Earlier this week, Cadillac made waves in the global automotive industry by prominently announcing a change to the way it names its vehicles, along with plans to move its headquarters from Detroit to New York City. As part of the announcements, The Crest also let the world know that its upcoming full-size flagship sedan will be named CT6, bucking industry watchers who were of the opinion that the Omega-based vehicle would end up being called LTS. But outside of the never-ending debate about whether an alpha-numeric nomenclature is good or fitting for the brand, what does the CT6 name say about Caddy’s upcoming flagship?
The most consequential thing to remember is that the CT6 will compete head-on with the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and Audi A8. And in that regard, the 6 in CT6 is less than BMW’s 7 and Audi’s 8. And that’s slightly disappointing.
Sure, the 2016 CT6 has all the makings of being one great, competitive, if not class-leading luxury vehicle: it is being designed from the ground up to take on the world’s best, it will utilize an all-new, rear-drive vehicle architecture that will equip it with stellar driving dynamics and road manners, it will have an attractive (if not beautiful) design, and it will have the latest creature comforts and technological gizmos. No one will be able to dispute that it will be an outstanding product. But when it comes to the luxury car market, image, reputation, and history are everything. And the CT6 name is (algebraically) less than a 750Li or a A8L, putting the Caddy at a naming-based disadvantage right off the bat, thereby affecting its image before it even leaves the factory.
The most surprising part in all of this is Cadillac had a clean slate with the CT”X” naming convention. It could have named the new full-size flagship CT8, for instance. But it chose a number that is smaller than the digits used by BMW and by Audi. Perhaps it’s not too late to change things up with a higher number… or perhaps it won’t matter at all. But being the new kid on the block in the full-size luxury segment, with a brand new car and a brand new nameplate, we’d like to think that Cadillac would try to give its newest baby every possible advantage that it can, especially one that’s as easy as a higher number.