Image credits: © Cadillac. GM Corp.

2009 Cadillac XLR


2009 Cadillac XLR
New for 2009
• XLR lineup devoted to ultra luxury and performance: XLR Platinum and XLR-V models only

• New front fascia for all models, with specific upper and lower grilles for Platinum and V-Series

• New rear fascia and fender vents for all models

• New front fender vents

• Three new regular-production exterior colors: Black Cherry, Gray Flannel and Radiant Silver

• New 18-inch wheel design (Platinum only)

• Alcantara™ headliner material now on XLR-V

• Leather-wrapped upper instrument panel

• Interior trim revisions

• Next-generation OnStar 8.0 with Destination Download with eNav and Bluetooth connectivity

The XLR roadster, Cadillac's bold entry into the elite club of the finest luxury roadsters, enters 2009 with a revised model lineup that is focused on more dramatic design, technology and craftsmanship.

Cadillac's retractable hardtop roadster features new color choices, revised interior trim and enhanced electronics for 2009 – and only the finest editions of the XLR will be offered: The luxurious XLR Platinum and the high-performance XLR-V. The XLR Platinum is equipped with a 320-horsepower (239 kW) 4.6L Northstar V-8 VVT. The XLR-V is powered with a 443-horsepower (330 kW) 4.4L Northstar V-8 supercharged engine.

Changes for '09 complement a host of enhancements that came in the previous model year, including an improved version of Cadillac's acclaimed Magnetic Ride Control system and amenities such as a heated steering wheel. XLR's advanced technologies also include Adaptive Forward Lighting that enables the headlamps to swivel in concert with vehicle steering; a head-up display; StabiliTrak; heated and cooled seats; Keyless Access with push-button start; and DVD navigation and entertainment.

New for '09 – exterior

2009 Cadillac XLRThe 2009 XLR includes a new front fascia, new rear fascia and new side fender vents inspired by Cadillac's acclaimed Sixteen concept and the CTS sports sedan. (concept carz) The front fascia includes new fog lamps and specific upper and lower grilles for the Platinum and V-Series models. Also, both '09 models feature the distinctive hood that was previously exclusive to the V-Series.

The ultra-luxury XLR Platinum model receives additional exterior identifiers, including new exhaust tips exiting beneath the rear fascia, rear fascia trim and a new 18-inch wheel design (painted wheel finish is standard; chrome is optional).

Three new regular-production exterior colors are added to the palette: Black Cherry (replaces Liquid Amethyst), Radiant Silver (replaces Platinum) and Gray Flannel (replaces Goldstream). The other regular-production colors include Black Raven, Elektra Blue and Crystal Red.

New for '09 – interior

2009 Cadillac XLR
Inside, the '09 XLR lineup delivers a more luxurious passenger environment and enhanced technology. On the luxury side, Alcantara™ – a suede-like microfiber material – is used for the headliner material. It comes in either Ebony or Cashmere, depending on the interior color. Also new is hand-cut and sewn leather used on the upper instrument panel. This hand-stitched and wrapped leather lends tailored elegance to the cabin, representing Cadillac's new approach to modern and elegant interior craftsmanship.
Additional interior updates include:

• New instrument cluster trim rings and graphics

• New power window switches

• New wood grain trims: Natural Olive Ash Burl (Platinum) and Black Olive Ash Burl (V-Series)

• New metal trims: Quartz (Platinum) and Bermuda (V-Series)

Also new is an iPod interface that is available through Cadillac Accessories. It allows the music stored on an iPod to be played through the XLR's audio system.

OnStar 8.0 and Bluetooth capability

2009 Cadillac XLR
XLR is factory-equipped with OnStar 8.0 with Bluetooth capability. This technology enables wireless connectivity of cell phones and other electronic data devices, allowing for easier and safer hands-free phone connectivity.

The next-generation OnStar 8.0 system (OnStar subscription is not required for Bluetooth) features enhanced hands-free voice commands, Turn-by-Turn Navigation and eNav powered by MapQuest. This includes the industry-first Destination Download feature that enables directions to be downloaded from OnStar directly to the XLR's navigation system, eliminating the need to stop the car to manually input a destination.

XLR design

2009 Cadillac XLR
The XLR is a contemporary expression of Cadillac's heritage of landmark design and advanced technology. Inspired by Stealth fighter aircraft design, XLR creates a dramatic presence of modern luxury and performance.
The ultimate convenience of a retractable hard top is a hallmark of the XLR's design. By pushing and holding a single button, the XLR can convert from coupe to open roadster in less than 30 seconds. The top is made of aluminum and magnesium with composite exterior panels, a heated glass backlight and glass rear-quarter windows.

XLR powetrains

Two versions of Cadillac's renowned Northstar engine family power the XLR lineup: a 4.6L V-8 VVT in the XLR Platinum and a 4.4L supercharged V-8 in the XLR-V. (See 'XLR-V details' section below for information on the 4.4L supercharged engine.)

