When Cadillac got serious about their image, they knew that a
2-seat luxury/sport convertible was the way to go. The Allante was
a valiant first effort, but this 2005 Cadillac XLR was really the
pinnacle of the breed's evolution. Far more than just a "Cadillac
Corvette," it features a sophisticated 32-valve 4.6L Northstar V8
powerplant, gorgeous "New Edge" styling and plenty of performance
matched by loads of opulent American luxury.
The brilliant Crimson Pearl Red paint job was one of Cadillac's
signature colors, and nowhere does it look better than on the low,
sleek, angular XLR. This particular XLR shows just 21,673 original
miles, and it's obviously been properly maintained and never used
for the daily commute. As a result, the finish is bright, clear,
and in excellent overall condition with very, very few signs of
use. The low chin spoiler hasn't been bashed by curbs and
driveways, the rockers show very little abrasion from tire debris,
and thanks to the low shape, rock chips are virtually non-existent.
The styling has aged rather well, and this is a very distinctive
car from any angle, looking best from the rear � view where you can
really see the wedge-shaped bodywork. Fit and finish are what you'd
expect from a car that cost more than $80,000 when it was new, with
excellent gaps and a deep shine to the paint that's better than
most GM cars, even today. And there's just enough chrome to remind
you it's a Cadillac, and that means something.
The tan leather interior was as luxurious as Cadillac could make
it, and even at a glance it's easy to see the many improvements
over its cousin, the Corvette. The leather is soft and supple, and
even the driver's seat shows almost no wear. Plush carpets, real
Zebrano eucalyptus wood on the dash, and neat little details like
the flip-open map pockets in the doors and pseudo roll hoops behind
the seats make it feel special inside. Everything was standard, of
course, including the motorized touch-screen NAV/entertainment
system that powers out of the way to offers access to the DVD
system. The seats are power operated, heated, and have several
memory settings, and even the steering wheel has an electronic tilt
set-up, so there's a comfortable position to be had for all.
Pushbutton starting is included, and while that's pretty common
today, in 2005 it was pretty exciting stuff. Gauges are simple and
elegant, the A/C is powerful, and you could probably sell tickets
to watch the motorized hardtop fold itself into the trunk. And
speaking of the trunk, there's decent space when the retractable
hardtop is up and better than expected capacity when the trunk is
down, so don't be afraid to plan that road trip in this car.
Cadillac's 4.6 liter DOHC 32-valve "Northstar" V8 was retooled to
fit in a rear-wheel-drive application and it's got an entirely
different personality from the Corvette's pushrod V8 with 320
horses. Smooth and silky, with the most scintillating exhaust note
this side of Milan, Italy, it's the right choice in a high-end
convertible like this. There's plenty of power at any speed,
although the 5-speed automatic transmission always seems to keep it
right at its torque peak so it's ready when you dip into the
throttle. It hides under a big plastic shroud, so there's not much
to see under the hood, but it's well maintained and runs
beautifully, and these are well-regarded as durable engines if
they're maintained properly. Underneath, it benefits from the
Corvette's transverse leaf spring suspension and giant disc brakes,
plus the center-outlet dual exhaust system that just looks cool.
Big 18-inch alloy wheels with grippy Bridgestone tires really make
it pop and offer plenty of comfort and great handling.
A very cool piece of Cadillac hardware, this unusual XLR still
stands out in a crowd. There are plenty of convertibles out there,
but this one offers big performance with a uniquely American
flavor. Call today!