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The Cadillac XLR-V: A High-Performance Cadillac Roadster

Here’s something you may not realize: Cadillac’s “V” brand once made a high-performance 2-seat roadster. It was called the Cadillac XLR-V, and it graced our lives from 2006 to 2009 with good performance and a massive price tag.

First, a little back story: In the early 2000s, presumably fueled by the success of the Escalade luxury SUV, Cadillac started rolling out all sorts of new models that were — for the first time in years — appealing to a wide range of shoppers. These included the edgy STS and CTS, the rather versatile SRX, and the XLR — a 2-seat convertible that was based on the Chevy Corvette but fitted with Cadillac’s Northstar V8, which was deemed to be smoother and more luxurious than the Vette’s engine.

The XLR came out in 2004, and it was pretty cool from the get-go. It had distinctive styling that represented a “new” Cadillac, the Northstar V8 made an impressive 320 horsepower, it had a fairly nice interior and it used a retractable hardtop — which was a pretty cool trick back then.

And then, in 2006, Cadillac turned things up a bit. Eager to launch its “V” line to garner the same recognition as BMW‘s M or Mercedes’ AMG, Cadillac added a high-performance engine to just about everything — and the XLR came out especially well. The XLR-V used a supercharged 4.4-liter V8 that made 443 hp and a whopping 414 lb-ft of torque — good enough for zero to 60 in 4.3 seconds, which is a mean feat considering its heft and standard torque-converter automatic.

But the XLR-V had one major drawback: its price. It started around $110,000 and climbed even further by the car’s final model year of 2009. The result is that very few XLR-V models were sold, though the few that are out there still command surprisingly big money: Although there are just 17 Cadillac XLR-V models listed on Autotrader across the country, the average asking price is $34,800 — not bad for a 10-year-old Cadillac most people don’t know about. Find a Cadillac XLR for sale

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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  1. I own ONE of the 2188 XLR V models on the planet since Nov 2014. Wouldn’t trade it for the world, being that’s InfraRed in color. It’s my Old Man cruiser for my out years. Not as quick as a Corvette, but my attention at the gas station last longer. Just too many Corvettes. My V time is 4.4 sec to 60mph, not bad for 2006 V model (443hp). 

  2. I have the chance to buy a 2005 model with <30,000 miles and a top that doesn’t work (a $4000 repair) for only $25,000.   Seems like a good deal, but…?

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