For those who wanted to go really fast and be coddled while doing it, Cadillac created the XLR-V convertible, which was produced from 2006 to 2009. The V at the end of the car's moniker indicated that it was a performance variant of Cadillac's XLR, but it could've easily stood for viciously quick and very luxurious.
Viciously quick came courtesy of this Cadillac's supercharged V8, which could send you hurtling from zero to 60 in less than 5 seconds. Taking a cue from European ultraluxury manufacturers, Cadillac gave each V8 a personal touch, with each being built from start to finish by a single craftsman. Very luxurious was the end result of the wealth of standard features that came on the Cadillac XLR-V roadster. Adaptive cruise control, heated steering wheel, head-up display and a voice-activated navigation system are just a few examples of the latter.
Unfortunately, the XLR-V just didn't stack up to its similarly priced rivals from Germany, Britain and even within General Motors itself. The XLR-V may have been vicious, but it lacked the slick handling, high levels of refinement and interior furnishings others offered.
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Designed to facilitate wind-tousled tresses and sun-kissed cheeks, the Cadillac XLR-V was available only as a two-seat convertible with a retractable hardtop. Aside from its high-performance innards, this special XLR was distinguished from its less spirited sibling by a unique front grille and a sculpted hood designed to accommodate the 443-horsepower V8's supercharger. Sent to the rear wheels via a manually shiftable six-speed automatic, all that thrust was good enough to catapult the XLR-V to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.
The XLR-V came one way -- fully loaded and was essentially unchanged during its four-year production run. Perks like Bluetooth phone connectivity, heated leather seats and adaptive cruise control were all standard. The XLR-V's power-retractable hardtop could go from closed to open (and vice-versa) in about 30 seconds. Though the XLR-V's interior was attractive, trimmed with gleaming aluminum accents and burnished exotic wood, it was still subpar compared to its similarly priced rivals. Also, the cockpit was somewhat tight for taller drivers and cargo room was limited as well.
During our time in the XLR-V, we found ourselves swept away on a wave of raw power as the XLR was eager to leap to attention at the slightest tap of the throttle. Its Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension was tuned to be sportier than it was on the standard XLR and indeed provided sharper handling seemingly with no penalty in ride comfort. But compared to its more athletic and refined European rivals, the XLR-V still came up a bit short as its steering was overly heavy and its handling wasn't as agile.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Cadillac XLR-V page.
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