Cadillac STS-V and XLR-

Cadillac will host the European debut of the STS-V and XLR-V next month at the Frankfurt Auto Show (IAA) in Germany. These high-performance additions to the Cadillac portfolio have completed testing and the numbers certified by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) are official. The official SAE ratings for the 2006 STS-V are 350 kW (476 hp) at 6,400 rpm and 595 Nm of torque at 3900 rpm. The XLR-V is rated at 330 kW (448 hp) at 6,400 rpm and 561 Nm of torque at 3900 rpm.

"Cadillac's V-Series is founded on the idea of taking the strong performance and luxury attributes of our core vehicles and extending them even higher," said Jim Taylor, Cadillac General Manager. "As a result, Cadillac's V-Series - CTS-V and STS-V sedans and XLR-V hard-top convertible roadster - are serious performers that compete with the high-end performance variants of any manufacturer and now provide European customers with new alternatives."

Like their mainstream siblings, the STS-V and XLR-V combine distinctively bold styling with contemporary luxury and rear-wheel drive performance. Cadillac's V-Series strategy represents limited production series in which the performance and luxury of the brand's vehicles are taken to their full extent. The ‘V’ designation is a tribute to classic Cadillac nameplates of decades past. The contemporary V-Series era began with the introduction of the 298 kW (400 hp) CTS-V in 2004 in North America (March 2005 in Europe).

Development and performance testing of both the STS-V and XLR-V was done at the Nordschleife circuit of Germany's famed Nürburgring, widely recognised as one of the world's most demanding tracks. The 4.4 litre Northstar V-8 supercharged DOHC engine features variable valve timing and represents the most output ever for a production Cadillac. The supercharged 4.4 litre Northstar engine generates more peak power in the STS-V than in the XLR-V, due to the larger engine compartment that allows more induction and exhaust capacity.

On the other hand, the XLR-V benefits from its superior power-to-weight ratio. Both vehicles feature GM's new Hydra-matic six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode and accelerate from 0-60 mph (96 km/h) in less than 5 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h for the STS-V and XLR-V. As a result of this extensive development, the vehicles have track-capable acceleration, braking and cornering abilities.

As with all members of the V-Series family, bespoke exterior and interior appointments clearly set the XLR apart. These include the signature wire-mesh grille, larger 19-inch wheels at all four corners and ebony wood and aluminium accents throughout the interior. Chassis refinements enable equal sure-footedness and driver appeal on the street or the track. They include larger brakes, stabiliser bars, wheels and tyres, and a performance-calibrated Magnetic Ride Control (MR) system.

The STS-V has increased tyre sizes (18-inch front and 19-inch rear), increased brake rotor diameters, larger pad areas and larger callipers, increased stiffness stabiliser bars and suspension springs, a faster steering ratio and chassis tuning aimed at delivering high performance without compromising driver or passenger comfort. The interior reflects craftsmanship with the addition of more leather-wrapped surfaces to promote a high-quality, tactile feel. The upper and lower sections of the instrument panel are hand wrapped with precision-grained leather. The STS-V is further distinguished by the use of distinctive, dark Olive Ash Burl wood, which adorns the centre bezel of the instrument panel, console trim, and all four door switch plates. Finished aluminium trims accent the passenger side of the instrument panel, which also incorporates a multi-coloured V-Series emblem.

With sales in Europe scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2006, pricing for the STS-V and XLR-V will be announced at a later stage.

Published : 25/08/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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