Cadillac offers a luxury roadster to its consumers, known as the XLR. The XLR was introduced by Cadillac at the 2003 Detroit Motor Show and production started the following year. Cadillac had shown the XLR previously, but it was known as the Evoq, though it was the same vehicle. This is the second roadster offered by Cadillac in recent history. The last being the Allante, which ceased production in 1993. The XLR has some stiff competition in the likes of the Mercedes Benz SL-Class, the Lexus SC, the BMW 6-Series, the Jaguar XK, and the Porsche 911. Despite all of the competition, the Cadillac was nominated for the 2004 North American Car of the Year.
The XLR is notable because all of its styling, inside and out, is unique to this vehicle. The suspension is also unique to the XLR and it is equipped with an attractive power retractable aluminum hardtop. Cadillac has built the XLR on the Y-body platform that is shared with the Corvette, though the Cadillac Northstar engine powers it. The Northstar engine is a 4.6-liter dual overhead cam V8 that provides a respectable 320 horsepower. This powerful engine is coupled with a five speed automatic transmission. The car gets about 17 miles to the gallon in the city and 25 miles to the gallon on the highway, which isn’t bad for such a powerful car.
With a 4.6 liter 320 horsepower engine, it would seem that this vehicle was produced just for performance, but that is not the case. Cadillac designed the XLR for both performance and luxury. The white on black instrument panel gives a very sporty yet luxurious look, though the vehicle lacks an analog clock. Luxury accommodations include interior wood trim, cruise control, 18-inch alloy wheels, side airbags, heated and cooled seats, a navigation system, as well as an audio and DVD system. Also included are remote keyless entry, XM Satellite radio, and a dashboard screen that not only displays movies and such, but also allows for Internet access! With an 11.6 cubic foot trunk, you’ll have plenty of space for a weekend trip, although if you put the top down the trunk space will be less than half of that! The overall look and design is very edgy, almost modern looking, and many people refer to the XLR as the origami car because it really does look like it has been folded and manipulated to look the way it does!
Though Cadillac had big hopes for the XLR, it has not sold as well as they had planned. It could be the base price of $76,650 or it could be that there is simply a lot of competition for the XLR. In a year and a half, just over 3,700 XLR units were sold in the United States. The XLR is also for a more refined clientele, whereas the Corvette and similar cars are for those seeking speed and a sporty look. This refined clientele is quite limited, which could also account for slower than expected sales numbers.
While XLR sales have been slower than anticipated, Cadillac has created the XLR-V, which is a supercharged variant of the XLR. The first look at the powerful roadster was seen in early 2005, and was formally announced at the 2005 New York International Auto Show. The XLR-V was first offered in early 2006 in North America, and was the fastest mass produced vehicle that Cadillac has ever offered. The XLR-V is fitted with a supercharged NorthStar V8, which is SAE certified and produces 443 horsepower and 414 foot pound of torque. The XLR-V features a supercharger and four intercoolers that are built right into the intake manifold. The XLR-V also features a six speed automatic transmission, in addition to larger brakes, and larger wheels measuring 19 inches instead of the 18 inches used on the XLR.
It’s been reported that the powerful XLR-V can really move, accelerating from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 4.7 seconds! If that isn’t enough to thrill you, Cadillac reports that the XLR-V can accelerate from 0 to 100 miles per hour in 11.3 seconds, can run a quarter miles in 13 seconds, and has a top speed of 155 miles per hour, definitely respectable times and speeds! The XLR-V is not for everyone, it is for those consumers that are looking for something extra special. Like the XLR this vehicle is meant to provide both luxury and performance and has the heated and cooled seats, DVD player, upgraded audio system, wood trim in the interior, large brakes, and more. Cadillac has not overlooked even the slightest detail on the XLR-V.