In the Autoblog Garage: 2009 Cadillac XLR-V offers an interesting summary of the 2009 Cadillac XLR-V Experimental Luxury Roadster, V-Series. The blog has a nice selection of great images of the XLR-V.
A reasonable question that Autoblog asks is why would an enthusiast pay $100K for an XLR-V with a 443hp Supercharged Northstar 4.4L engine instead of roughly $60-65K (prices STILL not announced) for a new CTS-V with a 556hp Supercharged OHC V8?
S/C Northstar Engine
I know at least from my personal perspective there are advantages and disadvantages of each vehicle. The XLR cars of course are 2-seat roadsters, with folding hard top convertibles. The CTS cars are full size sports sedans. I like to joke that the XLR is a Corvette chassis with a Cadillac engine, while the CTS-V is a Corvette Engine in a Cadillac chassis. Actually the LSA engine in the CTS-V is unique to the CTS-V (so far), but it makes a nice summary.
I agree that it would be fun if Cadillac had retooled and put the 556hp LSA engine in the XLR-V this year, but the 4.4L Supercharged Northstar is a jewel of an engine. Since both cars are faster than they have to be anyway, XLR-V owners may legitimately want the smoother power delivery of the DOHC VVT Direct Injected Northstar engine.
Automotive News as blogged by Autoblog reports that GM is sourcing a new material from Quantum Leap Packaging, Inc. called Quantech™ . The material is a liquid crystal polymer that can be used in the place of metal parts. The resulting parts have heat expansion characteristics similar to steel, and stiffness and density comparable to magnesium. So in other words the parts are very light, very strong, and work well to replace steel parts.
Technical claims for quantech:
Quantech™ high performance polymers enable QLP to produce air cavity packages that address critical thermal, stress and reliability issues.
- High temperature stability (500°C)
- Tailorable CTE (3-21 ppm/°C)
- Excellent adhesion to metal
- Tailorable electrical properties
- Isotropic Properties
- Ultra-low moisture permeability
Delivers high reliability MSL 1 condition
- Supports high-temperature eutectic die-attach processes for improved thermal performance
- Matches CTE to Cu and Alloy 42 lead frames
- Enables copper and copper alloy heat sink assembly for thermal performance
- Provides low dielectric constant and low electrical loss for excellent performance at high frequencies
GM says the new Quantech™ parts could be in new cars within 6 months, although it is application dependent. The good news is that with sky-rocketing costs for steel and magnesium GM and Quantum Leap Packaging are developing new alternatives.
Autoblog has a post with a photo gallery of the 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon.
I keep saying Sport Wagon but sometimes it is shown as the plural Sports Wagon. I’ll work on it. GM messaging looks like it always shows it singluar. Anyway, good that the ‘general’ car blogs are picking up on the new CTS Sport Wagon.
Meanwhile Jalopnik is running info on the Chevrolet Volt. GM showed the Volt live this morning as part of GMNext.com day and the 100th birthday celebration. The Volt is more and more interesting if the powerplant may next migrate to a future Cadillac model.
The dramatically-designed 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon makes its European premiere at Paris, followed by production launch in spring of 2009.
GM is noting that the Volt is NOT a plug-in hybrid, but rather an extended range vehicle. Ah; I’ll have to think about that, but I think they are pointing out the difference between a hybrid with minimal battery backup like the Toyota Prius or the 2-mode Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, and a car like the Chevrolet Volt that actually is an electric car with a gas engine generator to recharge on the go.
Top speed of 100mph may be new news, but seems plenty fast enough for most people.