If you wanted a 10-or-so-year-old luxury drop-top with a dash of sportiness, you’d just get an R320 Mercedes SL55, wouldn’t you? It’s the obvious choice, but if it’s just a little too obvious, allow us to present a quirky, left-field alternative: the Cadillac XLR-V.
Built from an ingredients list that includes the C6 Corvette Y-platform, a folding hardtop roof - weirdly - jointly developed by Porsche and Mercedes - a GM Northstar V8, the XLR was very much Cadillac’s answer to the SL. The base model used a 4.6-litre lump, but the one you want is the XLR-V, with its supercharged 4.4-litre V8 putting out a useful 437bhp.
This dropped the 0-60mph time below five seconds, and although it’s really more of a cruiser, road tests from around the time of the XLR’s release suggest the roadster is a pretty decent steer.
Predictably, the interior isn’t anything like as nice as the Merc’s, nor is it screwed together quite so well, but the angular exterior more than makes up for it. It’s a handsome thing roof up or down, but that wasn’t enough to woo many buyers into stumping up the considerable $110,000 asking price.
Thankfully, you won’t pay anything like that for a used one. Terrifying depreciation means there are XLR-Vs out there like this 2006 example, which is up for a curiously specific $29,981.