2009 Cadillac XLR-V

Written By Tony Tran on Thursday, June 23, 2011 | 10:54 AM

Introduction

When one of the world's largest automakers, Cadillac has experienced several ups and downs over the past few decades than Apple's stock price. But GM's wreath-and-crest division has made a concerted effort in recent years to regain its former glory. Instead of giving European and Japanese automakers to rule the roost luxury brand, Cadillac has decided to tackle head-on competitors. A key part of this effort is the company's Halo car, the 2009 Cadillac XLR-V.



As ultra-performance version of the XLR two-seat lift just Hardtop roadster, the XLR-V serve notice to the European carmakers that they do not have an exclusive hold on sexy slip tops with blistering performance. XLR-V also boasts of the necessary six-figure price of admission. Subtle hints such as 19-inch wheels, a mesh grille and quad exhaust tips clear signal that this is not a conventional XLR. Backing up the "V" badge is a hand-built, Supercharged 4.4-liter V8 that cranks a lusty 443 horsepower, along with firmer suspension tuning and upgraded brakes.

With its muscular engine and Corvette-based platform, one would expect the Cadillac XLR-V to be a strong performer. Safe enough, ripping its acceleration gives small luxury road concepts behind, and its handling and braking are more than respectable. But its relatively uncommunicative steering gives us chills, and its handling is still not as sharp as what you find in European competition. As such, the XLR-V is far from class-leading driver in the entertainment category.

A few other minor deficiencies prevent the XLR-V from taking the title of top luxury roadster. While the cockpit looks luxurious, it does not fit riders of all heights. Moreover, while most interior materials seem appropriate rich, a few others are decidedly average. In this exclusive segment, every detail counts, and XLR-V can ill afford such missteps.

The luxury roadster class includes such luminaries as the BMW M6 convertible, Jaguar XKR, Mercedes-Benz SL-Class and Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. Of these, the Porsche offers the most rewarding drive, the M6 provides room for four and Mercedes arguably provides the best combination of luxury, style and performance, especially in AMG form. 2009 Cadillac XLR-V is an interesting domestic alternative, and it may even make more heads than the other cars because of its relative scarcity. But if it was our 100 grand, we will take the Porsche or Benz.

Body style, trim levels, and Options

2009 Cadillac XLR-V is a two-seat luxury roadster. Its retractable Hardtop can transform the car from closed for Coupe wide-open convertible in less than 30 seconds. Almost every imaginable luxury feature comes standard, including a nine-speaker Bose stereo system (with satellite radio), OnStar telematics, a navigation system, Bluetooth, keyless entry and start, Xenon headlamps, adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescoping adjustments, a head-up display and rear parking assist. The lone factory option is a set of chrome-finished wheels.

Power Trains and Performance

A Supercharged 4.4-liter V8 sends 443 horsepower and 414 pound-feet of torque to 2009 Cadillac XLR-V's rear wheels. Power is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift capability. We timed a XLR-V from zero to 60 km / h in a mere 4.6 seconds, bringing it more than a full second ahead of the standard XLR and right in the thick of high-performance roadster race. Braking Ability, at 119 meters from 60 km / h, are adequate, although the top stoppers can do the deed under 115 feet.


Security

Anti-lock disc brakes, traction and stability control is standard on all 2009 Cadillac XLR-V. As in all convertible of this ilk, XLR-V's side airbags inflate to protect both head and torso.


Interior design and special features

Cockpit of the XLR-V offers much to like. Its design is appealingly simple, leather complemented the wood trim convincing and solid build quality. But we find the XLR-V's cockpit less attractive in light of the car price. The switchgear looks and feels pedestrian, and some trim pieces have a tacked-on appearance. As in many GM cars of origin, too many functions have been crowded together in turn-signal stalk. In addition, the steering wheel is a little too big for our taste, and the limited rear seat travel to impede the styles higher drivers. Tribe boasts a respectable 11.6 Cubic of space when the top is up, top down, however, that number drops to just 4.4 Cubic.


Driving Impressions

With a jump of 123 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque over the standard XLR, 2009 Cadillac XLR-V is much more responsive. Lean in the throttle and XLR-V catapults forward on a wave of Supercharged torque. Even with its firmer suspension setup But the XLR-V is still tuned more for boulevard cruising than all-out handling, which means that it feels softer than some more focused rivals. This attribute conspires with rather heavy and numb steering setup to make this performance roadster feel a little out of his element on winding roads.

But in normal driving, XLR-V feel fast and stable. Cowl shake is almost non-existent and the V8 sounds fantastic. Wind buffeting can be onerous with the top down, but the XLR-V is whisper-quiet with its top up.

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