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Cadillac's boring alphanumeric names are on the way out

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Cadillac will go back to using actual names for its vehicles starting with the arrival of a new electric crossover in 2022. (Image courtesy of General Motors)

Cadillac's history is full of evocative names, such as Eldorado and DeVille, but today the only vehicle in the lineup without a nondescript alphanumeric name is the Escalade.

That's set to change starting with the arrival of a new electric crossover in 2022, Car and Driver reported on Thursday.

Cadillac spokeswoman Katie Minter told the magazine that some names may draw from Cadillac's past while others will be new. It follows a similar strategy employed by Lincoln for its latest vehicles, all of which feature real names instead of the previous MK-based names.



Crucially, new names will only be introduced when a new vehicle is introduced or an existing one redesigned, to prevent confusion. And numbers could still feature to denote what powertrain a particular vehicle is packing.

Cadillac started using alphanumeric names with the arrival of the 2003 CTS. But because there wasn't a clear hierarchy in the names, it wasn't clear where specific models sat in the lineup. Cadillac attempted to address this issue by adding numbers to the names when it launched the 2016 CT6.

The electric crossover Cadillac is working on was previewed earlier this year in a series of sketches. It will ride on General Motors' new BEV3 dedicated EV platform and offer more than 300 miles of range. The crossover's arrival is the first step in Cadillac's transformation into an EV-focused brand. For GM, the EV push could be its last real chance to reinvigorate the brand.