• Mar 21, 2008
Click above for more high-res spy shots of the 2009 Cadillac XLR-V

Spy photographers have snapped the 2009 Cadillac XLR-V out testing, and it's clear that Caddy's premium hard-top convertible is getting a refresh for next year. Though the front end is obscured by covering, spy photog Chris Doane claims the grille is still wire mesh, and we presume it will be tweaked to look more like the cow-catcher grille on the CTS sedan. Also new are the vertical fender vents ahead of the doors. What we're really interested in knowing, however, is what's under the car's hood. Having heard it for himself, Doane suggests that it could be the carryover 4.4L Northstar V8 that's supercharged to make 443 hp, but our money is on the next XLR-V using the same LSA motor getting dropped into the next CTS-V. Producing 550 hp and 550 pound-feet of torque, the supercharged 6.2L small-block V8 would be a big boon for the drop-top Caddy. Without it, the XLR-V will not be much competition for convertibles from Mercedes-Benz and BMW.


[Source: Chris Doane for Brenda Priddy & Co.]


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  • 29 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm happy to see that Cadillac is working to make this car more appealing instead of giving up hope on it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      the previous xlr was fitted with the northstar due to physical size. the northstar has a shorter deck and allowed for the low placement and low hoodline (iirc).

      i am a car fanatic, but i don't see the need to have more than 400 hp in a street car, we are just asking for people to kill themselves (and potentially others).
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, in "All Corvettes Are Red", Dave Hill (Corvette program manager) explains the C5 Corvette was supposed to have a Northstar, but among other things it didn't fit because the Northstar is a lot taller than the LS1 due to being OHC. Using the LS1 let the Corvette have a lot lower hood.

        All the LSes are the same height except for the LSA, which gains an inch due to the supercharger.

        So I can't really believe the Northstar is less tall than the LSA, at least not significantly.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This would be an interesting soultion to spice up a car that has never been a success, but I think it is a pipe dream. The whole car would have to be re-engineered for to accept the engine and I doubt they are going to do that for a mid cycle update. But freshening the exterior which has always been a+ in my opinion, giving it a whole new look on the inside which has always been criticized and gviing and bunch more power would make it a player IMO.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Without it, the XLR-V will not be much competition for convertibles from Mercedes-Benz and BMW. "

      .....and With it, the XLR-V will not be much competition for convertibles from Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Oby

        Why are you always making dumb f***ing comments about the Big 3 you are an a**. I hate when haters get on to a blog aboutany of the big 3 manufacturers and start making idiotic remarks. With 550hp, better interior and a WAY better price tag than most of the competition Cadillac has the goods to compete with anyone in the world! Period! Oby and any naysayers for that matter need to stay off any big 3 news if they do not have any thing to say that is remotley constructive.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This car is a blast to drive and anyone that has one is pretty happy, but .5 seconds faster for a sixty year old guy won't make much of a differance in there life. I just hope the interior is as nice as my CTS then that same guy will have a bigger smile..........
        • 6 Years Ago
        based on what exactly? Oh yeah, nothing but the badge. The XLR handles as well as the SL and looks better to me. Its 400lb weight advantage definitely helps. A two door coupe shouldn't weigh over two tons.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you click on Oby's name and read his posts you'll discover that he's a terminated GM employee with a grudge. Would'nt surprise me if his real name is Ralph Nader.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Are you still producing that car? C'mon who would actually buy this over a german or japanese coupe? Cadillac reliability, horrible resale value and its not much of a desireable design... Hello? Anyone Home?
        • 6 Years Ago

        Don't talk Cadillac reliability unless you have first hand experience. I'm on my sixth Caddy, all bought new and all have given over 150K miles of trouble free driving. Currently driving an 06 STS-V with 22K, and my Daughter drives my 03 SLS with over 230K to and from college on weekends and the car has been flawless with the exception of the heated seats. She spilled her Pepsi on the switches.
        For those who say the interior of the Xlr is garbage, you've never been in one. The layout may not be to the liking of some, but is indeed high quality.
        And please don't equate the Xlr with the Allante. I have an 88 and recently bought a 93, both of which are great roadsters barring their flaws but nothing compared to the Xlr. Different time, different cars. If I had the room for one, it would be a top choice.
        As for a Japanese Coupe? Oh please. Your credibility just banzai'ed itself.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I would becuase I like the way it looks. Although I would also look at whatever BMW offers in the same price range. But Mercedes' convertables just don't do it for me style wise.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Lets see 550 hp vs. 500. 550 pound feet vs 383. Who's looking turdy now?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Is BMW putting a double clutch into the M-V10 powertrain? [M5 sedan, wagon M6 coupe, convertible]

        Yes, but the question is when.

        • 6 Years Ago
        550hp@8000, 400ft-lbs@6000. and revving to 8500 rpm.
        That is why BMW has 7 forward gears, even better with a double clutch transmission.
        • 6 Years Ago
        and who is to say BMW won't increase output of the V10 to 550hp, 400ft-lbs.

          • 6 Years Ago
          400 ft-lb at what rpm?

          There's more to it than just peak numbers, its the curve that counts
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not to mention that V10 is a hefty motor, weighing 585 lbs (as best as I can remember).

        Also I remember some video or article discussing the new CTS and how well the interior was received. I remember a GM guy saying "Wait till you see what we've done to the interior of the XLR." So we at least know the XLR is going to be upgraded to the level of the new CTS.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe GM will install the TVS supercharger. Raise output to 500hp, 500ft-lbs, and update the guts of the mid-rear transaxle to the 6L90 components.

      That would have less top end power, but more torque than the SL63AMG
      • 6 Years Ago
      Leave the XLR alone!!

      Why does it always have to be a Pissing Contests with you guys?

      Rant Over - Anywho! Is it just my eyes because it looks like the body work has been pumped-up some. Sorta like a Caddy is going for their own MB SL black series. If this is anywhere near level of the ZR-1 it will be a blast.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Glad its getting an engine upgrade to because the current XLR-V is under powered.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't think this will take BMW customers. If a BMW shoppper wants an ugly two door roadster or convertible there are a couple options right there in the BMW showroom. Either a 6 series or a Z4. Not the M6 tho. Being an M takes the ugly out of it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hopefully it's also getting a completely new interior of the style and quality the car deserves. It got eclipsed quicky by subsequent Cadillac releases like the Escalade, SRX-redo, DTS and CTS.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree. I hope much of the money is spent on the interior to bring it to CTS level or its going to go the way of the Allante.
      • 6 Years Ago
      New Interior, Plus the 6.2 liter LSA (Life Saving American) motor and it'll blast the SL63 all over the walls! M6 aint looking to good at this point either!
        • 6 Years Ago
        the M6 isnt looking to good, period. The XLR is definitely better looking than the 6 series any day of the week. The rear of the 6 is terrible and only BMW loving snobs would dare defend such an awkward design.
        • 6 Years Ago
        M6 would eat this turd for lunch.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A friend recently got an XLR, and I've always loved the exterior. But I didn't the like the interior in pictures.

      But having ridden in it now quite a bit, the interior is actually pretty good. It sure compares favorably to the SC430 interior (another friend has one of those). No, it's not as nice as the SL interior though.

      I think it could use some updating, like the NAV, but all in all the interior feels good and works well.
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