Last post on Jun 12, 2009 at 11:44 AM
You are in the Cadillac XLR and XLR-V
What is this discussion about?
Cadillac XLR-V, Cadillac XLR, Coupe, Convertible
#121 of 202 Re: XLR V [213xlrv]
Apr 16, 2006 (9:49 pm)
First off just because the CTS-V uses a truck-grade pushrod V8 doesnít mean the V10 in the M5 is overteched. People buy expensive cars for refinement as well as performance and the CTS-V is short on both when it comes to a car like the M5. BTW, the superior performance of the M5 isnít ďsmallĒ in the least. The stats donít lie and the CTS-V canít even keep a M5 in sight. Period. People donít buy cars like the M5 or CTS-V for ferry around passengers, they buy them for increased performance otherwise they can buy a regular CTS or 5-Series. I donít see what is so hard to understand about this. The M5 is a superior sports sedan and no amount of spin will change that. All this garble about useable power, weight, driverís ability, is nothing but spin and excuses and yet you canít deny that the M5 outperforms the CTS-V in any test of performance you can come up with.
I have never seem so much written in order to spin/cover up the obvious superiority of the BMW M5, yet in the end the CTS-V is on the trailer.
Feel free to speculate about Cadillac putting a 1000000hp engine in the CTS-V, but until they do all that is just that, speculation.
The STS is certainly sportier and perceived as harsher by Cadillac's legacy customers than a DTS. They will prefer the DTS because it's for them, not me. But the only cars we're discussing as performance cars on Cadillac's side are Vs. Yeah, the intent is to sell both cars and in fact, sales of DTS+STS last year exceeded STS+leftover old DeVille before that. The mix of sales settled into a market-driven STS and DTS proportions that trimmed STS for a year when the larger new car was introduced. So what? Now the task is to grow 2006 over 2005 for both cars.
No way, driven the STS and previous Devilles, uncles had Cadillacs for years and I've driven the new STS a few times. That is nothing but an excuse there unless the DTS got softer from previous generations, which I doubt since they're calling it a DTS now. Fact is that the STS is dropping in only its second year on the market, don't care who thinks it rides which way or whatever, sales are sales at the end of the day and Cadillac needs them in order to prop up a dying GM. The fact that they can't sell both cars without one having so much effect on the other (per your excuse) says a lot about Cadillac. If Cadillac was serious about becoming something agin the FWD DTS needs to go or be redesign to bring it up to date with other large luxury cars.
None of these cars ARE sports cars. They are sporting cars. And weight is enemy to sporting characteristics as well as sensation, which is what sports cars deliver and sports sedans reach for. "Managed" weight might get to the numbers but still erodes the experience. There's no possible advantage to it. An extra quarter ton of useless bulk in a same-purpose, same-function, similar-spec performance car is bad, plain and simple. There's no way to disguise it. It infects everything from the car's economics to the sense of its behavior when changing direction. Just because grip can be engineered in doesn't make 500 pounds extra acceptable.
The contradictions here are amazing. One minute these are not sports cars yet weight is a problem. You're right they aren't sports cars which is they the Cadillac's being lighter doesn't help them when they're trimmed in cheapo materials which is something that luxury car buyers care more about than flinging around a 100K car.
You German car apologists and aficionados can't have it both ways. When Detroit's cars were heavy they were criticized mercilessly for their bulk. Now, the Germans are the ones packing on tubby lard and it's OK? Five-hundred pounds -- CTS-V to M5 and XLR-V to SL55. There is no consideration in which an extra quarter ton in mass is preferable in a similar-performing and same-function car that is already heavy due to luxury features. The XLR-V, based on a box-tube-frame/torque-tube, true sports car structure and chassis, is much more advanced in its vehicle engineering thinking than the tired, old-school, fat unibody SL. Remember when unibodies were supposed to be lighter? Now an aluminum bodied Audi weighs more than a steel body-on-frame Crown Vic and about the same as a Town Car.
