Cadillac XLR

There is something very nice coming out of Bowling Green, Kentucky. It is the fabulously assembled luxury roadster sold by the Cadillac division of General Motors known as the XLR. The XLR is based on the same Y-body platform as the Chevrolet Corvette but uses the Cadillac Northstar engine rather than the GM LS2 engine found in the Corvette. The unique styling of the XLR is worth mentioning, especially the power-retractable aluminum hardtop. In 2003 at the Detroit Motor Show, Cadillac introduced the XLR, and it shortly thereafter entered production in the 2004 model year. It does have a pretty hefty price tag coming in with a base price of $76,650. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that sales have been below expectations. Cadillac was aiming to sell 6,000 per year, and has unfortunately only been able to push 4,745 in 18 months as of March 2005. According to Cadillac sales records, only a meager 3,730 were sold in the United States in all of 2005. The XLR was designed to match performance and luxury which explains why it comes with heated and cooled leather seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, wood interior trim, and side airbags. In fact, riding in the XLR is somewhat like being in a movie theater with the 7-inch dashboard screen, which displays the navigational system, audio, and DVDs. Best of all, this comes standard. Even though the Cadillac XLR has not been picked up by consumers, critics have been sure to give it praise. It was nominated for the North American Car of the Year award for 2004. Most likely the biggest problem the Cadillac is having is that the competition in the segment is very difficult. Other such models are the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Lexus SC, BMW 6 Series, Jaguar XK, Porsche 911 and Maserati Spyder.