At the Geneva motor show in March, Saab will
introduce the 9-3X — a new addition to the 9-3 range. Designed for
people with active lifestyles who don’t want a large Crossover or SUV,
the sporty 9-3X will become available in 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.
In the 9-3X, the acclaimed Saab Cross Wheel Drive (XWD) system – which
made its debut in the Turbo X limited edition model last year – will be
combined with the fuel-efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
gasoline engine. Overall, the 9-3X embodies Saab’s “EcoPower”
technology philosophy, which aims at combining a dynamic driving
experience with an efficient use of resources to achieve responsible
Saab designers raised the chassis of the two-wheel drive 9-3 SportCombi
35 mm (1.4 inches) higher, so the 9-3X 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
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 gray, 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 aluminum 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 matte,
aluminum-colored lower door decor strips. Roof rails and visible, twin
round exhaust tailpipes are standard. Front fog lights ringed with a
chrome finish add yet another bold accent.
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.
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.
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. A standard
rear limited slip differential (eLSD) operates on the same principle,
splitting drive across the axle to whichever wheel has more grip.
As part of the Swedish-manufacturer’s rightsizing strategy, the 9-3X
will come to the U.S. with Saab’s hallmark 2.0-liter gasoline
turbocharged four-cylinder powertrain, offering 210 horsepower.
Complementing the sporty exterior styling, the engine is mated with a
six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Form meets function in luggage area
The 9-3X is also 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 29.7/72.3
cubic feet .
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 items that are as long as 8 feet.
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 molded floor plate has been designed
to stay scratch-free even in heavy use.
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 slots. 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 molded holder for large
Arriving for the 2010 model year, the
9-3X is expected to arrive in Saab showrooms throughout the United
States this fall. Pricing will be announced at the start of the model