In America, we’re fortunate to get just one Toyota minivan – the Sienna – which faces off against the Honda Odyssey and some trash from Chrysler that yuppie families look at just to be patriotic. No one, you’ll note, looks at the Nissan Quest, which is now shaped like a Japanese dustbuster and can only be regarded as cruel payback for Iwo Jima.
But in Japan, one minivan isn’t enough – probably because they have to transport all those tentacled creatures to porn shoots. As a result, Toyota has about eleven different models, all of which look exactly the same. And one is called the Vellfire.
Yes. Hellfire with a V.
It gets worse. The standard version of this minivan is called the Alphard, which could probably warrant its own inclusion in the ‘Named in Japan’ section if I was a bit more clever (MS Word says cleverer, but really?). Anyway, the sporty version of the Alphard is called the Vellfire. I’m not sure what’s more alarming: that one rhymes with ‘retard’ and the other with ‘hellfire,’ or that there’s a sporty version.
So what exactly distinguishes the sporty Vellfire from its Alphard cousin? Although I don’t see much, it looks like the Vellfire has more aggressive fog lights than the Alphard, which goes along with Toyota’s definition of ‘sporty.’ Both vehicles otherwise fit in with the usual Japanese concept of beauty, which means they’re tall, narrow, and absolutely loathsome to anyone outside Japan except for a few white American guys with a fetish.
We don’t get the Vellfire here, and we probably won’t. But I’m inspired by the idea of changing the first letter of a nasty word to get a vehicle name, which is why I respectfully suggest that Toyota offer a small minivan in the US called the Osshole. It would still outsell the Grand Caravan.