Cadillac XLR-V

From Cadillac Press: The 2009 supercharged Cadillac XLR-V is the quickest, most agile and most exclusive Cadillac ever offered, combining advanced technology with hand craftsmanship that harkens back to Cadillac’s origins as a custom luxury coach builder.

The ultimate convenience of a retractable hard top is a hallmark of the XLR’s design. By pushing and holding a single button, the XLR can convert from coupe to open roadster in less than 30 seconds. The top is made of aluminum and magnesium with composite exterior panels, a heated glass backlight and glass rear-quarter windows.

Its 443-horsepower supercharged Northstar V-8 is hand-assembled to exacting standards at GM’s Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich. Each engine is built from start to finish by a single expert craftsman. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with Driver Shift Control. This powerful combination enables 0-to-60 (mph) acceleration in less than five seconds. The XLR-V includes numerous chassis enhancements for outstanding performance, developed and tuned in some of the world’s most demanding environments.

The supercharged 4.4L engine is mated to a Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission. With a wide, overall ratio of 6.04:1, the six-speed delivers an excellent combination of performance and fuel efficiency. The final drive ratio is 2.56:1.

An advantage of Cadillac’s roadster not shared by competitors is its rear-mounted transmission. This helps give the XLR a virtual 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution for superior balance, as well as providing occupants with unusually roomy footwell space.

Gallery: Cadillac XLR-V