Welcome to The Grid, R&T’s quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.
Future Cadillacs Will Have -Iq Names
First Cadillac had names—the brand sold DeVilles, El Dorados, and Escalades—but as the company set its sights on German luxury brands, it pivoted to alphanumerics like ATS, CTS, and SRX. Then, to better communicate the pecking order, the company pivoted to XT- and CT- names like CT4, CT5, XT5, and XT6. Now, Cadillac is going back to word-based names.
But not just any words. Instead, future Cadillacs will have -iq names that follow the style of the already-announced Lyriq and Celestiq, the company confirmed to GM Authority. That suffix is pronounced “ick” not “eek,” too, so think leer-ick. As per usual, we expect that the Escalade nameplate will survive another Cadillac branding pivot without any changes. That’s the one name the company has seemed to make stick.
Heads May Roll At Ferrari
Ferrari’s 2020 F1 season is off to a rough start. After being able to contend with Mercedes for wins toward the latter half of last season, Ferrari drivers were both lapped by the lead Silver Arrow during Sunday’s Hungary Grand Prix. Not only are Mercedes and Red Bull comfortably out ahead of Ferrari in the constructors standings, but even McLaren and Racing Point have Maranello beat.
As Motorsport.com reports, team boss Mattia Binotto suspects that there may be a need for changes within the team. “With three races in a row, there are a couple of weeks before Silverstone and it will be important at Maranello to consider all the aspects of the car and the organization: whatever it is we need to improve,” Binotto said. That puts a wide range of options on the table, from restructuring development to performance-related firings. Either way, Ferrari is ready to change things up. But it’ll take some time.
“It will take a long time because it is not something that is addressed in a few weeks. So I think patience will be required,” he said, per Motorsport.com. “As I said before, when you need to improve all the areas, because we are lacking speed in all the areas, it is not something that a simple trick will address or simple solution or simple package. It will take time. How long? I do not have the answer yet.”
Experts Are Calling B.S. On Tesla’s Autonomy Plans
Tesla has been ambitious about autonomy, selling “Full Self Driving” hardware on cars for years that Musk says is close to operational. But in a deeply reported story that’s well worth a read, experts speaking to Automotive News didn’t mince words.
“None of this is on a plane of reality,” Jason Levine, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, told Automotive News. “It’s an absurd idea at this point in time with the technology available and infrastructure available and complete unwillingness of Tesla to acknowledge its mistakes.”
It’s not the first time the automaker has been doubted. But based on what we know now about competitors’ testing and development, the company does not seem to be ahead of other big-name players like Waymo and Cruise. Sam Abuelsamid, principal analyst at Guidehouse Insights and author of an automated-driving report, ranked the company dead last.
“The cars they are building will never be Level 5, period,” he told Automotive News. “It’s nonsense. [Elon Musk] needs to shut up until he can deliver something.”