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.]