XLR Shopping

The Cadillac XLR 2-seat hard-top convertible was made from 2004 through 2009.  The V- series example, XLR-V, ran from 2006-2009.   Where my STS-V had a Cadillac Sigma chassis and LC3 Cadillac Supercharged V8, the XLR-V had a modified Corvette Y-chassis and the LC3 Supercharged Northstar V8.  All of the LC3 engines were made by hand at the Wixom Performance Center, each engine completed by a single master technician.

The “base” XLR was a premium, flagship Cadillac.  It premiered at $75K in 2004,  just beyond the Escalade EXT Platinum price that year, the most expensive Cadillac besides the XLR.  Besides the convertible hard top, the XLR features heated and cooled seats, radar adaptive cruise control, heads-up display, and the 320 hp RWD 4.6L DOHC Northstar V8.

The XLR-V when available from 2006 added more power, cooling, and an upgraded suspension and cost a cool $100K.

XLR-V: The 2006 Cadillac XLR-V ultra-luxury, high-performance roadster sets new standards in power, performance and personal amenities, combining distinctive, bold styling with contemporary luxury, ingenious technology and rear-wheel drive performance.

At the heart of the XLR-V is the new, 4.4L version of the Northstar engine outfitted with a positive displacement intercooled supercharger. The Northstar V-8 SC (supercharged), which also powers the STS-V, produces 443 horsepower (330 kw) at 6400 rpm and 414 lb.-ft. (561 Nm) torque at 3900 rpm (SAE certified*). The engine’s power is underscored by its ability to deliver 90 percent of its peak torque between 2200 and 6000 rpm. The engine also features variable valve timing, enabling outstanding top-end performance while maintaining the refinement and quality associated with a luxury marque. The engine is mated to the all-new Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission.

The 6L80 is one of the most technologically advanced automatic transmissions in the industry, using clutch-to-clutch operation and an advanced integrated 32-bit transmission controller to deliver smooth, precise shifts. In addition, a wide 6.04:1 overall ratio spread enhances performance and fuel economy.

The 6L80 also incorporates a host of advanced driving enhancement features, including advanced Performance Algorithm Shifting (PAS), Performance Algorithm Liftfoot (PAL), and Driver Shift Control (DSC).

Chassis modifications on the XLR-V include larger brakes; recalibrated Magnetic Ride Control (MR); larger front stabilizer bar and the addition of a rear stabilizer bar; stiffer rear lower control arm bushings; larger wheels and tires; a power steering fluid cooler; and a higher-capacity fuel pump.

XLR-V styling modifications impart a bolder character in keeping with its performance capabilities, yet retain an aura of refined elegance. Design refinements include:

  • Polished wire mesh upper and lower front grilles, a V-Series signature
  • Aggressively sculpted hood that makes room for the supercharger
  • New 10-spoke aluminum wheel design with sterling silver finish
  • Unique V-Series and Supercharged badging
  • Four polished stainless steel exhaust tips
  • Black finish brake calipers with machined V-Series logo
  • Three exterior color offerings: Infra Red, Black Raven and Light Platinum
  • Zingana Wood on the shifter knob, cup holder area, steering wheel, and on portions of the door and center console
  • Ebony leather with French stitching on interior components
  • Soft, supple leather seats with French stitching and matching perforated suede fabric inserts
  • Aluminum accent pieces throughout the interior

Like XLR, the XLR-V will be built at GM’s state-of-the-art, award-winning Bowling Green assembly center.

From 2004-2006 the XLR had a 5-speed automatic (no manual available, but does offer selectable shifting) transmission.  In 2006-2009 the XLR upgraded to a 6 speed automatic.  The XLR-V’s all came with the 6 speed automatic.

The XLR’s used the magnetic ride control, while my STS-V used conventional performance shocks/struts.

Shopping for an XLR now, my sense is a good non-supercharged price is around $25K for a low mileage version in good condition.  The XLR-V has held around a $10K premium over the standard XLR.   The XLR-V loses the adaptive cruise control (has normal electronic cruise), and wood steering wheel (less grippy for track duty).  Because they were quite expensive new, even with some depreciation XLR pricing can cover a wide range, so good to watch for a good deal.

I am currently actively shopping for an XLR, and plan to post more info as I search out an XLR as my replacement ‘weekend’ and date car.


(See GM of Canada section for Canadian product differences.)

Model: XLR luxury roadster
Body style / driveline: 2-door, hardtop convertible / rear-wheel drive
Construction: hydroformed perimeter frame, structural center tunnel, aluminum cockpit frame
Body material: composite exterior panels
Manufacturing location: Bowling Green , Kentucky
Key competitors: Mercedes-Benz SL500, Lexus SC430, Jaguar XK8
Type: Northstar 4.6L V-8 VVT (variable valve timing)
Displacement (cu in / cc): 279 / 4565
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 3.66 x 3.31 / 93 x 84
Block material: cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum
Crankshaft material: forged steel
Valvetrain: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, four-cam continuously variable valve timing
Ignition system: coil-on-plug ignition, with extended-life dual platinum-tipped spark plugs
Fuel system: sequential electronic fuel injection
Compression ratio: 10.5:1
Horsepower (hp / kw @ rpm): 320 / 239 @ 6400
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 310 / 420 @ 4400
Recommended fuel: premium recommended but not required
Max. engine speed (rpm): 6700
Estimated fuel economy
(mpg city / hwy / combined):
17 / 25 / 21
Type: Hydra-Matic 5L50-E rear-wheel drive, electronically controlled 5-speed automatic with torque converter clutch and Driver Shift Control
Gear ratios (:1):
First: 3.45
Second: 2.21
Third: 1.60
Fourth: 1.00
Fifth: 0.75
Reverse: 3.02
Final drive ratio: 2.93
Front: short/long arm ( SLA ) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper & lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite leaf spring, Magnetic Ride Control
Rear: short/long arm ( SLA ) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper & lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite leaf spring, Magnetic Ride Control
Steering type: Magnasteer power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Steering ratio: 17.2:1
Steering wheel turns (lock to lock): 2.9
Turning diameter, curb to curb (ft / m): 39 / 11.9
Type: power-assisted disc with 4-channel ABS, front and rear
Rotor diameter x thickness (in / mm): front: 12.8 x 1.3 / 325 x 32

rear: 12.0 x 1.0 / 305 x 26

Wheel type and size: spun-cast aluminum, 18 inch x 8 inch
Tires: Michelin ZP Extended Mobility
front: P235/50R18
rear: P235/50R18
Wheelbase (in / mm): 105.7 / 2685
Overall length (in / mm): 177.7 / 4513
Overall width (in / mm): 72.3 / 1836
Overall height (in / mm): 50.4 / 1279
Track (in / mm): front: 62.2 / 1580
rear: 62.2 / 1580
Minimum ground clearance
(in / mm):
6.61 / 168
Curb weight (lb / kg): 3647 / 1654
Seating capacity
(front / rear):
2 / 0
Headroom (in / mm): 37.6 / 955
Legroom (in / mm): 42.6 / 1083
Shoulder room (in / mm): 54.3 / 1380
Hip room (in / mm): 53 / 1346
Cargo volume (cu ft / L):
Top up: 11.6 / 328
Top down: 4.4 / 125
Fuel tank (gal / L): 18 / 68.1
Engine oil (qt / L): 7.5 / 7.1
Acceleration (0-60 mph / 0-97 km/h): 5.8 sec.
Max. lateral acceleration: 0.90g

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