Miles, fluid ounces, quarts, pound-feet, bushels, gills: measuring anything in the US is a minefield if you come from the rest of the world. In a belated attempt to gently introduce Americans to the notion of things divisible by ten, Cadillac has unveiled its latest badging system. Yep, it’s a metric measure of torque.
Now bear with us on this one, because explaining torque in and of itself can be a work up. You can try all you like to explain that it’s merely the twisting force that tends to cause rotation and that torque can be written as T = F * r * sin(theta), with units expressed in newton-metres, but perhaps the easiest thing to do is hold up a picture of a Dodge Demon cremating its tyres. See? Torque.
You’re probably still trying to figure out exactly why Cadillac should choose newton-metres rather than pound-feet as a nomenclature plastered on the back of its wares, but we have a simple suspicion. Newton-metres look bigger. After all, the ‘400’ badge on the back of the all-new XT6 crossover would otherwise only read ‘295’ in lb/ft. Why would you have 295 when you can get another 105 for nothing besides a tall-stack of chin-scratching confusion?
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We still think they’ve missed a trick. By going to millinewton-metres instead, they could have had a ‘400,000’ badge on the back of the crossover and that, by any casual observation, is an amount of torque you would surely think twice about trifling with in a joust for a parking spot at Costco.
Cadillac President Steve Carlisle, in an interview with Detroit Free Press, outlined the logic, saying that “as turbocharged engines and electrification technologies become more prevalent, torque is a better representation of available power than the current system that uses displacement.
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“The new system uses a three-digit badge representative of torque output in newton meters (Nm) rounded to the nearest 50. Cadillac chose newton metres rather than the more common U.S. measurement of pound-feet because Cadillac is a global brand and more of the world is on the metric system,” he explained.