Your comparision doesn't have any basis because these German cars you're trying to say are to heavy can easily outperform the Cadillacs you're trying to compare them with and secondly that American junk you're talking about couldn't get out of its own way and had the build of a boxcar. Big difference compared to today's cars. I'll give you that the A8 should be lighter considering its construction, but compared to Lincoln Town Car? Don't be ridiculous. The Audi's interior furnishings alone embarrase anything from any American car company and it also has AWD which adds weight not to mention it is just a superior car.
#122 of 202 Re: XLR V [213xlrv]
Apr 16, 2006 (9:52 pm)
I don't think I have ever said in any of this exchange that Cadillac buyers are in general better informed than others. You've said I said it, but I didn't. I did point out that most MB/BMW buyers are brand seekers who know little about their cars, and that's true.
And I'm saying that you don't have any way of knowing this beyond your own experience with them so you don't know what the percentage is and that more importantly you have know way of knowing that Cadillac buyers are any more intelligent.
I've said brand-seeking buyers are mindless about product, and this is true across the board. I've also said this is true for MB and BMW buyers OUTSIDE of their much smaller core aficionado constituency that actually does know about their cars. This latter is a small group and I am not concerned with them. They bought BMWs specifically for BMW's mix of attributes and they consciously don't care about the downsides. No issue there. I haven't said at any time that Cadillac buyers are more technically astute. You've injected that claim. I perhaps only implied that I am and more people should be.
Ok, I'll go with this but you still don't know how large that group of MB/BMW buyers are that know about their products. Since there is no way to measure this why bring it up? It's pointless.
#123 of 202 Re: XLR V [xlrguy]
Apr 16, 2006 (10:03 pm)
Well you're talking about a whole different issue, I can certainly understand that if you've been burned by Mercedes why you would feel that way. However reliability isn't what was being debated here. Do I think Mercedes has a problem in that area? For sure. No argument from me there.
I will not dwell on this point any more, but I would like you to note that MB is now far behind the latest upstarts (given that MB likes to state that they are the oldest car manufacturer in the world) from Korea when it comes to quality, warranty, value, and customer loyalty.
I won't dwell on it either, but Korean cars don't even come close to MB in other areas. A better warranty is needed because everyone remember the junk they've built in the past and the driving experience isn't even up to Japanese levels let alone anything from Germany. Don't get into an accident in a Korean car either, nothing but tins cans designed to get 5-stars in government and nothing more. The only thing "quality" about a Korean car is the fine way they have in working plastiwood and placing well in relibility surveys...while they deliver a sup-par driving experience and tin-can build intergrity.
You have consistently defended the inexorable and inexcusable engineering excess (primarily read that as obesity)of the SL(the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over with the expectation that something will change). I would like you to turn your attention to the latest Business Week, and to the report on how Boeing is (my term,"kicking Airbus's ass") by demonstrating the superiority of design utilizing the advantages of light weight provided by using composites in the design. The design wins are overwhelming, and it must be noted that Cadillac has chosen similar design goals.
And others have defended similar flaws in the XLR and even have gone so far to completely disregard them when everyone else seems them. Thats the definition of insanity, you know the "they're all making it up" condition.
There is nothing "inexorable and inexcusable" about the SL's engineering. That is absurd and really a baseless claim unless you know the complete interworkings of the car. You seem to have also forgotten that the SL isn't a sports car its a GT cars as is the XLR. Now if you found the XLR to be more competent (as at least one other here) then good for you. Problem is that the things you call "inexorable and inexcusable" are what make the SL the class leader and until cars like the XLR become more well rounded they'll forever play second fiddle. I hardly think the average buyer in this class cares about the weight of the car compared to the interior, features, comfort and overall experience (not just handling) and besides it isn't like the SL can't handle. Others here will argue that XLR can outhandle the SL500, but that isn't what the professionals say. Can't comment on the SL55 vs the XLR-V, haven't driven either.
Seems like you're willing to excuse anything Cadillac does for whatever reason when I find the interior of the XLR to be "inexorable and inexcusable" for its price as well as its looks, IMO.
