2008 Cadillac XLR-V

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2008 Cadillac XLR-V Review

Racecar performance meets Cadillac comfort in this high-performance luxury roadster.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

Cadillac created the 2008 Cadillac XLR-V as an ultra-high-performance version of the XLR luxury sport convertible. It carries many of the same luxury features as the XLR, but adds a supercharged engine, more aggressive styling, a performance-tuned suspension, and larger wheels and tires. The resulting roadster combines racecar performance with Cadillac comfort.

The XLR-V packs powerful performance into one trim level loaded with luxury amenities. Overall, the XLR-V seems well-designed for drivers who desire an exciting ride but want to look stylish and be coddled in the lap of luxury at the same time.

The Range

Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 4.4-liter supercharged V-8
Transmissions: six-speed automatic with Driver Shift Control (DSC)
Models: Cadillac XLR-V, Cadillac XLR-V Alpine White

What's New

Cadillac adds the limited edition Alpine White trim to the XLR-V lineup for 2008. This model features its namesake exterior hue plus chrome wheels. A heated steering wheel marks a new standard on all models.

Exterior

The 2008 Cadillac XLR-V takes the distinctive, angular look of the standard XLR and adds finishes that signal its enhanced performance capabilities. An aggressively sculpted dome hood makes room for and announces the supercharged engine underneath. Polished wire mesh upper and lower grilles present a V-Series signature. Four polished stainless steel exhaust tips jut from below the rear bumper, and 19-inch, 10-spoke aluminum wheels with sterling silver finish set the XLR-V apart as a high-performance model. The XLR-V’s hardtop retracts in about 30 seconds with the touch of a button.

All XLR-Vs come standard with rear park assist, keyless start, reverse-tilt power heated mirrors, and high-intensity discharge xenon headlights. The only exterior options available for the 2008 XLR-V come with the Alpine White Edition, which features its namesake exterior paint plus chrome wheels, and chrome wheels as a standalone option.

Interior

Both the standard XLR and the XLR-V come standard with every imaginable interior luxury feature. In the 2008 Cadillac XLR-V, standard features include a nine-speaker Bose stereo with AM/FM satellite radio and an in-dash six-CD changer, OnStar telecommunications service, a DVD-based navigation system with voice activation, a head-up display, and a heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescope adjustments. For 2008, the XLR-V adds a limited-edition Alpine White model as well. Premium features such as Bluetooth phone connectivity, heated leather seats, and adaptive cruise control all come standard.

The interior feels plush. The XLR-V adds some refinement to the already-luxurious XLR interior design. Zingana wood, an ebony-hued wood with a distinctive grain, accents the cup holders, shift knob, steering wheel and portions of the doors and center console. Surfaces throughout the interior come wrapped in hand-stitched Ebony leather, and the seats use Ebony or Shale leather with French stitching and matching perforated suede fabric inserts. Aluminum accents and V-series badging highlight the instrument panel and dash.

Performance & Handling

The 2008 Cadillac XLR-V comes equipped with a 4.4-liter, Northstar, supercharged, V-8 engine coupled with a rear-mounted, six-speed automatic transmission. Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control system, which automatically adjusts the vehicle’s suspension up to 1000 times per second, gets modified for the XLR-V with firmer settings, larger stabilizer bars, and stiffer bushings for more precise handling.

The 4.4-liter, supercharged V-8 sends 443 horsepower and 414 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. According to Cadillac, the XLR-V accelerates from zero to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds, more than a full second ahead of the standard XLR.

The XLR-V’s rear-mounted, six-speed automatic transmission incorporates several driving enhancement features. Performance Algorithm Shifting (PAS) and Performance Algorithm Liftfoot (PAL) keep the transmission smooth during high-speed maneuvering, and Driver Shift Control (DSC) allows the driver to shift gears manually using the gearshift lever. These advanced features combine to make gear changes virtually unnoticeable.

Other performance enhancements to the XLR-V include recalibrated Magnetic Ride Control, enhanced cooling systems, a stiffer front stabilizer bar and the addition of a rear stabilizer bar, Stabilitrak four-channel stability control, and larger brakes, wheels, and tires.

Safety

Standard safety equipment includes four-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, dual side-mounted front airbags with head protection chambers, passenger-airbag occupant-sensing deactivation, child seat anchors, front seat belt pretensioners, stability control, and traction control.

EPA Fuel Economy

Cadillac XLR-V: 14/21 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Powerful engine
  • Distinctive styling
  • Retractable hardtop
  • Almost all features come standard

You Won't Like

  • Cramped cockpit for tall drivers
  • Steering lacks feedback
  • Some lower-quality interior materials

Sum Up

Racecar performance meets Cadillac comfort in this high-performance luxury roadster.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
  • Dodge Viper
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  • BMW M6

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