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

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author photo by Doug DeMuro August 2016

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.

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.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Yes, There's an Actual Car Called the Honda Life Dunk - Autotrader