End of the Line for Cadillac XLR | Catalog-cars

End of the Line for Cadillac XLR

3 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on End of the Line for Cadillac XLR
Cadillac XLR

End of the Line for Cadillac XLR

Autoblog reported today that Cadillac will build the last of its range-topper XLRs this Spring. The XLR is built atop a Corvette chassis, but is powered by a Cadillac Northstar V-8. The Caddy also features its own interior, exterior, and suspension.

Unlike the Vette, it has a retractable hardtop.  I can#8217;t say I am shocked to see the XLR go-it is a low-volume, high-priced car. It was Cadillac#8217;s flagship car; the high performance XLR-V boasted impressive numbers, but the car never never seem to capture the heart of premium car buyers.

You could fault GM#8217;s own Corvette for keeping sales away from the XLR. They shared the same chassis, but the Corvette has the superior engine. The XLR looks very much #8220;now#8221;, but the current Vette will still look great in twenty years. Yes, the XLR has a more luxurious interior, but consider the price difference of a base 2009 Corvette versus a base 2009 XLR, in US dollars: $48,565 versus $86,215.ÂÂ

That is a lot of coin to pay for a slightly nicer place to sit. And while marketing managers will tell you the XLR and Corvette do not compete for the same buyer, I tend to disagree. Both cars may have had slightly different purposes, but the comparisons are inevitable.ÂÂ

Sold since 2004, the XLR represents Cadillac#8217;s second (failed) attempt to compete against the mighty Mercedes-Benz SL. On the one hand, I credit Cadillac for having the ambition to compete. But compared to the SL, the effort always falls short.

Cadillac XLR

Cadillac#8217;s first try came in 1987 with the Allante. With a body built by Pininfarina in Italy, the Allante came to the US for final assembly. The Allante was initially offered with a 170hp V-8, when an #8217;87 M-B 560SL had 238hp.

Worse, the Allante was front-wheel drive. In typical GM fashion, they finally got the engine right in 1993 with the 295hp Northstar V-8 and then immediately canceled the car.ÂÂ

The XLR was a far better car than the old Allante in every way. But the Corvette chassis, which made the XLR possible, was possibly its greatest drawback. While the press raved about what a bargain the Corvette was, the XLR seemed absurdly expensive for what you were getting. When you consider that a M-B SL550, at $98,500 is only $12k more (then factor in depreciation of an XLR vs. an SL), which car is the better value?ÂÂ

I sincerely hope that if and when GM returns to health, and the North American economy recovers, that Cadillac will dust itself off, stand up, and have another go at the SL.

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Cadillac XLR
Cadillac XLR
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