We feel for Cadillac, a brand we’re inclined to dub the Alex Rodriguez of the automotive world — so much obvious talent, its gifts warped by repeated questionable moves and an inability to conclusively close the deal on The Big Stage. And as with Rodriguez, the expectations are so high at the same time the disappointment is so entrenched that Cadillac gets no benefits of any doubts, the commentariat ruthless with criticism for anything less than an out-of-the-park home run. This latest news, like the Newton-meter torque-based naming scheme initiated earlier this year, likely won’t help. GM Authority asked Cadillac about the origin of the Lyriq name for the coming battery-electric crossover. Global head of brand strategy Phil Dauchy explained three threads that went into the new moniker. In no particular order, one thread is that “Cadillac,” according to Dauchy, gets more mentions in song lyrics than any other brand, including non-automotive brands. The Music Lyrics Database, while not exhaustive, supports the case: Cadillac has 31 pages of lyric mentions among bands from Rancid to Weird Al Yankovic, beating every other brand we could think of. So … lyrics into Lyriq.
The second thread is rolled up with Cadillac’s move to proper names instead of alphanumerics for the sedan and crossover lines, all of those names to end in “iq,” as well as the push into electric vehicles. Dauchy told GMA the nomenclature overhaul and the two-letter suffix “[signal] that Cadillac is bringing a different type of vehicle to market, one that works in concert with man, nature, and machine.” He’s bullish on swaying the public with the product, adding, “When you see [the Cadillac Celestiq], its size, presence and scale all connote the emotion associated with the name.”
The final thread that went into the Lyriq name the alliteration of brand and model names. As GMA phrased it, perhaps unsettlingly, “With Cadillac and the model name both ending in an ‘ick’ sound, these names roll off the tongue quite well.” This brings up a question raised in a number of comments about the Lyriq, which asks whether the last syllable is pronounced “ick” or “eek.” Until now, I’ve pronounced the coming crossover with an “eek” at the end. “Lyr-eek” strikes me as more luxurious, and “Celest-eek” sounds better to me than “Celest-ick,” that latter model being the flagship EV that follows the Lyriq. Of course, it also makes me wonder if I’ve been pronouncing “Cadillac” correctly.
We’ll get the lowdown when the Lyriq concept debuts online on August 6. However, considering the unqualified success of concepts like the Elmiraj, Escala, Ciel and the production Escalade, we’re surprised Cadillac “put the ‘i’ before ‘e'” in its next chapter.