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August 16, 2002: 2004 Cadillac XLR - Cadillac’s Boldest Gesture Yet

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

FOR RELEASE: August 16, 2002

Leslie Rajewski, Cadillac Communications

David Caldwell, GM Lifecycle Communications

XLR - Cadillac’s Boldest Gesture Yet

PEBBLE BEACH, CA - The bold new era of Cadillac continues with the 2004 XLR. A two-seat, retractable hardtop convertible with a heart-pounding design, the XLR’s mission is to deliver exhilarating style and performance to the luxury roadster class.

Based on the Evoq concept car, the XLR not only provides stunning looks, but technology, luxury and performance to match. XLR offers a harmonious blend of technologies and materials meant to add pleasure, not complexity, to the driving experience. Innovative features include head-up display, adaptive cruise control, Magnetic Ride Control, StabiliTrak, heated and cooled seats, keyless access with push-button start and DVD entertainment.

On the interior, XLR’s design epitomizes a contemporary take on true luxury. Unique eucalyptus wood and striking aluminum accents combine to provide a luxurious and inviting environment. The gauges are designed in conjunction with Italian luxury brand Bvlgari.

“The vehicle has such road presence that you don’t show up in an XLR, you arrive,” said Jay Spenchian, XLR marketing director.

XLR will feature the first application of a high output 4.6L Northstar V8 engine in a rear-wheel-drive configuration and was developed on the next generation of GM’s acclaimed performance car architecture, designed specifically for convertibles.

"XLR is a luxury roadster with performance car roots," said David Hill, vehicle line executive for GM performance cars. “Underneath its striking exterior style, XLR has a patented performance car body structure that is ideal for a roadster and serves as a strong foundation for a car designed for great agility and bona fide luxury.”

The Cadillac XLR will begin production in spring 2003 on a dedicated assembly line at General Motors’ Bowling Green Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Ky.

XLR is a contemporary expression of Cadillac’s long heritage of landmark design and advanced technology. Inspired by stealth fighter design, the XLR follows closely on the heels of the all-new, recently launched CTS sedan and Escalade EXT sport utility truck.

XLR traces its design roots to the Evoq concept car. Cadillac stunned the automotive world with the audacious Evoq, unveiled at the 1999 North American International Auto Show. So positive was the reaction to the luxury roadster from press and public alike that it was named best concept at the 1999 Show. Soon after, GM decided to explore its potential for production.

Kip Wasenko led the team that designed the Evoq concept. Tom Peters, vehicle chief designer, took on the assignment to build on Wasenko’s design for XLR. Peters, Hill and David Leone, chief engineer for XLR, led the team to meet the challenge of turning a hand-built concept car into a production-ready car.

“XLR is a balance between power and finesse. I like to describe the car as a bow and arrow being drawn back, creating tension and direction,” said Peters. “The design projects chiseled form and pleasing style, and achieves all of the functional elements that are required for a world-class roadster.”

Early indications signal that the public is anxiously awaiting the arrival of XLR.

“The new era of Cadillac design and technology, seen today on the Escalade, Escalade EXT and CTS is making a major impression on the public,” said Spenchian. “We have already received inquiries from 30,000 potential customers wanting more information on XLR.”

Cadillac is a division of General Motors (NYSE: GM). GM, the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer, designs, builds and markets cars and trucks worldwide, and has been the global automotive sales leader since 1931. More information on GM can be found at

August 16, 2002: 2004 Cadillac XLR - Cadillac’s Boldest Gesture Yet

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