The XLR Platinum's 4.6L engine is a 90-degree, DOHC, four-valves-per-cylinder engine rated at 320 horsepower (239 kW)* and 310 lb.-ft. (420 Nm)* of torque. It offers smooth, quiet and refined performance throughout its entire operating range, yet it is tuned to give the driver feedback from the environment.

The 4.6L engine features an aluminum block and cylinder heads, and a valvetrain configuration with roller finger followers. Performance- and economy-optimizing technologies include continuously variable valve timing (VVT); electronically controlled, hydraulically actuated intake and exhaust cam phasers on all four camshafts for extra control; electronic throttle control (ETC); low restriction intake and exhaust manifolds and cylinder head ports; close coupled catalytic converters mounted directly adjacent to the exhaust manifolds; and an air induction system designed for enhanced capacity and noise attenuation.

Both the 4.6L V-8 and the supercharged 4.4L engines are mated to a Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission. (posted on With a wide, overall ratio of 6.04:1, the six-speed delivers an excellent combination of performance and fuel efficiency. The final drive ratio is 2.56:1.

An advantage of Cadillac's roadster not shared by competitors is its rear-mounted transmission. (posted on This helps give the XLR a virtual 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution for superior balance, as well as providing occupants with unusually roomy footwell space.

XLR chassis and suspension

The XLR uses GM's unique, patented performance car structure, featuring steel hydroformed perimeter frame rails, an enclosed structural 'tunnel,' an aluminum cockpit configuration and balsa-cored composite floors. Providing rigidity without bulk, and with exceptional resistance to torsional and bending forces, this structure is the foundation for the XLR's outstanding ride and handling characteristics.

The suspension system makes the XLR a true luxury roadster with the handling qualities of a performance car. The design uses double wishbones at each corner, combined with transverse-mounted, composite leaf springs front and rear. The system is designed to maintain firm control over wheel motion, while delivering a composed and compliant ride quality.

The XLR achieves a maximum lateral G-force of more than 0.9. It runs on Goodyear EMT tires with advanced run-flat technology that eliminate the need for a spare and provide outstanding overall tire performance.

Magnetic Ride Control

The XLR was one of the world's first vehicles to be equipped with Magnetic Ride Control – electronically controlled, magnetic-fluid based real-time damping. Standard on XLR Platinum and XLR-V, the system uses four wheel-to-body displacement sensors to measure wheel motion over the road surface and responds by adjusting the shock damping at speeds approaching one millisecond.

The system's secret is the magneto-rheological fluid contained in its dampers, replacing traditional mechanical valves. Suspended in this fluid are tiny iron particles that respond to an electromagnetic charge. A revised piston profile introduced in ‘08 improves damping capability and decreases shock temperatures, resulting in improved ride and handling.

Comfort and luxurious convenience

Vital Stats and Specifications
Vital Stats
Engine : 4.6 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 320 hp
Torque: 315 ft-lbs

Engine : 4.4 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 443 hp
Torque: 414 ft-lbs

6-speed Automatic
XLR features Keyless Access, making it a truly 'keyless' car. A driver can simply keep the fob in a pocket or purse to operate the doors, trunk and ignition. The fob communicates with the XLR's computer control system via radio antennas under the car's bodywork. The system is intuitive and hassle free.
XLR is one of the first vehicles to pioneer the use of Adaptive Forward Lighting. This technology enables the headlamps to adjust the lighting pattern in synch with vehicle steering, a significant boost to a driver's nighttime visibility.

XLR's seatbacks and cushions are heated and cooled, and a heated steering wheel is offered. A 6.5-inch (178-mm) color touch-screen mounted in the upper center console gives driver and passenger access to DVD navigation; a nine-speaker Bose audio system with a six-CD in-dash changer and digital signal processing modes; XM Satellite Radio (Ú.S. and Canada), and DVD entertainment (available in Park position only). The XLR also is equipped with a head-up display that projects key driver information onto the windshield.

The XLR has adaptive cruise control (ACC). While not a substitute for full driver attention, this system expands the convenience of cruise control. ACC uses a radar sensor mounted at the front of the car to detect objects in its path. If the lane ahead is clear, the system maintains the set speed, just like conventional cruise control. When it detects a vehicle in the same lane in front of the car, the system adjusts speed to help maintain a constant following distance, set by the driver.

XLR-V details

The 2009 supercharged Cadillac XLR-V is the quickest, most agile and most exclusive Cadillac ever offered, combining advanced technology with hand craftsmanship that harkens back to Cadillac's origins as a custom luxury coach builder.

Its 443-horsepower* supercharged Northstar V-8 is hand-assembled to exacting standards at GM's Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich. Each engine is built from start to finish by a single expert craftsman. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with Driver Shift Control. This powerful combination enables 0-to-60 (mph) acceleration in less than five seconds. The XLR-V includes numerous chassis enhancements for outstanding performance, developed and tuned in some of the world's most demanding environments.

The interior features extensive use of leather-wrapped surfaces, created by craftsmen who cut, wrap and sew leather components individually.

Source - Cadillac
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

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