Steane Klose | Feb 12, 2009

Forget waiting until Geneva to get a good look at Saab's 9-3X, we've got details and images right here. The wagon-bodied soft-roader sits 35mm higher than the standard Saab sedan and will compete with the likes of Subaru's Outback and Audi's Allroad Quattro.

The M.O. is simple enough: provide everything people have come to expect from a Saab, and then throw in a dash of versatility for the more active family.

2010_saab_9-3x

Engine options will include a 2.0 litre petrol and a 1.9 litre TTiD turbo diesel. The 2.0 litre petrol mill puts down a useful 154kW (206hp) and 300Nm (221lb-ft), while the diesel manages 132kW (176hp) and a very healthy 400Nm (295lb-ft). Petrol variants will receive Saab's Cross Wheel Drive system while the diesel model will only see power at the front wheels, and will sit 15mm lower.

While no figures were available for the diesel, the petrol powered version covers the 0-100km/h (62mph) run in around 8.2-seconds.

Both models will be available with a six-speed manual or automatic cog-swapper.

2009_saab_9-3x_rear

Body styling reflects the active nature of the vehicle, with dark grey bumpers and side arches offering some protection from the elements. Aluminium skid panels and door strips are also standard fare, as are roof racks and chrome-ringed front fog lamps. Tasteful 17-inch five-spoke alloy rims are also fitted for good measure.

Pricing and availability has not been revealed just yet but we should have this information once the 9-3x appears at Geneva, so stay tuned. For now you can check out the video, gallery, and press release below.

Gallery

# A new addition to the Saab 9-3 range

# Aimed at people with active outdoor lifestyles who don’t want a large crossover

# Latest Saab XWD technology combined with all-round performance

The Saab 9-3X is the ideal alternative to large and heavy crossovers or SUVs. With distinctive looks, a versatile Sport Wagon body, higher stance and advanced all-wheel drive technology, the 9-3X also offers excellent fuel efficiency and functional storage .

The 9-3X is available with either Saab’s 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine (210hp), combined with the technically advanced Cross Wheel Drive system (XWD), or the highly regarded 1.9 TTiD diesel engine (180hp) with front-wheel drive. Overall, the 9-3X embodies Saab’s turbocharging philosophy, combining a dynamic driving experience with a fuel efficient powertrain to achieve responsible performance.

Distinctive Appeal

Saab designers have raised the chassis 35mm higher (20mm higher on the FWD diesel model) than the standard two-wheel drive Sport-Wagon. It is specifically designed for those who frequently use gravel or unpaved roads, without compromising the driving experience on tarmac.

The Saab 9-3X is a car in tune with the lifestyle 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 vehicle that will do what’s required in more comfort and style than a heavier SUV.”

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 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 matt, aluminum-coloured lower door strips and roof rails with the same finish. Visible, twin round exhaust tailpipes are standard for both engine options. Front fog lights ringed with a chrome finish add yet another rugged accent.

With the addition of unique design, 5-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 features a unique trim, adding a dark metallic finish to the door trims, glove box and gearbox surround. The unique sports seating features grey fabric inserts in the black leather upholstery.

Total Traction With Power

At the heart of the 9-3X is Saab’s cutting-edge XWD technology. It is an intelligent, active system that continuously distributes engine drive torque between the front and rear axles as required for optimum stability and traction in all conditions. To optimise traction the Saab XWD incorporates an innovative, pre-emptive engagement of the rear wheels. Unlike conventional all-wheel-drive systems, this eliminates the need to detect front wheel slip before rear drive is activated.

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. The standard fit rear limited slip differential (eLSD) operates on the same principle, splitting drive across the axle to whichever wheel has more traction.

The 2.0 Turbo petrol engine, delivers a potent 210hp and thus conforms to Saab’s right-sizing principal by producing the power of a larger engine but with the fuel economy and lower emission benefits of a smaller 2.0 litre capacity thanks to a turbo charger. This all-alloy engine also produces 221lb ft of torque (300Nm) between 2,500-4,000rpm and can accelerate the 9-3X from 0 – 60 mph in just 8.2 seconds. Both a six speed manual and automatic transmission are available.

The diesel variant, a 1.9 TTiD twin turbo engine produces an impressive 180hp and a punchy 295 lb ft (400Nm) of torque through the front wheels, but still keeps emissions low with 144 g/km. This engine, too, will be available with manual and automatic transmission.

Form meets function in stowage area

The 9-3X is designed to make loading sports and leisure equipment easy: the rear cargo area with a low floor is surprisingly spacious and well-proportioned, and 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 419/1287 litres (VDA).

The 60/40 split seat-back incorporates a ski-hatch and folds down without any need to move the fixed seat cushion. 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 helps to protect against marks or scratches on the bumper during heavy use.

The 9-3X's TwinFloor stowage facility also 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 moulded holder for large bottles.

Marketing

The long running Saab/Salomon promotional partnership with be used in the UK as the main launch platform for the new Saab 9-3X. The car will be the featured vehicle at the popular Saab/Salomon trail running series where its excellent performance on gravel tracks will be well suited to athletes who want a performance vehicle that can take them all the way to the start of the trail.

The target market for the 9-3X is modern individuals - independent minded people who enjoy life, culture, outdoors, sports & family. These are people with active lifestyles who have demands for versatility.

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