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
#56 of 202 Re: XLR V [akangl]
Mar 08, 2006 (10:19 am)
The roof dumping rainwater into the trunk?
Sounds like my '98 Corvette with Targa top. During a rainstorm, I had to stuff paper towels along the top of the driver's side window to stay dry. And don't get me going on what happened going through a car wash or the other reasons it was in the shop 13 times in the 15 months I owned it.
I now drive a 2004 SL55 . . . hard and fast. Tight as a drum, stellar handling and braking, quiet, comfortable, reliable, and blindingly fast.
GM is smoking dope if they think they can build a sustainable market presence at anything near the $100K price point. Ultimately, engineering has to take the front seat to play there, and all the front seats at GM have long since been scooped up by the marketing guys.
A supercharger bolted onto a Cadillac is just the 2006 version of opera windows and vinyl landau roofs.
Mar 08, 2006 (8:59 pm)
Anyone who thinks the XLR-v is just an XLR with a supercharger bolted on hasn't researched, driven or otherwise experienced the car. The 4.4L blown Northstar is a handbuilt performance engine with a large number of upgraded internals to go with the integrated supercharger. Additionally, brakes, tire/wheels and suspension tuning are substantially upgraded. Plus the V has the new 6 speed auto transmission which is robust, capable, and quite smart in its adaptive capability. The manual shifting mode is better too. The standard XLR is luxurious, straightforward, entertaining and comfortable. The XLR-v is a gloved fist by comparison, pouring on seamless locomotive power that is pushed against the planet through impressive traction.
By comparison, the Mercedes SL55 feels powerful but porky and a generation behind. It's fat and isolating, not a participative experience. The Cadillac is much more flingable and experiential, while still retaining the solid, in-the-road feel expected in this class of car.
The XLR-v is a seriously engineered car, well-assembled and thought-through. It does not attempt to copy anyone else's formula. It brings relatively lightweight construction, rigid frame-based "drivable chassis" architecture, world-class motive power, virtually 50/50 weight distribution and excellent packaging to the luxury sports car/GT convertible class.
I haven't found any XLR owner nor even basher who thinks the standard issue XLR is overpriced in the $75K range. But somehow people question whether there is another $25K of value in the V version. I'm here to say that if you really examine the differences, understand them, and then personally experience the difference in the drive, there is no question. The car could not be offered for $85K in today's market. Period. Is it a worthy alternative to the SL 600/55s? To the Aston V8 Vantage? To the Maserati Grand Sport? To the Jag XKR? To the autostick Porsches? Bet your ass. Now, they're all distinctly different takes on what a luxury 2 seat GT should be (yeah, I'm ignoring the Jag/Porsche vestigal rear shelf, uh, "seats". The Mercs have that umistakable nuevo-bloat. The Brits are low on power. The Maser has that gorgeous Ferrari mill and inimitable interior saddled to the clunky Cambiocorsa tranny. The Porsche has 45 years of misallocated engineering overcoming its original design flaw and frankly it's good but tired. There are reasons to like them all. This V series Cadillac is a real, modern, capable alternative. Yeah, I bought one. It wasn't what I expected to do. It won on the merits.
#58 of 202 Re: XLR V [213cobra]
Mar 09, 2006 (9:30 am)
"I haven't found any XLR owner nor even basher who thinks the standard issue XLR is overpriced in the $75K range."
I think that the price is an issue to (past/present) potential XLR buyers. Sure, if the car appeals to you at that price point, you buy. But after (I think) '04 GM cut daily production nearly in half. I think many potential buyers were turned off by the lower rent interior and the higher rent price. More $ and you can buy the well established MB SL. A few $ less, the Lexus SC430 (XLR wins on the exterior there, imo! SC takes the interior honors...). Or, 'Vette, either Targa or convertible.
I agree that both XLR iterations are valid competitiors in their respective classes. The pricing is just a bit presumptuous. That is why I'm watching ebay for '05s...!
#59 of 202 Re: XLR V [213cobra]
Mar 09, 2006 (10:00 am)
Sounds very much like a GM-written marketing release. In fact, the paragraph describing the lightweight construction and chassis architecture sounds very much like the press language I used to pore over as I built up a head of steam to buy my Corvette.
It all comes to naught if the cars are not reliable . . . and GM has a long way to go to convince me they know how to build a reliable high performance car.
The front left steering rod falling off my Corvette when I drove -- slowly -- over a railroad crossing is a hairy experience I never want to repeat in a high-performance car. Nor was getting caught in the far-left lane of I-95 in heavy traffic when the car went into limp mode for the fourth time due to a faulty engine control module. That's the day I parked the car on the roadside, called a tow company and, without ever getting in it again, sold it at a fire-sale price to unload it.
And, by the way, have you ever driven the "porky" SL55 that's "a generation behind"? And just what comprises the list of outdated technology on that car?
#60 of 202 Re: XLR-V in trouble? [boilermaker51]
Mar 10, 2006 (2:33 am)
What is this nonsense? A CADILLAC is a CADILLAC??? You mean like the "wonderful" Cadillac Catera? Cadillac Cimarron? or how about the "excellent" V-8-6-4 DeVille models. Puhleeez, get a reality check dude. I would never be embarrassingly stupid enough to spend this kind of money on a Cadillac when they have time and time again done nothing but embarrass the world with their abhorrent, shoddily crafted, unreliable, overpriced cars. And apparently fat and arrogant GM doesn't give a damn.
