Cadillac is achieving lots of firsts with its 2006 lineup of V-series performance vehicles. The STS-V sedan is the most powerful Cadillac ever produced, while the XLR-V hardtop convertible is the quickest Caddy ever sold to the public. The XLR-V is also recognized as the first domestic car to join Michael Jordan’s fleet of envied exotic cars. The former NBA star recently took delivery of the first retail Cadillac XLR-V.
Despite a $100,000 price tag, the extremely tight supply of 2006 Cadillac XLR-Vs is expected to be snapped up quickly.
Power for the 2006 Cadillac XLR-V comes from a Northstar 4.4-liter, 32-valve, dual overhead cam, supercharged V8 pushing 443 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 414 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,900 rpm. A six-speed automatic with a manual mode is the only available transmission.
Thanks to its supercharged engine and upgraded components, zero to 60 mph acceleration is achieved in only 4.6 seconds, making the 2006 XLR-V the fastest production model ever produced by Cadillac. Furthermore, lateral acceleration of 0.94 g’s rivals supercars costing thousands more, body roll has been cut by 13 percent, and a 12-percent bump in steering response helps out in those quick S curves. Clearly, going fast in a straight line is only one of this Caddy’s tricks.
Under the 2006 Cadillac XLR-V’s skin is a performance-tuned suspension with double wishbones and stabilizer bars front and rear, while a Magnasteer speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering system keeps the driver connected to the road.
Among the 2006 Cadillac XLR-V’s standard features are heated and cooled power seats, a nine-speaker Bose surround sound system, XM satellite radio, a touch-screen navigation system, seat-mounted side airbags, and a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel.
High-quality materials decorate the 2006 Cadillac XLR-V’s interior, such as hand-stitched leather and suede seats, and genuine wood applied to the steering wheel, door inserts, shift knob, and center console. Leather is stitched throughout the interior, including the roll bars, the dash, the center armrest, and the doors. Soft, matte plastics are used sparingly, and metal alloy has been added to the steering wheel spokes, the instrument panel, and the door panels.
Cadillac has avoided festooning its performance lineup with oversized spoilers, exaggerated body kits, and various go-fast visual tweaks. Instead, the 2006 XLR-V features understated chrome “Supercharged” and “V” badges on the flanks, a chrome mesh grille above and below the bumper, and attractive 19-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels that replace the standard XLR’s 18s. The hood has a center dome making room for the supercharger, and quad chrome tailpipes are tucked beneath the center of the rear bumper.
Production of the 2006 Cadillac XLR-V will be extremely limited, numbering less than 1,000 examples annually. The XLR is built alongside the Chevrolet Corvette in GM’s Bowling Green, Kentucky assembly plant.
Purchasing a 2006 Cadillac XLR-V requires some serious cash to cover the $94,485 base price, $815 for destination charges, and $1,700 to Uncle Sam in the form of a gas guzzler tax. Put it all together and the total comes out to a clean and neat $100,000. That’s roughly $25,000 more than the regular XLR, a comparatively simple ride lacking the V’s stout powertrain, hand-crafted leather interior, tasteful visual tweaks, and upgraded suspension, steering, and brake components.
The 2006 Cadillac XLR-V fails to impress in terms of cargo capacity. Consider that with the top up, the long but shallow trunk provides 11.6 cubic-feet of cargo room, but space shrinks to 4.4 cubic-feet with the top stowed. But, really, who buys a $100,000 performance convertible for weekly runs to the local megastore in search of provisions for a family of eight? Chances are, not many, so room for an overnight bag should be enough for most.
Like the base XLR, the V-series version exists as a two-passenger coupe with a retractable hardtop that folds into the trunk area much like the new Volvo C70 and Mercedes-Benz SLK. With a push of the button on the center console, the roof requires a leisurely 29 seconds to lower and 28 seconds to raise (not counting the four seconds it takes to power up the side windows).
Hah! Gotcha. Besides the interior and exterior color choices, the 2006 Cadillac XLR-V order sheet is devoid of any options, meaning everything from the heated and cooled leather seats to the touch-screen navigation system is standard.