By on July 13, 2020


The decision to saddle the first all-electric Cadillac model with a name like “Lyriq” was made all the more eyebrow-raising when the second-in-line EV Caddy’s name cropped up: Celestiq. Stop it already! What’s going on here, many asked. While eager for a break from the de Nysschen days of alphanumeric gobbledygook, some were not ready for this particular naming convention.

So what’s the deal here? Cadillac explains.

Speaking to Cadillac Society, the division’s global brand strategy boss, Phil Dauchy, laid it all out. This may be news you can use, if you can wrap your head around it.

Cadillac is poised to go all-in on adding “iq” the the end of existing words affixed to electric vehicles, signalling “that Cadillac is bringing a different type of vehicle to market, one that works in concert with man, nature, and machine,” Dauchy said. For the Lyriq, the name was chosen because of the brand’s top-ranked appearances in song lyrics.

(It’s worth noting that some studies have shown the most-mentioned automotive brand to be Mercedes-Benz.)


Debuting on August 6th, the Lyric will kickstart a Cadillac EV lineup that will eventually include the Celestiq, a full-size passenger car of some description that will serve as the pinnacle of the range. A true luxury car, the model, expected in 2023, is said to carry a $200k sticker.

Speaking to that model, Dauchy said, “When you see [the Cadillac Celestiq], its size, presence and scale all connote the emotion associated with the name.” A quick check of the dictionary shows the word “celestial” to mean heavenly or supremely good, so those are good things to dangle above a high-end automobile, yet the question remains as to why Cadillac felt the need to conjoin all electric models with a common naming trick.

Maybe Cadillac is just too used to its CT- and XT- names. Having part of the lineup remain alphanumeric while the other adopts a truly individualistic strategy (Fleetwood, Eldorado, Seville, etc) might somehow confuse consumers. At the very least, with “iq” tacked onto the end of each name, it would be more apparent that the model in question is an electric one. As well, Dauchy feels the names roll off the tongue better, though the jury’s definitely out on that assertion.

For starters, you’ll have some pronouncing it “celest-eek,” with others opting for “celest-ick.” To this writer, the name rubs entirely the wrong way, but to each his or her own.

[Images: General Motors]

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