The 2008 Cadillac XLR-V surpasses the stock XLR in straight-line speed, and its handling is tighter without treading on Corvette territory.
"The performance-packed [Cadillac XLR-V 2008] is fitted with a supercharged 4.4-liter V-8 that develops 443 hp at 6,400 rpm and 414 pounds-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm," praises Cars.com. The "special motor” is “a supercharged, 4.4-liter version of the highly regarded Northstar DOHC V-8," the Detroit News adds. They also note it "delivers an ample 443 horsepower and 414 pounds-feet of torque -- enough to rocket this sled from rest to 60 in about 4.9 seconds."
Edmunds reports this 2008 Cadillac as being "viciously quick...courtesy of this Cadillac's supercharged V8, which will send you hurtling from zero to 60 in less than 5 seconds." This source notes that like the engines of certain BMW models, "Cadillac has given each V8 a personal touch, with each being built from start to finish by a single craftsman," making it "responsive and quick, eager to leap to attention at the slightest tap of the throttle." Car and Driver says it’s “able to purr around at lower engine speeds as befits a luxury marque, then snarl to the redline with almost shocking ferocity.”
According to Cars.com, the "six-speed automatic transmission incorporates Performance Algorithm Shifting and Performance Algorithm Liftfoot systems, along with Driver Shift Control for manually selected gear changes." The Detroit News reports that the Cadillac XLR-V 2008's engine "drives the rear wheels through a new Hydra-matic six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift capability." The transmission “provides almost intuitive response to a driver's inputs,” Car and Driver says.
The EPA estimates fuel consumption in the XLR-V at 15 mpg in city driving and 22 mpg on the open road.
Cars.com notes that the XLR-V has "a rear stabilizer bar and a larger front stabilizer bar" than the XLR. Edmunds reports a "memorable and engaging ride," but suggests that "you'll find more refined and engaging driving dynamics in its European competition...quite simply, you can do much better when spending this much money." This is despite the "magnetic ride control, which automatically adjusts the suspension to compensate for issues like pavement conditions and vehicle speed" as telegraphed by the Detroit News. Automobile gets a chuckle when it says the XLR-V’s steering is “like a late-in-life Marlon Brando having a root canal: weighty but numb.” Nonetheless, MyRide.com asserts the 2008 Cadillac XLR-V offers "tenacious grip in the corners, excellent brakes [with a] standard StabiliTrak stability control system [that] keeps things in proper alignment." This source remarks "disabling StabiliTrak might have upped the level of excitement." Car and Driver says “the ride is still considerably better than that of the Corvette with which this car shares so much platform architecture.”