Since its debut, the Cadillac XLR has met with overwhelming response from the press, public and dealers alike. The XLR’s dynamic design and advanced technology have brought a striking new presence to the automotive spectrum. A luxury roadster with performance car roots, XLR underscores its visual statement with a performance-oriented chassis and structure, and a 4.6L Northstar V-8 VVT (variable valve timing) rear-wheel drive engine. This combination makes it the lightest, most powerful vehicle in its class.
Únder its skin, the XLR’s harmonious blend of technologies and materials add pleasure, not complexity, to the driving experience. These include a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, Magnetic Ride Control, StabiliTrak, heated and cooled seats, Keyless Access with push-button start and DVD navigation and entertainment.
For 2006, an adaptive forward lighting system, a first-time application on a Cadillac, improves night driving vision. The system automatically adjusts headlamp direction up to 15 degrees. Vehicle speed and §teering wheel angle input determine how fast and how far to turn the headlamps.
In addition, XM Satellite Radio with hidden antenna is now a standard feature on all 2006 XLR models. The center stack includes more wood detail in the areas surrounding the CD opening and HVAC. Gold Mist and Infrared exterior paint colors replace Satin Nickel and Crimson Pearl.
The XLR is a contemporary expression of Cadillac’s heritage of landmark design and advanced technology. Inspired by §téälth fighter design, XLR takes the ongoing product-driven resurgence of Cadillac – led by Escalade and CTS – to an entirely new level.
Bold and edgy, yet elegant and refined, the XLR’s linear, crisp look creates a dramatic presence and modern icon for luxury and performance, yet it pays tribute to the marque’s rich history. The XLR’s strong grille, for example, harkens back to Cadillac’s heritage but expresses itself in a new way. The vertical headlamps, on the other hand, express the division’s current design philosophy.
The XLR offers the ultimate convenience of a retractable hard top. By pushing and holding a single button, the XLR can convert from coupe to open roadster in less than 30 seconds. The top is made of aluminum and magnesium with composite exterior panels, a heated glass backlight and glass rear-quarter windows.
The interior design epitomizes contemporary luxury. Únique eucalyptus wood in light or dark tones, combined with striking aluminum accents, provide a luxurious and inviting environment. The gauges are designed in conjunction with Italian luxury brand Bvlgari.
The XLR’s Northstar 4.6L V-8 VVT is a 90-degree, DOHC, four-valves-per-cylinder engine featuring an aluminum block and cylinder heads, and a valvetrain configuration with roller finger followers. It generates 320 horsepower (239 kw) and 310 lb.-ft. (420 Nm) of torque.
The engine also features continuously variable valve timing (VVT); electronically controlled, hydraulically actuated intake and exhaust cam phasers on all four camshafts for extra control; electronic throttle control (ETC); low restriction intake and exhaust manifolds and cylinder head ports; close coupled catalytic converters mounted directly adjacent to the exhaust manifolds; and an air induction system designed for enhanced capacity and noise attenuation.
The V-8 offers smooth, refined performance throughout its entire operating range. It is quiet, yet tuned to give the driver feedback from the environment. It operates cleanly and efficiently, with excellent reliability and durability. The XLR was the first longitudinal application for the 4.6L Northstar V-8.
The V-8 is mated to the Hydra-Matic 5L50-E five-speed automatic transmission. Developed to manage the high torque and horsepower of the engine, it is one of the most technologically advanced five-speed transmissions in the industry. It offers three performance features normally found individually on various high-performance luxury sport sedans: driver shift control, performance algorithm shifting and performance algorithm liftfoot.
Another advantage of Cadillac’s roadster not shared by the competition is its rear-mounted transmission. This helps give the XLR a virtual 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution for superior balance, as well as providing occupants with unusually roomy footwell space.
Compared to the Mercedes-Benz SL500, Jaguar XK8 and Lexus SC430, the XLR is not only the lightest vehicle at approximately 3,650 pounds (1,656 kg), but it also boasts the longest wheelbase, widest track, lowest height and most horsepower.