Apr 19, 2006 (11:16 am)
Merc1 says "the CTS-V canít even keep a M5 in sight. Period." I thought about that and decided to look at Road and Track's Summary from December 2005 that was lying on the floor. M5:0-60 is 4.8 seconds, 0-100 is 11.3 seconds, the 1/4 mile is 13.3108.5, top speed is 155 MPH, 60-0 is 116 feet, 100-0 is 203 feet, the slalom was 66.4 MPH, and the observed gas mileage was 18.2 MPG. The CTS-V has the following stats to compare:5.0, 11.4, 13.4109, 163, 115, 202, 66.0, and 17.1. I simply do not see the huge performance disparity that you quote. The cars seem very well matched to me, performance wise. The comment about the "truck engine" is one of the most false statements I have ever heard. These forums are good for that though. Just make a statement - that makes it true.
#125 of 202 Re: XLR V [merc1]
Apr 20, 2006 (8:03 pm)
Some things are just so lame it makes you wonder. Like calling the LS2 V8 "truck grade" because it has pushrods. Even the Euro-weenie car press doesn't think the LS2/LS7 are anything less than world class engines with huge character specific to them. So we'll ignore that bit of nonsense.
A business acquaintence needed a ride from the airport yesterday. He drives an SL55, which has caused him no end of glitch torture. Anyway, he got in my XLR-v, not being familiar with the car. After a couple of miles, his first comment about the car was "What the hell is this? It feels way more nimble than my SL55." His second comment, looking around the interior was, "This is a Cadillac? They did a beautiful job on this car!" He agreed with me that the carpet should be upgraded.
Premium gasoline hit $3.32 last night in SoCal. I had a late business dinner and then had to drive from Orange County back to L.A. I filled up before I left. 71 miles of night freeway driving, average speed of 82 mph, my gas mileage was 25.2 mpg. Not bad for a 443hp car with a juice drive.
I've had the car 2 months as of today, 3000 miles. Like high-end audio gear and new guitars, the car benefits from break-in, so new owners should be patient about little extraneous noises. They all emanate from the top. Little chatters on rough pavement caused by glass-to-weatherseal interfaces and new seal-to-seal interfaces. I've heard the same thing from new SLs and Lexi too. But at about 6 weeks suddenly the seams settle in and the car quiets down. During this time if you need any assurance that the car is rock solid, put the top down and you'll hear that nothing moves that isn't supposed to.
Another thing is that people just love this car. It gets nothing but favorable attention and response. The German luxury brand mindset has attracted so much social arrogance to it that many people resent a Porsche, BMW or Merc. Not this car. Like a Mustang, a Mini, a Ford GT, everyone has a soft spot for it. It is unifying rather than polarizing. Drivers of Bentleys, slammed Acuras, Mustang GTs, BMWs, Mercs, F150s, Mini Coopers and Ferraris give the car smiles and thumbs-up. The real arbiters of street cred, the Latino valet crowd, love this machine. I get more favorable lot position for the XLR-v than anything short of a Maranello or Gallardo.
Weight is a problem in any car with sporting intentions. 500 lbs extra in the Merc! Ridiculous. Even the guy yesterday had to observe, "Makes my SL feel positively fat." Yeah. Looks it too. Side by side, the SL just looks old and in the way. Anyway, if you can't understand how deleterious a surplus quarter ton is to the character of a 2 seat GT with performance aspirations, I suppose no words will move the ball upfield.
Not one of those larded up German cars "easily" outperforms its V series match. As another poster already illustrated, the vast differences you claim are fiction. In either car, the superior driver wins.
My point about Audi vs Town Car mass was not to compare the cars but to point out that to make an aluminum car as heavy as a body-on-frame all steel behemoth is truly a reflection of overengineering run amok. It's just a shame so many clueless brand seekers don't have the sense to reject this approach. I recognize the missing 500 lbs. in my XLR-v in the arc of every turn.
#126 of 202 Re: XLR V [213xlrv]
Apr 21, 2006 (9:38 am)
Nice update on the XLR-v. I'd be pleased w/ 25+mpg as you describe. Premium here in Boston (home of the future World Champion Red Sox) has well crested $3/gallon. My TL is consistently returning 23 mpg in mixed driving that averages around 30mph. I'd guess at an avg. of 82 I'd get ~30mpg.
