Automobile model names just haven’t been the same in the last…oh, let’s be kind and say thirty years. The ones that are good that currently exist in the market are either legacy nameplates that have been around for decades (Ford Mustang, Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic) or are attached to cars that could be called something like the Lamborghini Basura Calienté and would still have a waiting list of morons with disposable income by the dump truck load waiting to sign up for a chance to be approved to purchase. Some brands stick with an alphanumeric language that does make sense (Audi) or rarely makes sense (looking at you, BMW.) And we’re pretty sure that Hyundai is just starting to make up names that sound interesting…Veloster, Nexo?
Automobile names come under fire every now and then. Look at the hellfire and bile that came about when the Dodge Charger returned as a four-door sedan, for example. Currently, the drama du jour comes via Cadillac and their foray into crossovers, the XT6. That name alone is bad enough…because it isn’t a name and we doubt it really means anything. That isn’t the problem that everyone is focused on, however. In an article by the Detroit Free Press, one of the points of how Cadillac is “reinventing” itself as a brand is a “new numerical badging system” that will start appearing on vehicles in 2020. Here’s the explanation in short terms: the number will represent torque, in Newton-meters, rounded to the nearest 50.
Cadillac has always pined to be accepted in the world market as a player and usually gets relegated to the “American luxury” market, often with derision. Something about this smacks of desperation…and a mis-step or two. Appealing to countries on the Metric program, fine. But rounding to the nearest fifty N⋅m is disingenuous and we wish Cadillac the best of luck explaining that setup to the average consumer who is probably trying to figure out why they are paying nearly twice for a Caddy for what they could buy a well-heeled Chevrolet for.
But this brings up the question that gets asked each time something like this pops up: are all of the good car names gone? Isn’t there a swanky resort town that Cadillac could pirate the name from? No more animals that appeal to the market? Maybe, since Caddy is chasing younger affluent buyers worldwide, they could line up with the tech side of the house and instead of using a torque measurement made up of lies, they could call the upper-end models the “iPaid”.
Got any suggestions?