#61 of 202 Re: XLR V [laurasdada]
Mar 10, 2006 (2:41 pm)
I've seen everything in this class of car. I just don't agree the interior of the $75K XLR or the $100K XLR-v are "low rent." They're functional, undistracting, straightforward, AND made of materials appropriate to an open car -- i.e. the flat plastic buttons won't get hot in the sun. All the data displays are instantly readable. Everything seems tightly attached.
The ONLY interior that stands out as outclassing everything else in the $100K - $140K range is the Maserati Grand Sport. Now there's an interior to embarrass everything else. Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Cadillac -- they all seem like Mattel products by comparison. But only the Italians do that. In the overall scheme of things, the XLR/XLR-v interiors are fine.
#62 of 202 Re: XLR V [mpyles1]
Mar 10, 2006 (2:52 pm)
Yeah, mpyles1, I have driven the porky SL55. I said it LOOKS a generation behind, and feels it too. The technology in that car is current, but you can't escape it packs over 400 lbs. above the XLR-v, which is easily sensed. And the long overhangs look out of proportion to the rest of the car. The technology isn't outdated on the Merc, it's the design architecture. Plus, did I mention it's a pig?
I haven't ever purchased a new GM vehicle before. I bought two on the same day, a CTS-v and an XLR-v. The aggregate owner data verified by 3rd parties verifies GM's rapid advancements in build quality and design durability. I had a '96 Corvette, which was alleged to be from the era of GM build incompetence. Yeah, on that car the interior suffered the GM bean counter intervention, BUT it is virtually bulletproof. I put 80,000 of its to-date 105,000 miles on it with far less maintenance cost that any other performance car I or anyone I know has owned. So, with my XLR-v, time will tell. I'm optimistic.
Nothing in my prior post was from GM's press release. It was simply a description of what I can observe + what I know about the car. I am thoroughly familiar with the current Corvette platform's design and implementation attributes, so it is not difficult to understand the XLR-v.
But you're right, the cars have to evidence GM's progress in making reliable cars. The market data says they are there, for the most part. Now, people have to give them a chance. I am.
#63 of 202 Re: XLR V [213cobra]
Mar 10, 2006 (3:18 pm)
There have been many things said about the current SL, but I've never seen anyone say that there was something wrong with its looks. That is a first. The jet-fighter look of the XLR doesn't even come close to the elegant styling of the SL, IMO. Neither does its interior. The XLR doesn't feel like a 75-100K product in the least.
#64 of 202 Re: XLR V [merc1]
Mar 10, 2006 (3:43 pm)
The only downside of the SL's design is that I almost get tired of looking at it, since there's one coming at me from almost every stoplight in the environs around my home. The only XLR I've seen in the neighborhood belongs to someone who lives in my building and parks in the same garage. The only reaction I've seen to its design was the garage attendants snickering at the "bat ears" sticking up above the windshield header when the top was down. They wondered if the car could go fast enough for the wind to tear them off.
Based on my experience of GM build quality, I would say yes.
Maybe I just like pigs more than bats.
#65 of 202 Re: XLR V [merc1]
Mar 10, 2006 (7:22 pm)
The current SL has some visual appeal from some perspectives, but the wheelbase is too short for the body. The overhangs are proportionately Camaro-like, making the side view gawky compared to the Cadillac. The sheet metal sculpting is just sexy enough to distract the casual eye from that unfortunate lack of grace.
If you prefer the '90s aesthetic of the SL, I have no argument with that. It's what you like so you should be happy with it. The XLR styling is polarizing and that's good for a brand mounting a comeback. The XLR-V has equal or better street presence to the SL, and is elegant in a sharp-creased Hugo Boss way. I prefer it to the dated aesthetic of the Merc. The interiors are quite dissimilar. The XLR-v's is more functional, unfussy, and clean. 360 degrees of leather, sightlines are excellent for this type of car, and all the touch points feel fine. Textured metal, wood, leather all around, with tactile plastics where appropriate. The SL is "too too...." Overwrought; soft; too obvious about making a statement of personal wealth, IMO.
Now if you don't think the XLR feels like a $75K product, I probably can't change your mind. But understand that the V is a radically upgraded car in every way, from its base sibling. At $100K, the thoroughly revised engine and the new transmission alone fully justify the difference, not to mention the rest of the upgrades in performance, functions and aesthetics. Really, until you drive a V, you can't appreciate how staggering the difference is over the base car. Nor what the SL is contending with.
Sure, a lot of people just buy brand and for them, Mercedes is a default. An SL says "I've made it." Those people cannot be reached by Cadillac for awhile. There wouldn't be enough Vs for them anyway, as it is too exclusive. Drivers buying on the merits however will consider the XLR-v and some will buy.
As for prestige, where I live you may as well drive a T-bird. The SL is so numerous as to be virtually ignored. It doesn't even get you a spot curbside at the valet stand anymore. But the XLR-V does. Last night, there it was right outside the door with a Bentley, a Quattroporte & a Maranello while a steady stream of Mercs and BMWs were fetched from further away.