The two-seat Cadillac XLR 0-60 roadster, for 6 years, had become the company’s flagship vehicle. Even though the roadster shared the similar platform as the contemporary Corvette, the XLR was not merely a case of corporate badge engineering. Instead of a hard-edged sports car, it was more likely a grand touring machine, considering how the responses of the Caddy were comfortably refined and softer. That was also due to the use of different V8 engine configuration under the hood between XLR and Corvette.
Apart from that, Cadillac XLR remained as a full luxury two-seater due to the use of lightweight components as part of its construction. Components such as composite body panels and aluminum suspension pieces maintained the lightweight body configuration. Apart from that, there was also the standard adaptive suspension system named as Magnetic Ride Control to firm up or soften the suspension automatically based on driving conditions. That ensured the generally responsive and smooth maneuvers. The sophisticated presence was due to the combination of angular, bold styling outside in addition to the distinguished eucalyptus-wood cockpit accents. Further, the power-retractable hardtop roof added the comfort and security of a coupe as the top was raised.
Even so, the XLR roadster wasn’t quite the standard for its class. While it’s true that the styling and Caddy badge might appeal to those who looked for something different, the XLR was short in terms of interior detailing and maximum performance. Those lacks were even more obvious when XLR was compared to the similarly priced rivals from Great Britain and Germany. The difference in price between XLR and fully loaded Corvette wasn’t that significant either.
Offered within the 2004 and 2009 time period, the XLR actually came with all of the luxury features many buyers could expect, such as 18-inch alloy wheels with run-flat tires, adaptive cruise control, adaptive xenon HID headlights, a navigation system, and more. Changes were minimal throughout the model’s run as well, with the most notable upgrade was when the 5-speed automatic transmission was swapped with a 6-speed for 2007 model year and color-themed offered for special editions in the latter few years.
Under the hood, the XLR was equipped with a 4.6L V6, allowing the roadster turned into a quite performer. It sprinted in less than 6 seconds from 0 to 60 mph, but it was still not a sports car, after all. Even though the acceleration was certainly quick, the Cadillac XLR 0-60 wasn’t as forceful as Corvette.