Starting with 2020 XT6, Cadillacs will wear their metric torque figures on their rears
In a somewhat strange move, Cadillac will add badging to its vehicles that denote the amount of torque the engine produces, but in newton meters.
The move starts with the new 2020 Cadillac XT6, which has a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that pumps out 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. But in newton meters, the torque rounds out to 400—so a badge that simply says 400 will be affixed to the rear of the crossover. All badges will be three-digit, and round the torque output to the nearest 50. They are in addition to the nameplate badge.
Starting with the 2020 model year, badging for vehicles with a turbocharged engine will have the torque number and letter T, as in 350T for an upcoming model, perhaps the one to be unveiled next month at the New York auto show.
To further complicate things, V-Series will have V badging but will not bear a torque figure. Why? In part because the number is too large. The CT6-V, for example, with the 4.2-liter twin-turbo Blackwing V-8 engine generates 550 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque or 850 Nm.
Cadillac is on a mission to electrify the lineup going forward which will require another badging decision but it has not been made yet, Cadillac president Steve Carlisle said.
Why is Cadillac doing this? The torque-based badging is designed to give customers a clear understanding of the power differences across the lineup.
Why metric? Cadillac is a global brand and metric is the global standard. In addition to the U.S., it is sold in Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, Korea, Europe, Russia, and the Middle East.
Why not denote displacement? Displacement is a figure that loses its importance as powertrains migrate from combustion engines to electric motors and batteries. “When we have EVs, we won’t be talking engine displacement anymore. We’ll be focused on torque and output,” Carlisle said.
Cadillac is taking the electric lead within GM. The first pure electric vehicle for the brand is due in 2022 and will be followed by a full family of vehicles in relatively quick succession, as many as one every six months which is the current launch cadence for the brand’s future vehicles. Some will be new nameplates, some will be new generations of existing nameplates but with electric power. With the exception of special vehicles, names will likely continue to be alphanumeric.
The XT6 is a new nameplate for Cadillac, a three-row, seven-passenger SUV that slots between the XT5 and Escalade but is built on a car platform. It starts at $53,690 USD, is built at the Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant, and goes on sale this spring.