Exterior

Cadillac says stealth fighters inspired the XLR, which serves as "a contemporary expression of Cadillac's heritage of landmark design and advanced technology." Linear lines display hints of the marque's history. The strong grille also suggests the past, but with a modern expression. The XLR's vertical headlights are part of Cadillac's current design philosophy.

The roadster's weight distribution is virtually 50/50, helped by the rear-mounted transmission. Cadillac says the XLR's steel hydroformed frame rails couple with an aluminum cockpit structure and balsa-cored composite flooring to provide "rigidity without bulk." Run-flat tires eliminate the need for a spare tire.

Built on a 105.7-inch wheelbase, the XLR is 177.7 inches long overall. Retracting the hardtop takes less than 30 seconds. Made of aluminum and magnesium, the top structure features composite exterior panels, a heated glass back window and glass rear-quarter windows.

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