Mike Stevens | Feb 24, 2009

It might have recently filed for bankruptcy and have mere weeks until it discovers its fate, but it seems even that isn’t enough to keep a good Swede down.

Set to premiere at the Melbourne Motor Show later this week, Saab’s all-wheel-drive system - Saab XWD (cross wheel drive) - is now available in the latest 9-3 Aero Sport Sedan and SportCombi models, accompanying upgraded V6 engines.

NX part: AGK59590

According to Director of GM Premium Brands, Parveen Batish, the XWD system has been specifically tuned for the Saab 9-3 chassis. This is to best exploit the upgraded 2.8 litre V6 turbo engine’s 206kW (up from 188kW) and 400Nm of torque (previous 350Nm) of the Sedan and SportCombi, while the convertible has been increased to 370Nm.

“The Saab XWD system sets a new benchmark in all-wheel-drive performance by offering customers a technologically advanced, performance driving experience.”

“The Turbo X was our first offering in the Australian market to feature this dynamic system; extending to our Aero V6 models continues to provide innovative products to our customers,” said Mr Batish.

Saab XWD is an ‘intelligent’ system designed to continuously distribute engine torque between the front and rear axles.


The fully automatic 'on-demand' Saab XWD system is capable of directing 100 percent of the engine’s torque to the front or rear wheels whenever necessary.

To get the best traction at take-off, Saab XWD features a pre-emptive engagement of of the rear wheels, which Saab says is superior to conventional all-wheel-drive systems as it eliminates the need to detect front wheel slip before rear drive is activated.


Sport Sedan 2.8TV6 206kW/400Nm Manual: $79,400

Automatic: $81,900

SportCombi 2.8TV6 206kW/400Nm Manual: $81,900

Automatic: $84,400

Saab also offers an optional pack with an active rear limited-slip differential (eLSD), larger brakes and 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels.

The 18-inch XWD Pack is an additional $3,510 and the 19-inch XWD Pack is an additional $4,550 (includes LCT and GST).

The eLSD can transfer up to 50 per cent of maximum rear torque between the rear wheels, to whichever has more grip, and its inclusion on the Turbo X was the first application of an electronically-controlled, rear limited-slip differential in this segment of the market.

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