Cadillac XLR

Cadillac XLR
Manufacturer Cadillac (General Motors)
Production 2003–2009
Model years 2004–2009
Assembly Bowling Green, Kentucky, U.S.
Body and chassis
Class Sports / Luxury roadster
Body style 2-door coupé convertible
Layout FR layout
Platform Y-body
Related Chevrolet Corvette (C6)
Engine 4.6 L Northstar V8
4.4 L Northstar Supercharged V8
  • 5-speed 5L50 transmission
  • 6-speed 6L80 automatic
Wheelbase 105.7 in (2685 mm)
Length 177.7 in (4514 mm)
Width 72.3 in (1836 mm)
Height 50.4 in (1280 mm)
Curb weight 3840 lb (1740 kg)
Predecessor Cadillac Allanté

The Cadillac XLR is a luxury roadster that was marketed by Cadillac, assembled in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Intended to be Cadillac's flagship sports car, the XLR was based on the Chevrolet Corvette's Y platform. The XLR featured its own unique styling, interior, and suspension, and power-retractable aluminum hardtop, along with the Cadillac Northstar engine. The XLR ended production after the 2009 model year.

The car was based on the all-new Chevrolet Corvette (C6)[1]

The XLR features as standard equipment heated and cooled leather seats, wood interior trim, remote keyless access, 18 inch alloy wheels, side airbags as well as a navigation, audio, and DVD system sharing a 7-inch dashboard screen. The retractable hardtop itself is constructed of aluminum, requires 6'-10½" of vertical clearance during retraction, and is manufactured by a supplier joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.[2]

The engine is Cadillac's 4.6 L Northstar tuned for 320 hp (238.6 kW; 324.4 PS), mated as of the 2007 model year to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The XLR was the second roadster offered by Cadillac in recent years. The first was the Cadillac Allanté, produced from 1987 to 1993.

The XLR was nominated for the North American Car of the Year award for 2004.The XLR replaced the Allante.


2009 XLR-V
Rear view

The Cadillac XLR-V, was a high-performance (443 HP) version of the XLR. Cadillac gave the public its first glimpse of the supercharged XLR-V in its Super Bowl commercial, which aired February 6, 2005. Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch was also awarded an XLR. The car was formally introduced at the 2005 New York International Auto Show.

The XLR-V used the same supercharged Northstar V8 as the STS-V, though output was down somewhat. For the XLR-V, the engine was certified by the SAE to produce 443 hp (330 kW) and 414 lb·ft (561 N·m). The supercharger and four intercooler cores were built into the intake manifold. A six-speed automatic transmission, larger brakes from the Z51 Corvette, and 19-inch wheels were used.

The XLR-V could accelerate to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.6 seconds according to Car and Driver's tests. The magazine also timed it at 11.3 seconds to 100 mph (161 km/h) and recorded a 13.0 second quarter mile at 110 mph (177 km/h). Its top speed was electronically limited to 155 mph (249 km/h).[3]

The XLR-V went on sale in the United States in early 2006 with a base price of $110,000. Pricing for the 2008 model started at $111,300; making it at the time one of General Motors' most expensive vehicles.


For model year 2009, the XLR added a new front fascia, new rear fascia, and chrome side fender vents. Inside, Alcantara - a suede-like microfiber material - was added for the headliner. The interior added new instrument cluster trim rings with revised graphics, (removal of the Bulgari logo) and new wood dashboard trims. Production of the XLR ended in the spring of 2009, with the final example completed on March 31.

MSRP - $86,000 [4]

National events

Starting with the National Corvette Homecoming 30th anniversary in 2011, the "cousin" of the Corvette the Cadillac XLR has been included in the celebration. The XLR and XLR-V were all built at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant and are welcomed at the annual homecoming at the NCH in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This includes special displays at the car shows, XLR seminars, XLR VIP appearances and inclusion in the vehicle parade and other activities.

XLR Owners had their own "10 year Anniversary Homecoming" at the Bowling Green Plant on 28 September 2013. Owners from across the country and Canada were in attendance for plant tours of the C7 production line, car cruises, and a Car show sponsored by the Bowling Green Assembly Corvette Club. XLR Owners and Corvette Owners have shared several national events/gatherings. In addition to the National Corvette Homecoming, you'll find XLRs in attendance at Corvette Funfest, Bloomington Gold, and Carmel Artomobilia.

Many owners also participate in an annual XLR "Rendezvous":

Rendezvous I - June 2006 - Albuquerque, NM

Rendezvous II - August 2007 - Bowling Green, KY

Rendezvous III - June 2008 - Bowling Green, KY

Rendezvous IV - May 2009 - San Antonio, TX

Rendezvous V - August 2010 - Las Vegas, NV

May 2010 - Colorado Springs, Co

April 2011 - Biltmore Estate/Charleston, SC

June 2012 - Gettysburg/Hershey, PA

Montana Rocket Run - August 2014 - Billings, MT

Yearly and Total American sales

The convertible was, initially, expected to be built at a rate of 5,000 to 7,000 vehicles a year.[5]

Calendar Year Total American sales
2003 875
2004[6] 3,665
2005 3,730
2006[7] 3,203
2007 1,750
2008[8] 1,250
2009[9] 787
2010[10] 188 [Leftover 2009-Titled Vehicles]
2011[11] 12 [Leftover 2009-Titled Vehicles]
Grand Total 15,460



  1. Delphi's Adaptive Cruise Control Technology Featured On Cadillac XLR
  2. "2004 Cadillac XLR". Motor Trend, Jack Keebler.
  3. Barry Winfield. "Road Test: Cadillac XLR-V". Car and Driver (March 2006).
  4. Riswick, James. "Edmunds InsideLine: Cadillac Killing XLR". Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  5. Ed Garsten (June 1, 2003). "Cadillac Revival at Crossroad". The Detroit News.
  7. "GM Media Online". 2007-01-03. Archived from the original on June 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
  8. "GM Media Online". 2009-01-05. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
  9. "Deliveries December 2009". Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  10. "General Motors 2010 Calendar Year Sales Up 21 Percent; December Sales Increase 16... - DETROIT, Jan. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/". Michigan: Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  11. "Sales: December 2011 - General Motors - Cheers & Gears: Forums". Retrieved 2012-02-26.


  • Holmes, Mark (2007). Ultimate Convertibles: Roofless Beauty. London: Kandour. pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-1-905741-62-5. 
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