Cadillac continues to chase a luxury buyer it can’t define

It’s easy to tread back on the times when Cadillac was considered the “standard of the world”. Those days have been over for decades though. Cadillac struggled through the Malaise era with its emissions-choked land barges to arrive in a new time of Art and Science. It was then that renewed interest was created in the brand thanks to sharp new designs, solid offerings, and a little help from Led Zeppelin. Still, absolute sure footing has never really been discovered. It seems Warren, Michigan’s own automaker takes a step forward while rock and rolling a few steps back.

Aspirational names have given way to bland alphanumerics. The Germans do it that way, so Cadillac thinks why shouldn’t we. Because the Germans have been doing it for long enough that people understand what it all means, even if they’re currently muddling their own alphabet soups. No one longs to put an XT4 in their driveway. While we don’t need the brand to bastardize past glory, some creativity in the marketing department could go a long way.

Now comes a new shot at confusing mediocrity. According to Car and Driver, Cadillac is rolling out a new naming scheme related to the output of its engines. The first model to wear this new badging is the upcoming XT6 crossover.  Out back, you’ll find a badge that reads “400”. That is in reference to the torque output of the 3.6-liter V6 mounted up front. Said torque output is being delivered in newton meters, which is a figure we don’t typically see here in the States. And the actual output is 367 newton meters. Which means Cadillac is rounding up this torque figure to the nearest 50.

We’re as perplexed as you are here.

Why this, now?

The amount of meetings, emails, and conversations that have led to this point is likely enough to make your scalp itch in places you can’t reach. Perhaps better time could be spent advancing the cause of Cadillac’s future electric platform direction. Examining more closely why the ATS isn’t a hit among potential customers that flock to the 3-Series, C-Class, A4, and IS seems a smart play. And offering up information on what Cadillac plans to do with its shrinking coupe and sedan offerings.

It’s odd that Cadillac is so late to jump into the EV space. General Motors has been playing with R&D here for quite some time. Despite that, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi are all beating Cadillac to the EV punch. Hell, Hyundai has a rock solid electric offering currently available in the Kona. Instead, Cadillac is chasing luxury buying targets it can’t seem to properly define.

Like its Michigan counterpart Ford, Cadillac appears eager to chase down the shifting whims of the luxury car buying public. This leaves the automaker making short-term decisions in an effort for a few more customers right now. When it could be charting a course that leads it into the future, and gets the competition (and those who own those vehicles) to take notice and follow suit. To become a new standard of the world.

That’s not the Cadillac we see today though. This is one happy to stick a dishonest badge on the tail of crossover, touting a figure that’s not even terribly impressive.

For those of you wondering, the XT6 makes 271 pound-feet of torque.

By |2019-03-13T11:59:11+00:00March 13th, 2019|All Things Hoon|28 Comments

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Jeff Glucker is the co-founder and Executive Editor of He’s often seen getting passed as he hustles either a dark blue 1974 Mercedes-Benz 280 or 1991 Mitsubishi Montero up the 405 Freeway. IG: @HooniverseJeff