DETROIT -- General Motors will discontinue Cadillacs halo vehicle, the XLR roadster, at the end of the 2009 model year, a Cadillac spokeswoman says.
Cadillac plans to fill the XLRs place in the lineup with the CTS coupe, which it will introduce in the second quarter of 2010 as a 2011 model.
Joanne Krell, a Cadillac spokeswoman, said the move isnt a fuel-efficiency play. The XLR had been out for six years, so it was time for a change.
High-end vehicles tend to come and go, so its not unusual when you look across all the luxury makes and brands. Gucci doesnt keep its most unique handbag season after season; it makes changes.
Cadillac launched the XLR in 2003 as a halo to showcase its new design image and performance-based technology, Krell said. The XLR was based on the Evoq concept from the 1999 Detroit auto show, a vehicle that ushered in a new, sharply creased Cadillac design language.
GM builds the XLR at its plant in Bowling Green, Ky., which also makes the Chevrolet Corvette. Cadillac initially projected 6,000 units annually for the XLR but never hit that mark. XLR sales peaked at 3,730 in 2005. Last year Cadillac sold 1,250, down 28.6 percent from 2007.
The XLR also was meant to bolster Cadillac as a prestige brand, pushing it into a higher price range. Cadillac executives targeted it against the Mercedes-Benz SL500. A 2009 XLR starts at $87,055 including shipping, according to Edmunds.com.
GM will launch the new CTS coupe next year. That will replace the XLR as Cadillacs luxury sports-car imagery, Krell said. And youll get two extra seats; great design and its price comes in at significantly less than the XLR.
GM has not released pricing on the CTS coupe. It likely will be closer to the Cadillac CTS sedan, which starts at $38,035, than to the XLRs current sticker.