Structure and suspension
The story starts with the XLR’s backbone, upon which the car’s dynamic capabilities depend. It is based on GM’s unique, patented performance car structure, which uses steel hydroformed perimeter frame rails, an enclosed structural ‘tunnel,’ an aluminum cockpit configuration and balsa-cored composite floors. Providing rigidity without bulk, and with exceptional resistance to torsional and bending forces, this architecture is the basis for the XLR’s outstanding ride and handling characteristics.
The suspension system makes the XLR a true luxury roadster with the handling qualities of a performance car. To this end, the design uses double wishbones at each corner, combined with transverse-mounted, composite leaf springs front and rear. The system is designed to maintain firm control over wheel motion, while delivering a composed and compliant ride quality. The XLR achieves a maximum lateral G-force of more than 0.9. It runs on Michelin ZP tires with advanced run-flat technology that eliminates the need for a spare and provides outstanding overall tire performance.
Magnetic Ride Control
The XLR also is one of the world’s first vehicles to be equipped with Magnetic Ride Control – electronically controlled, magnetic-fluid based real-time damping. The system uses four wheel-to-body displacement sensors to measure wheel motion over the road surface and responds by adjusting the shock damping at speeds approaching one millisecond. That’s five times faster than previous real-time damping systems. The secret is the magneto-rheological fluid contained in its dampers, replacing traditional mechanical valves. Suspended in this fluid are tiny iron particles that respond to an electromagnetic charge.
Adaptive cruise control
The XLR has adaptive cruise control (ACC). While not a substitute for full driver attention, this system greatly expands the convenience of cruise control. ACC uses a radar sensor mounted at the front of the car to detect objects in its path. If the lane ahead is clear, the system will maintain the set speed, just like conventional cruise control. When a vehicle is detected in the same lane in front of the car, the system will adjust vehicle speed to help maintain a constant following distance, set by the driver.
Comfort and convenience
One of the XLR’s foremost convenience features is Keyless Access. Keyless Access makes XLR a truly ‘keyless’ car. A driver can simply keep the fob in a pocket or purse to operate the doors, trunk and ignition. The fob communicates with the XLR’s computer control system via radio antennas under the car’s bodywork. The system is intuitive and hassle free.
The XLR’s seats are both heated and cooled in the back and the cushion. A 7-inch (178-mm) color touch screen mounted in the upper center console gives driver and passenger access to DVD navigation; a nine-speaker world-class Bose audio system with a six-CD in-dash changer and digital signal processing modes; XM Satellite Radio (Ú.S. and Canada), and DVD entertainment (available in Park position only). The XLR also is equipped with OnStar and a head-up display that projects key driver information onto the windshield.
All 2006 Cadillac owners will receive 12 months of complimentary access to Cadillac Virtual Advisor by OnStar. Cadillac Virtual Advisor service begins at activation of OnStar Hands-Free Calling. Cadillac Virtual Advisor provides three-day weather forecasts and traffic reports within pre-selected ranges of 5, 10 or 15 miles of the vehicle’s location in most major markets. Cadillac Virtual Advisor also monitors traffic for up to three personalized routes and reports information on up to 10 selected stocks on the DJI and NASDAQ markets – all at the touch of a single button.
OnStar-equipped XLR models will feature OnStar dual-mode (analog-digital) equipment. OnStar’s digital equipment also includes enhanced hands-free voice recognition capabilities including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the Únited States and Canada . Úsing the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Hands-Free Calling that allows drivers to make and receive voice-activated phone calls using an externally mounted antenna for greater reception.
Also available is XM Satellite Radio. XM Satellite Radio provides more than 120 coast-to-coast, digital-quality channels of original commercial-free music and premier news, sports and talk as well as advanced traffic and weather information for select major metropolitan areas nationwide. Consumers can subscribe to the basic service for $12.99 a month. In addition, GM customers with GMAC financing can choose to include the XM subscription in their car payments.
Price this car:
MSRP: $97,485 – $97,485
Invoice: $86,274 – $86,274
Source: Cadillac Press Release