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Yes, There’s an Actual Car Called the Honda Life Dunk

Yes, it’s true: Honda once named a car the Life Dunk. I mean it. There are people driving around out there, right now, sipping coffee and listening to music, just like the rest of us, except when someone asks what kind of car they drive, they must reply: a Honda Life Dunk. See the Honda models for sale near you


Here’s how this happened. It was the late 1990s and Honda had just redesigned its Life hatchback, which is a Japanese kei car — a term used to describe a popular class of microcar specifically designed to comply with certain Japanese legal regulations. These cars don’t really exist outside of Japan because they’re incredibly tiny vehicles built for Japanese city centers, and if they tried to sell them in America, someone would attempt to board a plane using one as a carry-on.

Anyway, the Life had just been redesigned, and then someone decided that the standard engine, which was a 47-horsepower 0.7-liter 3-cylinder, wasn’t really enough to adequately power the little thing. So, they did what any car company would do: They made a turbocharged version. Then, they did what no other car company would do: They named it the Life Dunk.

I’m not sure exactly where this name came from, but I do know that it lasted something like 6 model years and spanned two Life generations before someone apparently decided that calling a car the Life Dunk made approximately as much sense as calling a car, for example, the Lampshade Muskrat. So the Dunk name was canceled, but the Life lived on until just a few years ago, when it was replaced by something called the N-ONE.

Interestingly, the N-ONE also uses a 3-cylinder engine, but there’s no turbocharged version. I think maybe it’s due, and I have the perfect suggestion for a name: the N-ONE Lampshade Muskrat. You’re welcome, Honda. Find a Honda for sale



Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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  1. Still think Mazda has it beaten with their Bongo van. Along with the long wheelbase version, the Bongo Brawny, and the MPV version, the Mazda Bongo Friendee.

  2. Of course, there’s also the Suzuki Super Carry… 

    *insert image of Richard Hammond rolling an itty-bitty van here*
    Question: “How do we make it bigger??”
    Answer: “Put the word “Super” on it!”
    Reply: “Ahh,  yes!  Why didn’t I think of that?”
    They name their cars like they’ve been written in Japanese, translated to English and then translated back again by someone that doesn’t speak English or Japanese.

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