In the English language, Toyota’s Lexus, Nissan’s Infiniti and Honda’s Acura make about as much sense as Atoyot, Nassin and Adnoh (the respective automakers’ names spelt backwards).
“Infiniti” is pretty clever, admittedly, even though the model lineup is actually as finite as any other carmaker’s. As for “Lexus”, it might be referring to a luxurious nexus of some sort, conjured up by a Toshiba supercomputer of the era.
“Acura”, the oldest of the three upmarket nameplates (it made its debut in 1986, three years before Lexus and Infiniti), is probably the biggest mystery to me, vocabulary-wise. The name might have something to do with precision engineering (“acuracy”, so to speak), but nobody really knows for sure – not even Honda.
At least Honda/Acura, Toyota/Lexus and Nissan/Infiniti continue to be committed to the car business for the long haul.
Mazda’s attempt in the late 1980s to diversify its offerings in its home market, Japan, by selling them under newly created marques was short-lived. The Mazda marketers thought it was a good idea to have three separate sub-brands – Autozam for small cars, Eunos for luxury numbers and Efini for sporty rides. The company eventually reverted to the original badging and reused the fancy names for its different domestic sales channels.