Cadillac XLR

The 2009 XLR and XLR-V remain Cadillac's high-end performance cars. Introduced in 2005 and using the Corvette as a point of inspiration, the XLR offers style and performance with generous amounts of leather and wood trim. It also has a softer suspension setup than many two-seaters in its class, which makes it much easier to live with day in and out than most of its rivals.

The XLR is equipped with a 320-hp 4.8L V8 and a 6-speed automatic transmission. It features four-wheel traction control and GM's magnetic ride control, a system that, through magnetic-reactive fluid, allows the suspension firmness to be adjusted multiple times per second.

The standard features list is extensive, as is typical from the Cadillac nameplate. The XLR rides on 18-inch polished aluminum wheels and has LED taillights and steering-reactive HID headlights. The interior is furnished with eight-way power leather heated and cooled front seats. A tire pressure monitor, keyless access, and dual-zone climate control are also standard, as well as a head-up display that indicates speed, gear position, audio player information and fuel level on the inside of the windshield. The XLR also includes helpful electronic aides such as ultrasonic rear parking assist and adaptive cruise control.

The XLR-V is the ultra-high performance variant of the XLR. It comes powered by a 4.4L V8 with an Eaton-Roots supercharger that makes 443 hp, and it teams up with a 6-speed automatic transmission with driver shift control. The magnetic ride control settings are firmer and the suspension gets tweaked with larger stabilizer bars and stiffer bushings for more precise handling. The XLR-V also utilizes larger brakes and bigger wheels and tires. The result is race car performance with Cadillac comfort. A navigation system is standard.

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