fast single-seater road car. But also the name of a disease spread through the enthusiastic sharing of bodily fluids. Therefore not a good name for a gladiator. No one wants to suffer a Mono attack.

  • Land Cruiser

    Toyota Land Cruiser

    Land Cruiser’ attached to a car: adventurous, no-nonsense, indestructible. Sample usage: “Is that a Land Cruiser scaling the side of that erupting volcano over there?”

    ‘Land Cruiser’ attached to a spandex-clad human: seedy, give a wide berth. Sample usage: “Is that Land Cruiser lurking behind the bins over there?”


    BMW 5 Series

    See also S6 Vorsprung TDI 349PS Quattro Tiptronic. Or CLA 180 AMG Line Premium Plus 7G-DCT. Or pretty much any car produced in recent years by Volvo, Mazda, Peugeot or Lexus. In fact, the majority of car names make terrible gladiator names, on account of being a largely random collection of numbers and letters.

    Then again, apparently there was a gladiator called Diesel on the original UK version for at least a series, so what do we know?

    So which Car Names That Also Make Terrible Gladiator Names did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.

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