Let­ter from the Ed­i­tor

Road Trip - - CONTENTS -

Ben­tayga. Yes, it is the name of the first SUV from lux­ury car­maker Bent­ley; the sub­ject of our main ar­ti­cle this month.

But what is the ori­gin of this fancy name? Well, ac­cord­ing to Wiki it was in­spired by Taiga, the largest transcon­ti­nen­tal snow for­est in the world that stretches across Rus­sia, Mongolia, Ja­pan, Nor­way, Swe­den, Ice­land, Fin­land, the United States, Canada, and Scot­land. It is com­posed of the first four let­ters of Bent­ley and an al­tered spell­ing of Taiga. Oh, and ap­par­ently Ben­tayga also means “car­ried in­ter­est” in Swahili.

Well, our Pub­lisher and CEO, Wil­helm Loots, car­ried some in­ter­est (well, ac­tu­ally a lot) when he got ac­quainted with the sump­tu­ous diesel ver­sion of the Ben­tayga on a road trip to Uva Mira Moun­tain Vine­yards (in­ci­den­tally, uva mira means “won­der­ful grape”) in the West­ern Cape.

But back to in­ter­est­ing and ex­otic ve­hi­cle model names, while Bent­ley has cho­sen the Taiga as in­spi­ra­tion, Toy­ota has named one of its huge Us-built pickup mod­els Tun­dra – a type of biome North of the Taiga where tree growth is hin­dered by low tem­per­a­tures and short grow­ing sea­sons...

Then there is Touareg – the flag­ship SUV of Volk­swa­gen, now avail­able lo­cally in its third in­car­na­tion, named for the no­madic Tuareg peo­ple of the Sa­ha­ran desert in North Africa. Or how about the Ever­est from Ford, named for the high­est moun­tain on Earth, or the Karoq of Skoda – cre­ated by a com­bi­na­tion of the Aleu­tian (the in­hab­i­tants of the Alaskan is­land Ko­diak) words Kaa’raq and Ruq (a car and an ar­row), which is also the mo­tive of the Skoda logo. Clever.

Or how about Kona, the lat­est Suv-model from Hyundai, des­tined for South Africa, named for the West­ern dis­trict of Hawaii, sig­ni­fy­ing the “lee­ward” or “dry side” of the is­land?

This area is home to the Ironman World Cham­pi­onship Triathlon held each year in Oc­to­ber in Kailua-kona, and iron­i­cally (yes, pun in­tended) Hyundai re­cently re­leased an Ironman ver­sion (as part of a deal with Marvel Movies) of the Kona ...

So, what is the point of all this? Well, just that the names of (mostly) SUVS can take you on wild trav­els to out­landish places and in­tro­duce you to some of the most in­ter­est­ing peo­ple on the planet. This is ex­actly what Kings­ley and Ross Hol­gate plans with their Cape Town to Kathmandu ex­pe­di­tion – a trip of dis­cov­ery over 17,000 km through 19 coun­tries with, well, Land Rover Dis­cov­er­ies.


[email protected]­trip­ @Fer­di­vos

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