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Experience at test drive of XLR

7927 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  aviator
I recently was invited to a comparison test drive by Lexus of all their cars and some of their competators cars, including the XLR. They had three different tracks and groups of cars. The performance group included the SC430, the XLR, Jaguar XK8, and BMW and Mercedes models, and Infinity G35 sedan. I don't know why the G35 sedan, but it was in this group. The longest waiting line in the whole place was for the XLR twice as long as the nect most popular, the SC. Of course it was my first choice too.

I was disappointed with the XLR though. The first thing I noticed was the extreme heat coming off the transmission tunnel and up from under the car at the doors on a coolish overcast day. I thought the previous driver had the heater on full blast, but it wasn't. From a dead stop on the first straightaway about 400' I guess, you could see a radar speed check of your top speed before brakin and going into a serpentine. I hit 30MPG. Later I tried the G35, since this was the type car we were really there to try out for my wife, a family sedan. I was shocked that it hit 39MPG in the same test, with the AC on. Admittedly the XLR was the most abused car there! And maybe Lexus wasn't too enthused on us doing a really fair test, but I came away disappointed in the XLR. I didn't try the SC, no interest. Was I duped? Was the XLR defeated by its popularity? :confused
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I am suprised that Lexus would include an XLR. It has been compared to the SC (and others) by all the popular mags. It has finished first or second in all comparisions with the SC finishing last or nearly last in all.

As for the tunnel heat, I would expect that they had a very early model or had taken the car apart to study it and did not put it back properly. There was one complaint of heat on this forum. However, I have driven mine for over four hours on 90+ degree days without any noticible heat buildup. Actually, cool to the touch. I personally think Lexus would give there right arm to be able to build a car of this quality in such a short time frame. It goes to show just how great a job the folks at chevy did with the c5/c6 chasis.
I was one of the first to mention the "tunnel heat" issue and wish now that I had not. I am not the only person here who has experienced some amount of heat in the area of the center counsole and my wife complained of a lipstick melting after being left in one of the cup holders. HOWEVER, lipsticks are easily melted and most likely in this case it was as much from direct sunlight as it was from "tunnel heat".

My cup holders do get warm, however they have never reached a heat level that I would describe as "extreme" nor a level that would burn you. Heck, I drive with one hand on the center counsole all the time and my right knee against the side of the counsole while wearing shorts. I've never found it to be that uncomfortable.

To your point of achieving a forward velocity of only 30 mph in a space of 400' while piloting the XLR - all I can say is: one -- you were in one dog of an XLR with four plugs fouled out or; two -- you need to try that again cuz you were in one dog of an XLR with four plugs fouled out...............

You sure that was a speed indicator and not an outside thermometer? Makes better sense on this forum. We drive these cars every day and know when someone is simply trolling. :bs
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If I wanted to do a serious comparison I don't think I would rely on a competitor to provide an honest example of its competition. Would you let your competitor prep your car for a race? Go to a dealer and get a ride in an untainted one before you draw any conclusions. That said, the center console does get warm, but no more than that even on a +100 degree day. Keep in mind that there is a lot going on in there.

Were you talking about Miles per gallon or Miles per hour?
OK, Let's get objective here.

I posted this link once before, but with the subject matter of this thread, the "Road & Track" article entitled, "Sun, Wind, & Stars" deserves a repost:

If you drill down in the article, six premier drop tops were tested by Road & Track.

Dead last was the Lexus SC, derided roundly as a gutless wonder.

Tied for last place, ran the Maserati Spyder GT, for the opposite reason as the SC: lots of guts but too clangy and idiosyncratic. 400HP, a $97K price tag.

In fourth was the Mercedes SL 500. A big ho-hum offering by M-B that will be with us for the next 7 years. :yawn

Third was the Jag XK8. Bettter than I expected.

In second place was the XLR in its very first year of production. Make sure you look at the performance and subjective ratings. "Middle digit school of design" is a great quote from the reviewer.

And winner was --- the Porsche 911 Carrera Cabrio. The Porsche, while a great performer, is too "same ol'-same 'ol'" for my taste. Besides, I'm mad at the Germans right now.

Not a bad showing for the Caddy. I ordered our Xenon Blue shortly after the article was published, and took delivery in May '04. If the SC performed better than the XLR in that Lexus road test, someone was gankin' with the tuning.

Just in case Ol' Geezer reads this, the Houston area dealers sold out their allocation of XLRs in February '04.
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