The badge above kinda almost sorta represents the torque produced by the luxury crossover's 3.6-liter V6. That badge did not appear on the XT6 we photographed at the Detroit Auto Show.
We think most modern attempts at engine-based nomenclatures soon get as complicated as ciphers or come unmoored from their original scheme. And based on our experience with The Average Car Buyer, they don't care. A bigger number, no matter what that number represents, means more, which is the important thing. Because America, right?
Maybe not. Carlisle said, "We're not talking about displacements any more," and the new badging will give consumers "a clear understanding of the power differences across the lineup." The brand believes torque provides a better comparison between ICE, hybrid, and EV powertrains and "the balance between fuel economy and performance."
As for the immigrant unit of measurement, Carlisle told CNET, "It's metric, it's universal, it's global, we have to think about all the markets that we're doing business in." Oh, and, "Engineers certainly prefer Newton-meters."
The new nomenclature will not be applied to V-series models or the Escalade, because the CEO holds that "special cars get special names." We should probably take a moment to reassure the CT and XT models that Steve Carlisle thinks you're all special, too. Just a different kind of special.