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Cadillac XLR to retire

Launched for the 2004 model year, Cadillac is pulling the plug on its flagship XLR roadster.

Using Corvette underpinnings and the luxury brand's 4.6-litre Northstar V8, the XLR never really sold in significant numbers--only 30 were sold in Canada in 2008--so its retirement won't be a big deal.

Still, the XLR is a powerful machine, drawing 320 horsepower from its normally-aspirated V8 or 443 stallions from the supercharged 4.4-litre engine in the XLR-v. Both versions feature a power-folding hard top and a long list of standard equipment.

The XLR's $103,975 base price raises eyebrows, while the XLR-v's $118,630 MSRP provokes nosebleeds. And yet, compared to the price of a Mercedes-Benz SL, which ranges from $125,000 to $238,500, the Cadillac is a less-expensive alternative that never quite rivalled the German brand's roadster in terms of quality and prestige.

In addition, the 2009 XLR currently carries a $10,500 cash purchase rebate, so if you want one, you'd better order yours now.
photo:General Motors