NEW FOR 2009:

– Platinum Package now standard equipment on XLR
– New front and rear fascias and front fender vents, leather-wrapped upper instrument panel, instrument cluster trim rings and graphics, power window switches, next-generation OnStar 8.0 with Destination Download and Bluetooth connectivity
– New 18-inch wheel design and V-style hood on Platinum
– Alcantara headliner material added to XLR-V
– Exterior colours: Black Cherry, Grey Flannel and Radiant Silver added; Liquid Amethyst, Platinum and Goldstream discontinued
– Interior colours: Natural Olive Ash Burl and Black Olive Ash Burl woodgrain trims added; Quartz and Bermuda metal trims added

For 2009, the Cadillac XLR ups the luxury: the Platinum Package that was previously an option on the base XLR is now standard equipment. Other changes include revised front and rear fascias and front fender vents, a V-style hood on the Platinum, and interior changes such as new instrument cluster trim rings and power window switches. The next-generation OnStar also includes Bluetooth hands-free connectivity.

Sharing its platform with the Chevrolet Corvette, the XLR comes with a choice of engines: a 4.6-litre V8 in the Platinum, and supercharged 4.4-litre V8 in the XLR-V. Both use a six-speed automatic transmission. Both models feature a lightweight, retractable roof with heated glass rear window and glass rear quarter windows.

Features on the XLR Platinum include 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, chrome-finish grille, fog lights, LED taillights, heated mirrors with driver’s side auto-dimming and reverse tip-down, rain-sensing wipers, Alcantara headliner, cruise control, driver information centre, tire pressure monitoring system, pushbutton start, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power tilt and telescopic heated leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, cargo net, garage door opener, express up/down windows, eight-way heated and ventilated leather seats with driver’s side memory, six-CD stereo with XM satellite radio, navigation system, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, Magnasteer speed-sensitive variable-assist steering, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps with washers, theft deterrent system, rear parking assist, and OnStar with Turn by Turn Navigation.

The XLR-V adds 19-inch alloy wheels, stainless steel mesh grille, adaptive cruise control, head-up display, leather seats with perforated suede fabric inserts, cross-drilled brake rotors, and polished stainless steel exhaust tips.

With a rear-mounted transmission for almost 50/50 weight distribution, the XLR is a powerful performer even with its naturally-aspirated engine, and a fire-breather with the supercharged version. Despite its impressive acceleration and sport-tuned suspension, it’s a calm performer in everyday traffic, making it suitable for laps at the track and then the trek to the office. This is a sports car for those who like them to be luxurious.

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