Cadillac XLR

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XLR History

The XLR was a luxury roadster introduced by Cadillac at the 2003 Detroit Motor Show and production began in 2004. Originally known as the Evoq, the XLR had been shown previously. Including the Allante, the XLR is the second roadster offered by Cadillac in recent history. The XLR's biggest competition lay in the Lexus SC, the BMW 6-Series the Mercedes Benz SL-Class, the Jaguar XK and the Porsche 911. Despite all of this stiff competition, the XLR was nominated for the 2004 North American Car of the Year. A retractable hardtop, the XLR was marketed by the Cadillac division of GM, and was assembled in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Unique, the XLR is most famous for its interior and exterior styling, along with its interesting suspension, and equipment of an attractive power retractable aluminum hardtop. The Cadillac XLR was built on the Y-body platform shared with the Corvette. The Cadillac Northstar engine, with a 4.6-liter dual overhead cam V8 powers the XLR and produces an impressive 320 horsepower. The engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The XLR can achieve 17 miles to the gallon in the city and a respectable 25 miles to the gallon on the highway.

The XLR was built for performance and luxury, and it came with a 4.6 liter 320 horsepower engine. The interior featured a white on black instrument panel that gave both a sporty and still luxurious look. Interior luxury appointments included interior wood trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, side airbags, keyless entry, heated and cooled seats, an audio and DVD system and a navigation system. Other fabulous options included XM Satellite radio, a dashboard screen that displays movies, and also allows for Internet access and a remote keyless entry. The XLR came with a 11.6 cubic foot trunk, and a very modern, edgy looking exterior.

At a base price of $76,650, the XLR unfortunately did not sell as well as Cadillac had hoped. This could mostly be due to its competition, but because of this, only 3,700 XLR units were sold in the U.S. in a year and a half. Whereas the Corvette and other similar vehicles were aimed at those seeking both speed and a sporty look, the XLR was meant for a much more refined and limited clientele.

Even though sales were not as anticipated, Cadillac went ahead and created the XLR-V in early 2005. A powerful roadster, the XLR-V was a supercharged variant of the XLR and was formally announced at the 2005 N.Y. International Auto Show. First offered in early 2006 in North America, the XLR-V became the fastest mass produced vehicle that Cadillac has every offered. The XLR-V came with a supercharged NorthStar V8, which produced 443 horsepower, 414 foot pound of torque and is SAE certified. It also features a supercharger, along with four intercoolers that are built directly into the intake manifold. The XLR-V also came with a six speed automatic transmission, along with larger brakes and even larger wheels that measured at 19 inches.

The XLR-V is capable of achieving 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds and 0-100 mph in just 11.3 seconds. With a top speed of 155mph, the XLR-V is only for the most refined of drivers.

By Jessica Donaldson
Cadillac Models


Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

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