Poll: How Do You Feel About Cadillac’s New IQ Naming Convention?

Cadillac is making a transition to EV power, ditching internal combustion in favor of batteries and electric motors, with the first Cadillac EV out the gates being the Cadillac Lyriq crossover. With this latest switch to EVs, Cadillac is also changing up its naming conventions, adopting a new structure that incorporates the “iq” suffix. However, as is the case with any major change, the new naming convention has been somewhat controversial.

Let’s start with a quick recap of how we got here. Back in 2019, it was revealed that Cadillac would return to “real model names” by 2022. At the time, the bulk of the Cadillac lineup was composed of alphanumeric model names with a selection of numbers and letters, such as the Cadillac CT5 and Cadillac XT4, with the iconic Cadillac Escalade SUV being one obvious exception. However, it was reported that Cadillac was poised to adopt a new naming convention using “real” model names rather than alphanumeric model names, i.e., names similar to the Cadillac Escalade rather than Cadillac XT4.

Later, however, it was revealed that Cadillac was indeed ditching the alphanumeric naming convention, but rather than adopting “real” model names, the luxury marque would instead adopt model names that rewrite real words with the iq suffix.

In an interview with GM Authority Executive Editor Alex Luft, Cadillac head of global strategy, Phil Dauchy, said that the new naming convention was indeed intended to symbolize Cadillac’s transition from internal combustion to all-electric powertrains, “[signaling] that Cadillac is bringing a different type of vehicle to market, one that works in concert with man, nature, and machine.”

When asked specifically about the Cadillac Lyriq, Dauchy said that it was a nod to the fact that Cadillac is the most-mentioned brand in songs, automotive or otherwise.

Of course, naming conventions are similar to styling in that they can be quite subjective. In fact, one could argue that Cadillac was better off sticking with the alphanumeric CT / XT naming conventions and simply sticking EV or Electric at the end for the upcoming range of battery-powered vehicles.

That said, we want to know how you feel about Cadillac’s new IQ naming convention. Tell us by voting in the poll below, and make sure to subscribe to GM Authority for more Cadillac news and around-the-clock GM news coverage.

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Jonathan Lopez: Jonathan is an automotive journalist based out of Southern California. He loves anything and everything on four wheels.

View Comments (77)

    • True, they should be segment benchmarks. They tried so hard to compete with Benz and BMW that they even followed their naming strategy which was unique to those companies.

      They have since blown their identity and have left the market confused and still perceptibly inferior, whether true or not. They need to be Cadillac and not be somebody else, including styling, performance (whatever that may be) and naming.

      I don't have a problem with the V series offering per se, however you don't have to be M or AMG. Cadillac's best strategy moving forward is to be themselves, but with world class and segment leading quality.

    • This is true. Build them right and the names will make themselves. GM has to get this right as there is no do over in this change as everyone is getting a reset moving to electric.

      New names I think are best to avoid controversy with some like on the Blazer. Some will be upset if the classic name is applied to something different than that it once was. Also some of the names don't hold that much equity with most buyers anymore. There has been some really bad versions of each name in the recent past.

      The last thing we need is a Eldorado SUV.

      GM needs to win not only in the product but the customer service end of this for Cadillac. Not only address the issues but just address every aspect of ownership. If you are expected to pay more for a Cadillac then you should get more in return than if you are buying a Malibu.

      • You know what? When you said Eldorado SUV, that actually has a nice ring to it, given that an Eldorado is a large ranch. I think it's fitting. Most of the Eldorado owners are long gone. Think about it, the all new Cadillac Eldorado. It could be like a Range Rover, 1 step up from the Escalade.

        • Yes but then you get a group of people who scream it is a coupe not a SUV like the Blazer.

          Best to walk away and just use a new name.

    • T R U

      Vehicle names are critically important in image and marketing. As an example, take the vehicle nameplate EDSEL.
      Henry Ford Ii being the top boss and top shareholder at Ford during the time of this vehicle's release chose this name to honor his father. Henry Ford II's mother, Eleanor, disliked the name Edsel, and called her husband Ned. The name Edsel had a bad rap by Eleanor from the get go. All of Edsel Ford's friends called him Ned.

      We all know the rest of the story as to what happened to the EDSEL. It cost Ford $500 million in late 1950's dollars. Ford's biggest mistake to date. The name today denotes a failure.

      • Two Edsel models were called Citation, and Pacer. Make of that what you will.

        Full disclosure: I had a Pacer for several years. Yes, it looked like a rolling Toastmaster Junior, but it had first class road manners, was bullet-proof mechanically, and VERY comfortable for a big man.

  • The names are unique. The Asian brands do the same, creating strange but unique names, too.

  • Cadillac has been a mess for years trying to figure out how to brand themselves. I’m pretty sure they’ll figure out how to shoot them selves in the foot again.

  • I’ve been driving Cadillacs since 1992, changing every 3 or 4 years - starting with the STS, then XTS when the STS was dropped. At this point, I can’t keep the names straight anymore. The CT6 has came and gone and now what? The iq series? Makes me wonder what the cumulative IQ is around that decision making table.

  • The EV transition period is causing lots of brands to paint themselves into a corner. Most of them say they're going to be fully EV within a decade right? So Mercedes is doing everything EQ, BMW is doing everything i, Hyundai is doing Ioniq, so in 2035 or so, there will be no more S-Class to need differentiated from the EQS, so the entire Mercedes lineup will be EQ-something. And every Hyundai will then be a Hyundai Ioniq something. I think in this one area Cadillac may be the best positioned because the -iq isn't so blatantly EV. Except on the Escalade IQ. I think Lyriq will transition to being normal for Cadillac better than EQS will work replacing S-Class.

  • I am glad to see the alphanumeric going away. I think as the names come out, they will be a better indicator of how the brand is an elevation of luxury. Not crazy about the use of I, but it does attract the new segment of buyers buying online known as I buyers. Like it or not you have to adapt and attract younger...

  • My wife and I have bought Cadillacs for 40 years and have loved them. We revere the old names: Coupe de Ville, Fleetwood Brougham, Eldorado, to name a few. We have one now and love it too but I have to go out into the garage to see what its name is. We're for recognizable names rather that a jumble of letters and numbers. Oh, by the way, it's an XTS, now also extinct.

    • I love the fact CADILLAC is going back to name, they never should have changed them in the 1st place. These new iq named EV models will be fine, at least you will know which model is which

    • I think that applies to all brands. The alphanumeric nonsense, or the cutesy made up names go nowhere with me.

      • in fact applies to all car manufactures and even garages, customs etc... Mind generates all fantasies and crazy things

  • Just how is the average schmoe going to pronounce it, lyric, leer'-eek, leer-eek'? My guess is lyric. BTW, what is correct?

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