When Cadillac launches its first electric crossover SUV for 2022, it will finally bury its muddled alphanumeric naming convention. Distinguishing the CTS from the XTS from the CT6 is much more difficult than distinguishing the Escalade from the Cimarron. Who can forget the Cimarron? 

The return of actual names leads me to one conclusion for this forthcoming, brand-redefining electric crossover. World, prepare to be wowed by the 2022 Cadillac El DeBarj. 

Yes, that DeBarge, the “Rhythm of the Night” DeBarge, the 1980s R&B pop family band born and raised in Detroit, just as Cadillac was born in Detroit (from the ashes of the Henry Ford Company) in 1902, making it one of the oldest automotive brands in the world. What better way to celebrate its 120th birthday than to also celebrate a retro rebirth, because, as Stephen King might have written, “...everything old is new again.”

2009 Cadillac Converj Concept

2009 Cadillac Converj Concept

Even though DeBarge was much more than a one-hit electric wonder, just like Cadillac will be in the wake of the ELR, I’ll reference “Rhythm” and its Lionel Ritchie-inspired neon Motown dance madness to prove how perfect the El DeBarj name is for Cadillac. 

“I know a place where we can (drive) the whole night away,

Underneath electric stars.”

Think of all the marketing mashups! Cue the dancers, cue the crossover, and let’s have lead singer El DeBarge smash cut from riding atop that 1960 Chevrolet Impala convertible to cruising behind the wheel of the 2022 Cadillac El DeBarj, mustache and Jheri curl intact, Then, boom! Into the chorus and a visual celebration of all things D-Town. Cadillac, you’ve come home!

It’s viral gold, better than Bruce Dickinson’s cowbell, and should appeal to that overlooked post-Boomer, pre-Millennial generation of whatever they’re called. 

You might cringe at the linguistic perversions of the “ge” sound to the “j” look, but it has historical precedent in the Cadillac lineup, which offers further proof of this perfect new name. The short-lived ELR plug-in hybrid based on the Volt was preceded by a concept named the Converj. And it’s very possible that the in utero electric crossover will be born of the family of current Cadillac concept cars headed, as pater familias, by the Elmiraj. Listen, all y’all, it’s a sabotaj!

Cadillac Elmiraj concept

Cadillac Elmiraj concept

The algorithmic autofiction name generator zeroes in on only one possible name for the new face of the new Cadillac: The 2020 Cadillac El DeBarj. 

It’s gotta be better than DeVille. And most certainly better than Cimarron.