Cadillac Refreshes XLR Roadster. And?

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz

Sorry we're a bit late on this one, but what's the rush? In May, sales of the Cadillac XLR fell 54.4 percent. In absolute terms, that's a slide from 206 to 94 units. So Cadillac's not so hot (as in absolute zero cold) roadster is getting a refresh for the 2009 model year. This includes engine upgrades a redesigned grill (meant to resemble the lower-level CTS sedan), redesigned taillights, an Alcantara headliner, new wood trim and, wait for it… faux side "vents" (a la Ford Focus). From now on, the XLR will only be available in either the previously high-line Platinum trim line ($86k) or the V-spec performance designation ($100k+). While the XLR is a nice car, so is the Mercedes SL. If Cadillac wants to shift a few [more] XLRs in the model's final years they need to drop prices and add a CTS quality interior. But no; it's easier to let the XLR stand proud as GM's most expensive-ever "almost there" product.

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Justin Berkowitz
Justin Berkowitz

Immensely bored law student. I've also got 3 dogs.

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  • Whatdoiknow1 Whatdoiknow1 on Jun 10, 2008

    The XLR is an unpopular failure because for an $80,000+ car it sucks! With everything I write it is important to keep in mind that the XLR lists for $80,000! 1. The styling is bad execise in trying to stretch the Cadillac Art and Science theme over a Corvette chassis. The hard angles of the CTS and STS do not work on the low slung Corvette platform. The Corvette was designed from the get go to NOT have a grill and to have a large ass to cover all the rear rubber. These attributes just do not work well on the XLR. 2. The interior is cheap, ugly, and lacks any kind of design. IMO the interior look like a collection of dupo lego blocks covered in leather and wood like a 1970s exotic! The steering wheel looks like it was simple pulled out of a DTS. To add insult to injury the interior of your $80,000 XLR (THE FREAKIN FLAGSHIP)is totally put to shame by Caddy's entry level product the CTS! I have been in two XLRs and I must say the interior of the XLR is of a much lower quality than a 3 series conv. Leather stretched over a square box is NOT luxurious! Aside from the few Cadillac fans that must have one the XLR is actually bad news for Cadillac and GM because it does a very good job of reinforcing all of the negative sterotypes about GM and the Cadillac brand. That Lexus thing may be soft and funny looking BUT it is built is a way that folks EXPECT a expensive Luxury item to be built. Today, the XLR has become a "used car ghetto queen" like the BMW 650i. These are the type of car the are purchased by guys with cash to burn because it was the latest thing and than quickly traded back in because it sucks! Now you see them with big chrome wheels, gold trim, and under car lighting effects crusing in the hood. Yeah, they make a good companion for that Escalade.

  • TriShield TriShield on Jun 10, 2008

    I actually love the style of this car and it still turns my head whenever I see one on the street. The biggest problem with the XLR wasn't styling, packaging or anything else, it was GM's over confident pricing of the roadster. It costs about $20,000 too much.

  • Oldyak Oldyak on Jun 10, 2008

    nice car but I guess rich people don't like it.

  • Michael Karesh Michael Karesh on Jun 11, 2008

    Perkins: a thorough interior redesign would cost much more than the changes here. There's no new sheetmetal, just modifications to existing sheetmetal. I personally disagree that the exterior does not work (though the base wheels need to be larger, and maybe are for 2009), but agree on the interior. Also, the structure doesn't feel nearly as solid as that of an SL. Might be a matter of having plastic panels more than the structure itself.