2006 XLR New Car Test Drive
The Cadillac XLR is the company's stunning flagship, a luxurious high-performance sports car based on the new Corvette.
Its styling is edgy, classy, powerful and distinctive and its interior is luxurious and attractive. Like the Mercedes SL, the XLR is a hardtop convertible: Press a button and the top goes up or down in 30 seconds. With the top up, the XLR looks like an edgy, powerful coupe, and it acts like one.
This is not your father's Cadillac. The XLR offers tenacious grip and excellent handling, benefits of a modified version of the superb 2005 Corvette chassis. It sounds sexy and delivers brilliant acceleration performance. Its 320-horsepower Northstar V8 is a modern, double overhead cam engine with variable-valve technology. The XLR is lighter and more powerful and quicker than the Mercedes SL500, Lexus SC430 and Jaguar XK8. Yet it's smooth, quiet and pleasant when cruising, top up or top down.
The Cadillac XLR ($75,835) comes one way, with a convertible hard top. Its 4.6-liter V8 engine is mated to Cadillac's newest five-speed automatic transmission. (A manual transmission is not available.)
XM Satellite Radio is the only option ($325). The list of standard equipment is long: side-impact airbags, a nine-speaker Bose sound system, DVD navigation and video, StabiliTrak electronic stability control, radar-controlled adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and push-button start, a head-up display, and OnStar, the highway assistance service featuring the helpful voices of genuine human beings beamed to the car by satellite.