Cadillac to launch torque-based naming system in 2020

The rating will be in newton-meters, not pound-feet.

The 2020 Cadillac XT6 unveiled during the 2019 Detroit auto show will inaugurate a torque-based naming system that will later spread to most other members of the company's line-up.

The Detroit Free Press learned a majority of future Cadillac models will wear a three-digit nameplate that corresponds to the their torque rating in newton meters. The number will be rounded up to the nearest 50. For example, the XT6's 3.6-liter V6 makes 271 pound-feet of torque, which corresponds to 367 newton-meters. The crossover will consequently receive a 400 emblem on its hatch.

Cadillac boss Steve Carlisle explained his team chose newton-meters rather than pound-feet because Cadillac is a global brand, and most of the world uses the metric system. China is the only overseas country the company has a major presence in; it's nearly non-existent in Europe, where it's routinely outsold by smaller companies like Lamborghini.

The new naming system will display "the balance between fuel economy and performance," Carlisle told the Detroit Free Press. Every Cadillac will receive a three-digit emblem (rather than one that states the engine's displacement) for the 2020 model year, with the exception of V-badged models. There's no word yet on how Cadillac will badge its high-performance models.

Cadillac follows a path blazed by Audi and Jaguar. Audi bases its two-digit naming system on horsepower, so a 45 TFSI model boasts between 227 and 258 pound-feet of torque. The company uses that system in the rest of the world, but not in the United States. Jaguar uses a letter to denote the powertrain type (petrol, diesel, or electric) and three digits that refer to the horsepower.

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