|From its debut in 2003, only minor cosmetic changes namely new dark eucalyptus wood interior trim and the replacement of the thunder grey exterior color with blue steel occur in 2005. With so much of the Cadillac XLR in tact, its a good thing this is a rabidly cool car. The two-door gets plenty of eye-contact, whether its being presented as a coupe or as a convertible. (Transforming the XLR from hardtop coupe to open air roadster requires only the push of a center console-located button. The top, made of aluminum and magnesium with composite exterior panels and side glass, retracts in 30 seconds.) The high-tech items on the car include a heads up display to project the vehicles speed on the windshield, and a push button ignition start. The no-key ignition is a neat concept. But in order to start the vehicle, you still need to carry on person (or purse or briefcase) a key fob. Its pretty easy to imagine someone carrying the key fob after using it to unlock the doors stashing the fob in the cupholder during the drive, then exiting the vehicle without the fob. In that instance, the car becomes a very easy theft target.
XLR can crunch the 0 to 60 mph numbers game in less than 6 seconds. With a 4.6-liter Northstar V8 (producing 320 horsepower at 6400 rpm and 310 pounds-feet of peak torque at 4400 rpm) inside a 3,647-pound car, no wonder the car can move f-a-s-t. The XLR also provides a 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution, which helps make it very nimble on the curves. While the speed sensitive steering is a nice appointment, the steering has a bit more play than necessary for a luxury roadster. The rear wheel drive car is flush with standard fare, including adaptive cruise control, ultrasonic rear park assist, Bose AM/FM/6-disc CD changer with DVD navigation and voice recognition, 18-inch run flat Michelin tires, and 4-wheel independent suspension with magnetic ride control. The V8 with five-speed automatic transmission notches fuel per gallon estimates of 17 city and 25 highway. Cadillac XLRs MSRP is $75,835.