Accepting the fact that interior beauty/quality is in the eye of the beholder, I thought I'd just paraphrase what I found to be a humorous quote from Bob Lutz. I believe it was printed in Autoweek some time back and Lutz was responding to the "cheap" interior materials used in the CTS. To paraphrase, "The materials we used are actually of high quality and expensive. We just made them look cheap..." Not sure if it was tongue-in-cheek or an admission of guilt!
Good to see this thread active. I appreciate the XLR updates. And enjoy the Phil/Merc banter...
#127 of 202 Re: XLR V [laurasdada]
Apr 22, 2006 (11:34 am)
Let's talk about interior materials for a moment, since the XLR/XLR-v seem to take flak on this. There was a time when GM interior plastics were cheap and flimsy. At Chrysler they still are. Ford was the first domestic manufacturer to seriously address this problem. But no more. I think Lutz' comment was disarming and acknowledgment that in the CTS GM hadn't come quite far enough in perception of quality. The materials are fine and reflect a specific techie aesthetic. However, they don't conform to a tactile and visual aesthetic championed by the Euro makers and mimicked by the Japanese, and to some extent by Ford. However, unlike many European and Japanese car interiors, I expect the CTS-v and XLR-v interiors to be quite durable.
As one who has traveled extensively for business, I've always been amused by the premium perception of Mercedes and BMW brand status here in the US. Here, there are no cloth-seats in a Mercedes. But land in an airport in Germany or Belgium, for instance, and slip into a clattering Mercedes E or BMW 5 scummy rattlebox with cloth seats and a stick, and you see how little they differ from "ordinary" cars. You never look at a Mercedes as a status brand again, when you come back home. I've seen these cars much worse for wear than a 250,000 mile Crown Vic in New York. The interior plastics to me have appeared to wear poorly, not matching the durability of many high-mileage American interiors of late.
Then of course, here in L.A. there are a gazillion used German cars with years and miles piled up on them, up and down Lincoln Boulevard. Take a look in some of those cars and you'll be disabused of any notion that BMW, Mercedes, Audi interiors are something special beyond the first 2 years of their life.
As Ford and GM pull back from fleet sales to rental car companies, Toyota is now diluting their brand with godawful strippers at the airports. But when you do get a Chevy or a Cadillac, its interior is invariably less worn than a Toyota's. It's shocking sometimes how quickly a Toyota interior loses its luster from rental abuse, when the odo reads 3,000 miles.
Are German car interiors "better"? Well, they have developed a specific tactile character for touch satisfaction and many people have embraced that soft-touch, sanded finish as a reference for luxury. However, it has become light-soaking and boring, and not particularly durable based on what I see when time and miles accumulate.
But in a market where many US buyers of luxury cars like the XLR-v and SL lease for short terms or buy them outright for brief inclusion in the family fleet, the initial owner only has perhaps a 2 year perspective on the interior or the rest of the car. The Cadillac techie interior aesthetic is a departure from the superficial coddled norm established by the Euro makers. That introduces friction for market acceptance at the same time it lubricates acceptance by people looking for a fresh alternative. Based on the materials I see in the CTS-v, I think that interior will show very little wear in 4 years, with the possible exception of the suede inserts on the seat upholstery, and even that might surprise me. For a real step up, you'd bypass the poseur Germans and go straight to Maserati, if interiors are foremost of your car criteria.
#128 of 202 Re: [skeezix]
May 08, 2006 (1:53 am)
Are you looking at the new M5 or the old one? Big difference. The new M5 will scorch a CTS-V, period.
#130 of 202 Re: XLR thoughts [riceowls]
May 08, 2006 (9:05 am)
I am seriously shopping for a hardtop convertible. I've pretty much narrowed it down to the SLK and the XLR. My hsb likes the XLR but I'm not convinced yet (it's my car). I was immediately impressed with the XLR styling but also love the new SLK look.
I'm concerned about the lack of trunk room in the XLR. I look forward to long weekend drives but need room for at least small luggage. When I examined the XLR with the top down there seemed to be no trunk space at all. Am I wrong?
From the Edmund's consumer feedback it seems the SLK has some trunk space with the top down. I still need a looksee on this car.
I'm also concerned with the price difference. Is the XLR worth the additional funds compared to the SLK?
Would love to hear some feedback.