Geneva 2017: Cadillac want us to Dare Greatly

Robertas Parazitas looks back on a memorable Geneva Salon, and can’t quite decide whether to praise the Cadillac Escala, or rant against the sustained assault on the English language.

The concept is not new, having had its premiere at Pebble Beach in August 2016. It is intriguing  on several levels. The design language is a departure from the distinct vocabulary of present Cadillac offerings. Like the Pininfarina H600, the Escala could fit into a number of manufacturers’ ranges: Jaguar, Lexus, DS.

It’s also a hatchback. Most will refer to the Audi A7, I’m thinking of the Rover SD1.

The Escala’s V8 is not much bigger than the Rover’s; 4.2 litres, but with two turbochargers gives 500bhp. Reports suggest that the Escala is a serious production prospect, with much depending on whether a case can be made for a non-SUV larger – but not massively so – than the CT6, currently the largest Cadillac saloon. If it happens, expect more pillars than the show car.

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And so to the bizarre curse of “Bubblegum English” – that’s not my term, it was explained to me some time ago by a German acquaintance and seems to be widely used.

The expression “Bubblegum English” is vastly more expressive and precise than “Dare Greatly”. Does anyone “Dare Mildly”?

Oriental tourists’ T-shirt English and social media doggerel are  perniciously taking over the world, and it’s hard to excuse Cadillac who,  dammit, are from an English-speaking nation.

Elsewhere we had Infiniti’s “Empower the Drive”, VW’s “Think New about the all-new Tiguan Allspace”, Audi’s #untaggable, and Mitsubishi’s well-worn “Drive@Earth”.

I’m not even English, but I’m beginning to think there needs to be some sort of syntactic Euro 6 to control this linguistic pollution…

9 thoughts on “Geneva 2017: Cadillac want us to Dare Greatly”

  1. The Cadillac looks pleasant indeed, but this kind of English is offensive, even to someone whose mother tongue isn’t English. Where’s The Power To Surprise in that?!

  2. Time to get some bags of Walkers, a nice bottle of cooking sherry and blow the dust of my VHS copy of Who Dares Wins!

  3. Funny peculiar that Cadillac could take ex-Infiniti, ex-Audi North America exec Johan de Nysschen and put him in charge of things. Of course, he moved Cadillac HQ to the SoHo area of New Yawk City as a condition of employment and hired one Melody Lee as brand manager. She no doubt came up with the slogan tagline Dare Greatly, even as she turned that HQ into a brand merchandising shop for upscale scarves, socks and tie-pins, before it became a coffee shop too. One can imagine the kind of crowd that gathers there for a dark brew, if a crowd ever materializes at all. Her brainwave is that product has no importance but a Brand way of thinking does. Right, and she Dared Greatly submitting that load of BS to Corporate and getting it past them. Johan no doubt remembered Vorsprung Durch Technik which flummoxed North Americans under his Audi reign but which sounded Germanically important, and gave the go-ahead for Ms Lee to confuse minds all over again with a nonsense slogan.

    Meanwhile, neither of them spent five minutes coming up with names for their cars. Alphanumerics would have to do. Let’s face it, some PR Marketing types just don’t get it but in their breathless universe it’s all good. Meta-Nuphoria. My slogan for whatever you want it to be for. Popcorn or garden rakes. Next year it can be expanded to Meta-Nuphoria Forever. Etcetera.

    1. Melody Lee!

      I now have the Damned’s “Machine Gun Etiquette” in its entirety rolling around unstoppably in my head.

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