According to Car & Driver and Roadshow, Cadillac is moving to a new torque-based nomenclature. If that wasn’t odd enough, the American luxury brand isn’t even going to use American measurements. Instead, it will be loosely based on Newton meters (Nm) of torque.
The new nomenclature will debut on 2020 models including the XT6 crossover. That model has a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces an estimated 310 hp (229 kW / 314 PS) and 271 lb-ft (367 Nm) of torque. Under the new naming system, the model will be badged as the XT6 400 as Cadillac will “round each number to the nearest 50.” That’s pretty deceiving as 367 Nm (271 lb-ft) is closer to 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) than it is to 400 Nm (295 lb-ft).
The move is pretty strange and it’ll be further complicated by a decision to add a “T” moniker to turbocharged models. However, V-Series variants will reportedly skip the nomenclature altogether.
Like Audi, Cadillac is adopting the nomenclature ahead of its shift to electric vehicles. As Cadillac President Steve Carlisle explained to Roadshow, “We’re not talking about displacements anymore.” He went on to say the nomenclature’s purpose is to “communicate power and performance, not just for ICE [internal combustion] engines, but also for other propulsion.”
The executive also said they decided to use a Newton meter based nomenclature as the measurement is “universal” and is preferred by engineers. It probably also doesn’t hurt that Newton meter numbers are larger than their pound-foot equivalent.