The Nomenclature of Exclusivity
15. August 2014
The automotive fascination with platinum is rather interesting. No, not the use of the metal in catalytic converters, but as the trim level of a vehicle that’s at the upper strata.
Which is somewhat interesting given that the name of the element comes from the Spanish word platina, which means “little silver.” Silver, incidentally, is number 47 on the Periodic Table. Platinum is further along at 78, with iridium (no, not the satellite communications company) on one side and gold on the other.
Earlier this week, Cadillac announced that in the fourth quarter it will be rolling out with the 2015 Escalade Platinum, which includes things like Nappa semi-aniline leather for the first and second row seats, a cooled center console to keep beverages chilled, and a unique grille mesh design.
Earlier this week on this site, you may have noticed the review of the Platinum trim of the Toyota Tundra pickup.
And back in June, Ford announced that there is a Platinum trim level for the 2015 Expedition (again, one of the key aspects is a high-end leather; leather is not an element, by the way). Ford has been offering a Platinum F-150.
While there are a couple problems with it—like it is radioactive and it is not easy to spell—if some automotive marketer was really clever, they’d come out with an “Ununoctium” trim level.
Presumably the whole Platinum thing is about exclusivity. According to the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, since 2006, “only a few atoms of ununoctium have ever been produced.”
That is a whole lot more exclusive and rare than a special set of 22-inch wheels.