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Caddy Switching to Torque-Based Powertrain Naming Scheme

General Motors Co.’s Cadillac unit is adopting a new naming scheme for 2020 models that will incorporate an engine’s torque rating.
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General Motors Co.’s Cadillac unit is adopting a new naming scheme for 2020 models that will incorporate an engine’s torque rating.

Cadillac currently denotes a vehicle’s engine displacement—and whether it is turbocharged—as part of its name. A car with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, for example, has a 2.0T suffix.

The new system will be based on an engine’s three-digit torque rating in newton-meters, rounded to the nearest 50. Cadillac opted for the metric designation rather than pound-feet, which is how torque typically is measured in the U.S., so the same model names can be used across global markets.

The practice of using a “T” to designate turbocharging will be continued. As a result, the upcoming XT6 crossover vehicle with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that makes 271 lb-ft (373 Nm) of torque will be marketed as an XT6 400—or 400T for a turbo engine. The output will be shown as separate badging on the rear of the vehicle.

The torque-based naming convention also will be applied to future electric vehicles. But another letter will be used in place of T to at the end of the name to signify an electric powertrain. Cadillac’s first full electric model will be an unspecified crossover due in 2022.

Cadillac’s high-performance V-series models, such as the CT6-V sedan, will continue to get their own badging protocol.

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