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Monday, July 28, 2008

Sexy 2008 Cadillac XLR-V

By: Todd Jensen, Autotropolis Editor -

2008 Cadillac XLR-V Overview

The 2008 Cadillac XLR-V is a 2-door, 2-passenger hard-top convertible available in a single trim for 2008. The XLR-V is part of the V-series cars, which includes the 2008Cadillac STS-V and the upcoming 2009 Cadillac CTS-V. As with all V-series cars, the XLR-V is equipped with a supercharged engine. In the case of the XLR-V, this is a 4.4L V8 producing 443-horsepower.

This small but potent V8 is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. Together, these two pieces of essential equipment allow for 14-mpg city and 21-mpg on the highway. Stylistically, what you get in 2008 is much like what you got in 2007. The 2008 model features the same hard-edge styling as was first seen in the 1999 Cadillac Evoq concept car. In fact, XLR-V is the production Cadillac that most resembles the much celebrated Evoq. The 2008 Cadillac XLR-V is another vehicle that takes the top honors in a number of our top 10 categories. While it may excel in the high-dollar slots, the Cadillac XLR-V is a bit too rarefied to tip into our categories aimed at the buyers who may not want to shell out 100-grand for their daily driver.

2008 Cadillac XLR-V Technology

Quickness, technology and luxury are the hallmarks of the 2008 Cadillac XLR-V. The car can do zero to 60-mph in a blistering 4.6-seconds. Not bad for 443-horsepower pushing a 3,810 pound car. That's the quickness part in a nutshell. The technology is a little more complicated. I remember back in the day as a kid reading "blueprints" for the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 Constitution-class cruiser. Yep, that's a Star Trek reference. Anyway, the things I read on those "blueprints" sounded an awful lot like the features list on the XLR-V. The car boasts technology from stem to stern, quite literally. First off, there is the magnetic ride control system that uses magneto-rheological fluid-based actuators to control wheel and body motion. What this means in English is the XLR-V has a suspension system that can react within one millisecond. This means the XLR-V's suspension can adjust up to 1,000 times per second. This system underpins the all-speed traction control, StabiliTrak(R) vehicle stability control, auto-release parking brake and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes. The transmission? It's a 6-speed. No, it's not that simple. It's a 6-speed electronically controlled adaptive, manually interactive automatic transmission with overdrive. All we need is Scotty at the controls and we are ready to go.

64-Miles of Headroom

Inside the car, the steering column has more trick features than many cars have in their entire bodies. It alone features automatic tilt-away, memory column settings, power telescopic movement, power tilt, and a heated steering wheel. This all provides control over the variable assist steering system. And the luxury? The XLR-V is Cadillac's most expensive vehicle. What more need be said? Ok, maybe a little more needs said. Once you squeeze yourself behind the wheel of this two-seater you will have to spend a few minutes figuring out how to adjust the 8-way power driver's seat. Take your time, they are heated and cooled for your comfort. The passenger will have to do the same.

Headroom is a mixed bag. There is only 37.6-inches of headroom with the power convertible hard-up in the up position. That's head-bumping territory for some drivers. Headroom increases to roughly 64-miles with the top down. This improved headroom should suit most drivers.

Buyers also get all of the standard luxury and convenience tidbits they have come to demand from a car priced in the $100,000 territory. There is cruise control, voice activated navigation system, voice activated audio system, automatic and adaptive headlights, fog lights, OnStar(R) telematics system with 12-months service, an AM/FM radio with Bose(R) audio system with 9 speakers, 6-disc CD changer, XM(R) satellite radio, GPS, DVD navigation with 6.5-inch touch screen, and automatic climate control. Climate controls are split right down the center of the car, so the driver and passenger can enjoy different settings. And finally, a 4-color heads-up display keeps eyeballs on the road. Other than the top-up headroom and the vacation-home price, our only complaints would be in the design of the interior. The interior is refined, but not particularly inspired when compared to the interiors of other luxury sports cars. The angular hard-edged look was carried over into the interior of the XLR-V, which gives the soft colors and woodgrain trim a somewhat stiff feeling.

2008 Cadillac XLR-V Safety Features

The 2008 Cadillac XLR-V has not been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, the XLR-V exhibits a full complement of safety features, as seen below.

Standard safety equipment includes:

• Brakes, performance 4-wheel antilock, 4-wheel disc
• Air bags, dual-stage frontal and side-impact, driver and right-front passenger with Passenger Sensing System (side-impact air bags include head and thorax protection) (Always use safety belts and the correct child restraints for your child's age and size. Even in vehicles equipped with air bags and the Passenger Sensing System, children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat. Never place a rear-facing infant restraint in the front seat of any vehicle equipped with an active frontal air bag. See the vehicles Owners Manual and child safety seat instructions for more safety information.)
• Safety belts, 3-point, driver and right-front passenger with pretensioners and child restraint provisions
• Traction control, all-speed, electronic
• StabiliTrak, 4-channel electronic vehicle stability enhancement system
• Daytime Running Lamps