Saab 9-3X To Make Global Debut At Geneva Motor Show
Making its debut in Geneva next month, the new|
Saab 9-3X is not confirmed for Australia. However,
the Next Car team expects a local release in 2010.
12th February, 2009
- A sporty, rugged addition to Saab 9-3 range
- For people with active outdoor lifestyles who don’t need a large Crossover
- Class-leading Saab XWD combined with BioPower for first time
At the Geneva Motor Show in March, Saab will introduce the 9-3X - a new addition to the 9-3 range available
as of the 2010 model year.
The Saab 9-3X is a rugged all-round car designed to take active individualists to the start of their
adventure. With distinctive looks, a versatile SportCombi body, higher stance and advanced all-wheel drive
technology, the 9-3X offers fuel efficiency and functional storage without limiting the kinds of roads that
need to be driven. It is the ideal alternative to large and heavy crossovers or SUVs.
For the first time, Saab couples its E85-capable BioPower engine technology with the acclaimed Cross Wheel
Drive (XWD) system. The 9-3X is also available with a 2.0-litre petrol engine. A 1.9 TTiD diesel variant comes
with front-wheel drive. All three fuel variants are efficient, four-cylinder engines turbocharged for added
power. Overall, the 9-3X embodies Saab’s EcoPower Technology philosophy, combining a dynamic driving experience
with an efficient use of resources to achieve responsible performance.
Saab designers raised the chassis 35 mm higher than that seen on a standard two-wheel drive SportCombi so it
can handle a rugged driving terrain. It is specifically designed for those who frequently hit gravel or unpaved
roads, without compromising the driving experience on asphalt.
The Saab 9-3X is a car in tune with the less-is-more needs of today’s customers. “The 9-3X is an efficient
all-rounder for anyone who doesn’t want or need an SUV-type vehicle,” says Simon Padian, Saab Brand Design
Chief. “Simply put, we are offering a trekking shoe that will do what’s required in more comfort and style than
a heavier mountaineering boot.”
New front and rear bumpers feature a dark grey, grained finish that is also applied to the side sills and the
edges of the wheel arches as a protective covering when the terrain becomes loose or muddy. This treatment is
complemented by skid panels with a matt aluminium finish, curving up towards the door opening at the rear and
adopting a wing form in the lip of the lower front bumper. These are matched by matt, aluminum-colored lower
door decor strips. Black roof rails are standard, with a chromed finish available as an option. Visible, twin
round exhaust tailpipes are standard for all engine options. Front fog lights ringed with a chrome finish add
yet another rugged accent.
With the addition of newly designed, multi-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels, the 9-3X’s exterior character reflects
its ability to handle mixed road conditions, whether rough or smooth, loose or paved.
Inside, the 9-3X interior is based on top-of-the-line specification, adding a dark metallic finish to the
door trims, glove box and gearshift surround. The unique sports seating features grey fabric inserts in the
black leather upholstery.
At the 'heart' of the 9-3X is Saab’s cutting-edge XWD system. It is an intelligent, active system that
continuously distributes engine drive torque between the front and rear axles as required for optimum stability and
grip in all conditions.
The hardware includes an electronically-controlled Torque Transfer Device (TTD), which varies power delivery
between the axles. A valve increases or reduces hydraulic pressure on wet clutch plates inside the TTD to
progressively engage or disengage the rear axle. The degree of ‘slip’ dictates how much drive is transmitted to the
rear wheels. An optional rear limited slip differential (eLSD) operates on the same principle, splitting drive
across the axle to whichever wheel has more grip.
For the first time the 9-3X combines a 2.0-litre turbo BioPower engine (155 kW/300 Nm) with XWD, combining a
bioethanol capability with all-wheel drive. The six-speed manual gearbox complements the sporty styling. As part
of the Swedish-manufacturer’s right sizing strategy, it is also offering a 2.0-litre petrol turbo with similar
output. The petrol engine is fitted with six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The diesel variant, a 1.9
TTiD two-stage turbo motor (132 kW/400 Nm) with front wheel drive, emits less than 145 grammes of CO2 per
kilometre. This engine, too, will be available with manual and automatic transmission. Unlike the other models,
this 9-3X variant has a chassis raised 20 mm higher than regular 9-3 variants with front wheel drive, maintaining
that rugged styling.
Form meets function in stowage area
Regardless of the motor chosen, the 9-3X also is designed to make loading sports and leisure equipment easy,
matching form with function. The rear cargo area, with a low floor, is surprisingly spacious and well-proportioned.
The compact design of the rear suspension allows a deep box-like space, free from intrusions, offering a useful
rear seat up/down volume of 477/1,331 litres (VDA).
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The 60/40 split rear seat-back incorporates a ski-hatch and folds down without any need to move the fixed seat
cushion. The fold-down front passenger seat-back also makes it possible to carry 2.5 metre-long items.
The fully carpeted rear load space is illuminated by two interior lights mounted on the inside of the D-pillars.
It is accessed by a lightly-weighted tailgate that opens down to bumper level, its damper rods completely hidden
in the roof to allow a clear, uncluttered opening. The flush-fitted, black moulded floor plate will not become
marked or scratched in heavy use.
The 9-3X's TwinFloor stowage facility, too, helps keep luggage and equipment safe and tidy. The middle section
of the floor hinges upwards transversely when the handle is pulled so that the front edge fits into two retaining
There is also a 12-volt power socket in the main load area (for a hot or cool box) and a separate storage
compartment at either side of the floor, one fitted with a moulded holder for large bottles.
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