Just when you thought you'd heard of everything, meet the first car model named after a species of cannabis. In 1998, Tata Motors in India introduced the Indica, which was the first modern passenger car developed in the country. The roomy vehicles, promoted with the tagline "more car per car," originally prompted numerous driver complaints about its slow speed, which Tata Motors improved with the Indica V2 and subsequent editions of the car. Indica remains a top seller in the country.
The irony, of course, is that the car shares its name with indica cannabis. Thirty-two years after giving a cannabis species the name sativa in 1753, French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck named a second species indica. Lamarck named it after India, where he noticed the plants had different physical characteristics. Whereas sativa is typically a taller, thinner plant with a lighter shade of green, indica tends to be short and stout with wider leaf blades and a dark shade of green. Indica plants originally flourished in the Hindu Kush mountain range that stretches from Afghanistan to Pakistan on the Indian subcontinent.
Tata Motors has since launched several more models. The company has become a major brand overseas, but it's experienced an overall sales slump in recent years. Ironically, the company's only model making money is the Indica. The cannabis-named car currently comes in four colors—Spanish Tan, Sea Blue, Jet Silver and Porcelain White (name change please)—but sadly not in the much-needed Indica Green. Older models did come in green, and hopefully they will again. If Tata Motors can improve the speed of Indica, surely it can improve the color options.