By on March 13, 2019

Image: GM

What fresh hell is this, you might mutter after hearing what Cadillac’s up to. Not only does General Motors’ luxury division plan to maintain its alphanumeric naming convention on future models, it also plans to add additional badging for the 2020 model year. The badges are numbers, designed to give both the owner and passer-by a sense of what’s under the hood.

No, it isn’t a return to prominently displayed cubic-inch engine displacements. It’s a torque figure.

In newton-meters.

That’s what Cadillac President Steve Carlisle wanted to talk about in Detroit Wednesday, telling journalists that the nomenclature will appear on all models for the coming model year. The first model to gain the exterior numbering is the midsize XT6 crossover.

While previous XT6 imagery showed no hint of this new badge strategy, a press photo handed out at the event shows an XT6 liftgate with a chromed “400” resting just below the right-side taillight. If only it was cubic inches…

Cadillac’s intentions seem legit, though Twitter wags can be forgiven for questioning whether his was all an early April Fool’s joke.

If you’re wondering why the XT6’s standard 3.6-liter V6 warrants such a designation (the mill’s 271 lb-ft of torque works out to 367 newton-meters), it’s because Cadillac rounded up. This will be the case on all models, apparently. The brand doesn’t want any badging that doesn’t end in “00” or “50,” though a “T” will be added to signify a turbocharged engine.

“We’re not talking about displacements any more,” Carlisle said, as reported by RoadShow. “Its purpose is to communicate power and performance, not just for ICE  engines, but also for other propulsion.”

Carlisle didn’t saw what type of designation an electric model might gain. Will Cadillac muscle Fiat aside for 500e badging rights? Time will tell.

Addressing Cadillac’s apparent disdain for freedom units, the brand boss said, “It’s metric, it’s universal, it’s global, we have to think about all the markets that we’re doing business in.”

He added, “Engineers certainly prefer newton-meters.”

Not since the Ford Galaxie 500 7 Liter has an American automaker given such credence to the idea that customer-chasing panache can be mined from the stuffy, cold metric system. Regardless, it can be argued that Cadillac’s power designation badges are slightly less confusing and irritating than those found on European-market Audis.

[Image: General Motors]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

81 Comments on “Cadillac: Lovers of Metric and Rounding, Rejoice!...”


  • avatar
    NoID

    To mimic Trump, what the hell do they have to lose?

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Logical progression:
      – Cadillac badges Newton-meters
      – Lincoln badges Newton-centimeters
      – Chrysler responds with Newton-millimeters

      Which of the fullsize truck brands will be the first to use inch-pounds (lb-in) for torque specs??

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      This is how our country is governed. Well, these are the same people, born on the same soil, received same education. They run their company into the ground just as our gov runs the country into the same place.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Finally, it seems like they have a plan to save the brand!

    /sarc

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Truly. There is something in the water mains feeding the Silver Silos. This is the silliest thing since converting an Olds 350 to diesel.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    “I heard the Lincoln Aviator has 400 horsepower standard.”

    “I think this Cadillac does too, it says 400 right there!”

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    (Antonio Banderas laptop scene from Assasins GIF)

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    God…

    You actually made me check the calendar to be sure it wasn’t April 1st.

    How many of those numbers will be missing by the time it gets out of the Hertz fleet? I look forward to seeing lots of them on the CarMax lot with 4_0 on the tailgate.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    “Cold metric units”? MKS units rule. They make sense. English units are arbitrary and old fashioned. Measuring a horse in “hands”…really?

  • avatar
    IBx1

    “we have to think about all the markets that we’re doing business in.”

    Guffaw

    “Engineers certainly prefer newton-meters.”

    Hi, engineer here. Newton-meters are for homework; pound-feet are for cars.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      IB..:

      Agreed. You beat me to it. “NM are preffered.” Give me a F ing break. This Carlisle Guy must be a buzzword, cool guy. Full of BS.

      They are going to keep the XT 4-3–5-2- whatever alphabet soup and further add to the Horse s h * t with NM performance numbers.

      I no longer think they might be able to turn this around. They are lead by an new group of imbeciles. This is Breathtaking after the S h * t show that was JdN and Melody et. al.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      As someone who ecu tunes vehicles you have to be able to jump from NM to lb-ft of torque. The Ecotec 2.0T tops out at 295 lb-ft or 400 NM.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Engineers certainly prefer newton-meters.”

    BS. This engineer uses foot-lbs or inch-lbs. As IBx1 says, N-m is for homework problems.

    Really, Cadillac is mimicking the lawnmower mfrs, who switched from displaying HP numbers several years ago, to displaying torque figures. That “4.0” badge on your lawnmower is NOT horsepower. The HP figure is much lower.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The 369 lb-ft of torque in the XTS Vsport and Audi 3.0T is 500 NM.

