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

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author photo by Doug DeMuro March 2017

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.

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Used 2006 Cadillac XLR V
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Cadillac XLR-V: A High-Performance Cadillac Roadster - Autotrader