Cadillac forgoes a retro naming system for “-iq” suffixes

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Cadillac has finally explained the nomenclature that will replace its current alphanumeric designations. The short story? There is indeed a method to the madness, but that method won’t be the least bit retrospective. Beginning with the Lyriq, Cadillac’s electric crossover that debuts next month, all Cadillacs will bear names ending in -iq. You might have imagined that Cadillac simply trolled lists of Instagram-friendly baby names to settle on Lyriq, but the name represents the collective labors of much GM gray matter. GM Authority chatted with Cadillac’s head of global brand strategy to discover the reasoning. The crossover’s name alludes to Cadillac’s status as the most-mentioned brand in songs. That includes all brands, according to Dauchy, not just automotive ones. (Sorry, Lincoln.)


Okay, that’s fine, you may be thinking. Cadillac needed an edgy, hip name for its forward-looking electric vehicle, but why mandate the -iq suffix for all future models? Dauchy says a definite break from tradition was in order to signal Cadillac’s gradual switch from internal combustion to electric power. The nomenclature switch “signals that Cadillac is bringing a different type of vehicle to market, one that works in concert with man, nature, and machine.”

We’re wondering exactly how long this system can really last, but Cadillac assures us the next -iq model after the Lyriq is rolling toward reality: the Celestiq, Cadillac’s upcoming flagship sedan. “When you see [the Cadillac Celestiq], its size, presence and scale all connote the emotion associated with the name,” Dauchy says. If you’re having flashbacks to prior spelling-bee trauma, this is probably the part where you ask how to even pronounce Celestiq.

Cadillac needs to find and own its niche, but there will be Caddy fans out there with us who are sure to be disappointed that “Eldorado” or “Fleetwood Talisman” or “Brougham D’Elegance” aren’t getting resurrected. Maybe we’re just not smart enough to see the brilliance of the IQ system.

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