    • 0 avatar
      VWGTI

      “Really, Cadillac is mimicking the lawnmower mfrs, who switched from displaying HP numbers several years ago, to displaying torque figures. That “4.0” badge on your lawnmower is NOT horsepower. The HP figure is much lower.”

      Or not- one very popular mower company had several versions of the same mower: push, self-propelled, and commercial all with the exact same engine- same part numbers, same specs. For advertising purposes the push mower was rated at 4.25 hp, the self-propelled at 4.75 hp and the commercial at 6 hp. The truth is they all had a minimum of 7 hp. I owned one of the self-propelled models- it would go through 10 inch high grass like nothing.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Newton-meters? Like wtf.

    Brand is so lost.

  • avatar
    readallover

    the next step will be to battle Lincoln by changing the speedometer to knots and the length of the vehicles in fathoms.

  • avatar
    Rocket

    Why, it’s brilliant!

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Tesla got sued for “exaggerating” its effective horsepower ratings. How long will it take for Cadillac to be sued for exaggerating its reported torque ratings?

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Cadillac is all in on stupidity.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Steph, I was going to mention the stupid Audi system. Points, man.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    How about putting an “EIGHT” emblem on the back, to denote the number of cupholders?

  • avatar
    groundpounder

    Now I am craving Fig Newtons!

  • avatar
    Dawnrazor

    Cadillac has been lost in the weeds for what seems like forever, but even I didn’t realize they were THAT lost. I thought the the NYC move and “lifestyle” rebranding was peak cringe-worthiness, but this smacks of 11th hour desperation like little else I’ve seen from them!

    Is this REALLY all they can come up with to recapture buyers’ imaginations?

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    Another new way to try to confuse the general public and then Cadillac throws in the rounding of the newton-metrics too! To much! Advertising lines and lies!

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    Audi: “Our new engine naming scheme is stupid, confusing, and generally pointless. We shouldn’t use it in America.”

    Cadillac: “Hold my beer.”

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    “Really, Cadillac is mimicking the lawnmower mfrs, who switched from displaying HP numbers several years ago, to displaying torque figures. That “4.0” badge on your lawnmower is NOT horsepower. The HP figure is much lower.”

    Could Cadillac offer a mowing deck as an option. Might make a better riding lawn mower than a car.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I seem to recall a ‘game show’ where people built custom cars for specific purposes… One of the winners was a Fox-bodied Mustang turned into a lawn mower.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Why yes my good man, I drive a Cadillac XT6 400 AWD Premium Luxury.

    If they can call their base model premium luxury, I guess anything makes sense to them
    .

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    They should report wheel torque (like Tesla attempted with the Roadster 2.0 reveal), so the figures can go into the thousands.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    We all drive torque, irrespective of how many powers of horse our cars apparently have. I’ve redlined my car a mere handful of times. My truck? Never.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Buick used to do this, but they didn’t round and they used the same measuring system that everyone else in NA did.

  • avatar

    After teaching us that bigger is better, Big Blocks best of all, it’s hard to downsize. The 2.0 Turbo now covers economy cars to sport. I drove an Ecotech Mustang that was amazingly fast…with boring stats.

    The OE would be so happy if we’d just pay attention to HP, not displacement or how it occurs.

    My dividing line remains…six or eight is luxury, four is economy, no matter how hard you squeeze it. (and yes, I know the boxster is a four)

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • avatar

    We had metric system official since 1917 and still used hp as long as I can remember and no one cared about torque and nm was a total alien notion for us. It was something invented by Euros. BTW we measured wheel diameter in inches too, tradition I guess and natural since even in SU wheels were designed with inches in mind. It was also easy to remember.

    But despite all that I find metric system very logical (as french would say) and extremely easy to use and understand. Imperial system is confusing to say the least. Humans have 10 fingers, how someone could come up with 4, 8, 12, 24? Did it come from ancient aliens with 4 fingers? For me it is impossible to measure anything less than inch in inches. I simply cannot figure it out (e.g. 1.17”) without converting it to mm.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I’m also a fan of the metric system and how it’s easier to use. I have to admit that some English units just work a bit better for daily use. I prefer miles to kilometers, Fahrenheit for outside temperature, inches seem better than millimeters for most uses, etc..

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah in every day applications cups, inches and etc may be easier to understand than 240 ml or cms. I wonder if Europeans use kilowatts or still hp? In Russia even though it is 100% metric country still no one can comprehend kilowatts while using hp is common. When I came to America I converted distances from miles to kms to get the idea how far it is. Now I do the opposite – convert kms to miles because I have a feel how far it is if distance is expressed in miles. So it is just matter of getting used to.

