Great question Al,
Depending on which brochure you hold in your hands, (or look at online) colors (exterior and interior) can go by several interchangeable names. For the XLR, the three main interior colors are ebony, grey, and shale/cashmere. There's also an ebony/shale two-tone that was used in different model years, that featured shale door panels, ebony upper door sills and trim plate behind the seat, with a shale waterfall (the big piece of plastic directly behind the seats. The cashmere interior name was used in later years, but I've never been able to tell if it's much of a different shade from shale.
Anyone out there notice a difference in the two?
Shale looks really nice when new, but takes a lot of care to keep it looking good as it starts to really show dirt after a few years.
Shale/Cashemere and ebony interiors were available in all years. Grey was a little harder to find, but it's out there. (It has also been called Titanium.)
Wood trim varied in color by year and model (base or V.) There were also shale interiors with grey dash pads, but usually, the dash pads are black whether the interior was ebony or shale/cashmere.
If you really want to get a good flavor for the different combos through the years, check out XLRs for sale on eBay. There are plenty of great hi-rez pictures taken by sellers that will show the many variations. Do be aware that the color names may be wrong. Ebony is usually referred to as black, and shale or cashmere as tan. This is even more true with exterior colors, which are usually called out as red, blue, silver, etc, rather than Crystal Red Tintcoat, Xenon Blue, Platinum. . .
You're right, many of the ebony interiors look grey when photographed under powerful flashes.
Don't feel bad, it's pretty confusing.
Oh, as an afterthought, if you want to take a crash course in all things XLR, (okay, many things) I highly recommend John McCormick's "XLR" book. Lots of cool pictures and trivia as he traces the development of the XLR from concept to reality. Amazon probably has some and they appear on eBay from time to time.