The XLR-V also gets additional suspension mods - for that real sporty-like feel, even with all that leather. It sits on 20-inch performance ties, 10-spoke wheels and has markings to identify it as the REAL mid-life crisis car. Buy one today, and divorce your wife tomorrow.
Debuted at the 2005 New York International Auto Show and due to lay a patch on the street for 2006, the Cadillac XLR-V has 440 horses coming from a 4.4-liter V8 engine,
What it is
Even though the current, regular-strength XLR isn't exactly flying out the door, there's always room for a V - and this one packs 440 horsepower under the hood. That, along with its edgy, macho look, is enough to turn heads at stop lights. After that, passersby may have trouble seeing the car as you flash by - the XLR-V goes 0-60 in under five seconds, something which GM is quite proud of, judging from the barrage of "under 5" marketing materials. What this car is, well, is gratuitous speed and power, look-at-me design and wanna-be-me interior.
Why it matters
The 2006 Cadillac XLR-V doesn't matter. Seriously. Except for those who want to be seen, and loudly, the Cadillac XLR-V is a car many will forget just as soon as the ink dries. And that's okay, because the XLR-V is a specialty car, not one that is tasked with selling in the thousands. It will join the ranks of other fun and feverish General Motors vehicles such as the Chevrolet SSR. One notable exception may be its Advanced Forward Lighting System that uses sensors to determine speed and steering wheel angle input in determining how fast and how far to swivel the headlamps for improved night driving vision in curves. Other than that, the XLR-V is notable only in that it goes down a straight line to 60 mph in under five seconds.
When you can buy it
Buy this car after your children have grown up and moved away. If that's now for you, then the XLR-V will be on sale in September, along with the Cadillac STS-V.
How much it costs
Donald Trump and Bob Lutz, vice chairman of GM, shake hands at the 2005 New York International Auto Show.
The slow old Cadillac XLR stickers for $72,000, and though pricing has not been announced, unconfirmed reports indicate that the 2006 Cadillac XLR-V will fetch in the neighborhood of $80,000. Not too bad for an extra letter and about a ranch full of horses.
How quick it is
As a member of the "under 5" club, the XLR-V is a fast little brute, thanks to a 4.4-liter supercharged V8 engine that produces an estimated 440 horsepower at 6,400 rpm, and 425 lb.-ft. torque at 3,600 rpm. GM claims that the engine is able to deliver 90 percent of its peak torque between 2,200 and 6,000 rpm. Other changes included an expansion of the vehicle's air induction system, increasing airflow almost 30 percent. Controlling all that power is a six-speed, rear-mounted automatic transmission, which features Performance Algorithm Shifting (PAS), Performance Algorithm Liftfoot (PAL), and Driver Shift Control (DSC). PAS lets the electronic transmission controller override the automatic gear selection during closed-throttle, high-lateral acceleration maneuvers, rapidly downshifting with the release of the torque converter clutch for smooth acceleration out of a turn. PAL minimizes transmission upshifts during closed-throttle driving and cornering to maintain the correct gear. DSC allows the driver to shift gears manually via the gearshift lever. Additional differences between the XLR and the XLR-V include larger brakes and wheels. Photo courtesy of Cadillac
What it looks like
Cadillac's XLR-V strikes an angry, aggressive pose just like other V-series cars, with wire mesh top and bottom grilles, a revised hood, ten-spoke aluminum wheels, V-Series badging, and stainless steel exhaust tips. Color choice includes Infra Red, Black Raven and Light Platinum. Inside, the 2006 Cadillac XLR-V offers fast luxury, with Zingana (ebony) wood on the shifter knob, cupholder area, steering wheel and center console. Black leather is the order of the day for seats and doors.
What we think
Bob Lutz, vice chairman of GM, Donald Trump of the Apprentice and the 2006 Cadillac XLR-V.
There is something to be said for going really fast in a two-seat luxury roadster. But there's also something more to be said for going really fast in a performance sedan, or a coupe. Fact it, while power is important - image is everything for cars like the XLR-V - an image better crafted cruising with a twenty something model riding shotgun. And while the XLR-V brings a certain windburn glow to the V-Series of cars, our prediction is that this special edition will not be nearly as special as the upcoming STS-V or the popular CTS-V.
440-horsepower supercharged Northstar V8 Engine
Rear-mounted six-speed automatic transmission
Adaptive Forward Lighting system
V -Series design cues throughout Photos by Erik Hanson and courtesy of General Motors