“If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Old News, New Information: Jordan’s Private Car Collection

The scenario was like this: I was fiddling with my keyboard, googling anything that pops out in my head. I so badly wanted to write a new blog post but I could not seem to think of anything to write. I also keep a personal journal online so I wrote something there first. Then, out of curiosity I typed “Michael Jordan car” in a search engine and I came across some pretty fascinating information. It turns out that Michael Jordan has his own car collection, something I’m not aware of even though I am a big Jordan fan. And get this, among his collection; he only has one American-made car. But that was way back in March of 2006. There is no recent news regarding Jordan’s collection so there is a possibility he already added another. Maybe the vehicles in the collection are not noteworthy to receive that much attention or His Airness is just very private about it. In any case, I tried hard to find a list of his car collection, to no avail. Although I did learn that the American car he bought in 2006 is a 2006 Cadillac XLR-V. (You can find the entire story here.)

It was reported that Cadillac GM Jim Taylor had his team bring three XLR-Vs of varying colors to Jordan’s house so that the NBA star can pick one. He chose the red (no surprise there!), and paid in full the amount of $100,000. That more than covers the car, the delivery and the little show they put up for his benefit. The red XLR-V custom side sills also sport Jordan’s signature etched in aluminum. Here is a review of the vehicle taken from a GM press release that I came across upon in Serious Wheels.

At the heart of the XLR-V is the new, 4.4-liter version of the Northstar engine outfitted with a positive displacement intercooled supercharger. The dual overhead cam (DOHC) V-8 engine delivers the highest horsepower rating of any Cadillac engine to date.

Called the Northstar V-8 SC (supercharged), the engine produces 440 horsepower (328 kW) at 6400 rpm and 425 lb.-ft. (576 Nm) torque at 3600 rpm (power and torque figures estimated) – and the engine’s power is underscored by its ability to deliver 90 percent of its peak torque between 2200 and 6000 rpm.

The Northstar V-8 SC generates 120 horsepower (90 kW) and 115 lb.-ft. (156 Nm) of torque more than its naturally aspirated counterpart, while its specific output of 100-horsepower-per-liter makes it one of the world’s highest specific output production V-8 engines.

However, the Northstar V-8 SC used in the XLR-V is more than just power and torque. The DOHC engine includes variable valve timing that enables outstanding top-end performance while maintaining the expected refinement and quality associated with a luxury marque.

The aggressive torque curve enabled by the choice of a supercharged engine gives the XLR-V acceleration capable of placing it firmly in the under-5-second-club for 0-to-60 time – a signature capability of V-Series vehicles.

The refined shift feel is enabled by careful electronic calibration of both the engine and transmission. During shifts, power is instantaneously lowered, then ramped back up carefully to make gear changes virtually unnoticeable.

And that is just the engine. Other impressive stuff about the XLR-V is related to its air induction and exhaust system, 6-speed automatic transmission, performance-tuned chassis system, innovative cooling system and adaptive forward lighting, among others. Even though it is relatively an old model, it still is better than some of the cars that have come out of production this year and last year. Better read the entire review for more information.