        • 0 avatar
          grinchsmate

          In Australia it is all kilowatt and Newton metre. Holden Secial Vehicals used to put the kilowatt figure on the back of their hotted up Commodores, pretty sure they’ve dropped it now they only sell sticker packs for diesel Colorados.

          I can understand a preference for one measure over another, depends what youre used to, but I’ve never understood how anyone can think fractions are better. What is 1mm what is 3mm what is 2658mm, some stupid fraction.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    It appears that Steve Carlisle is Canadian … Does that have something to do with it?

    For kicks, I went to the Cadillac websites of Canada and the UK.

    Cadillac of Canada advertises its vehicles’ specs in HP and lb-ft, with HP apparently being primary.

    Cadillac of the UK advertises specs in HP and Nm. (That’s a weird mix.) But they only sell 3 vehicles there anyway – CT6, Escalade, and CTS-V.

    • 0 avatar
      Spike_in_Brisbane

      Not really a weird mix. HP gives a bigger number than KW. NM gives a bigger number than ft/lbs. Bigger numbers sell cars. The system that drives me crazy is that used on tyres. The diameter in inches and the width in millimetres. It’s a bit like buying a piece of 2X4, 2 metres long.

  • avatar
    nvinen

    Bah. Who need the metric system? My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that’s the way I like it!

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Pounds/ft vs newtons/m? I get it, but “HP” is universal, everyone can relate, no need to covert to anything else. But engine output announced in electrical impulse is just weird, and for no good reason other than to be different from US standards?

  • avatar
    James Charles

    I must admit I got a chuckle from then commenter complaining about the metric Newton Metre designation on a 2.0T engine. Is a 2 litre engine not a metric description?

    I think it doesn’t really matter how Caddy assign numbers to their model naming conventions.

    In this day and age of turbo engines it makes sense.

    The metric system makes sense as its the universal system of measure globally.

    Who cares is a vehicle manufacturer uses torque.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAF0 – Torque is a much more accurate measure relative to the driving experience you’ll have. Just knowing “HP” leaves you with a few questions.

      • 0 avatar
        johnny_5.0

        A 180 badge on the back of a 2.0 turbo diesel Jaguar F-Pace representing its horsepower would tell you a lot more about the driving experience than a 431 (or rounded 450) for the Nm torque. It’s going to be S L O W.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    Think about the time and money going into this and it seems doubtful that anyone outside of Cadillac will care.

    On the flip side this vehicle has been criticized for it’s interior…seems like the money would have been better spent there???

    They truly are lost.

  • avatar
    JimBot

    Cadillac.. farewell to thee .. Carlisle is a buffoon, coming up through the insider clueless and aged ranks in GM, to destroy the brand. Well done GM, well done!

    Poor Cadillac ..

  • avatar
    jfk-usaf

    Again, someone stole my 2017 XC90 and put a different nose on it. Are we really out of design language ideas Kia and Cadillac?! They should call it the XC-sclade or the Elda-90

  • avatar
    Garrett

    I think they should go for it, and I wish them luck.

    I mean, I won’t ever be buying one of their vehicles. If I want to spend that much on something that is either aping a European car, or a snazzier GMC, I’ll just buy the real thing.

    Silly numbers won’t bring me to the showroom. Giving me the opportunity to buy an El Dorado with some cool retro styling would at least put it within the consideration set.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    369 pound foot = 5 002 968 242.9 dyne centimeter

  • avatar
    johnny_5.0

    What do you do when the other “premium” dead brand walking starts turning things around with SUVs/CUVs and gives you a powertrain thumping? You pick the number that inflates the best on conversion!

    I’m ordering 563 badges for my SS. Oh wait, the rounding, make that 600 badges (even though I should round down to 550!).

    This is truly pathetic, and I hope Lincoln has slightly more class.

  • avatar
    johnny_5.0

    Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the passing of DeadWeight. He was killed by an aneurysm after reading a TTAC story about Cadillac putting optimistically rounded Nm related badges on their cars. His family pleaded with him to stop reading stories about GM. He just couldn’t quit, and now he’s gone to that great pick n’ pull in the sky.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • redapple: Hatch struts still work? W T Fudge? My sawed off broomstick handle was always in the back.
  • kosmo: “How’s that Ranger Raptor coming, Ford? Oh, it isn’t? I see. Thanks for the mobility scooter,...
  • dividebytube: When I’m down south I’m taken aback by the number of decent looking old trucks and even G...
  • redapple: RED…. Great catch. Love it.
  • teddyc73: What an ugly rear end.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States