Saab celebrates three decades of leadership in turbocharging at this year's Frankfurt International Motor Show by launching the Saab Turbo X, a driver-focused performance car that sets new standards for the brand.
This black limited-edition model takes Saab `back to the future' by evoking the iconic appeal of its first black 900 Turbo and introducing innovative Saab XWD technology.
It is unveiled today (11 Sept), exactly 30 years after Saab surprised the automotive world at Frankfurt when it revealed its first turbocharged model. That set a trend other manufacturers were to follow. Now Saab unleashes turbo power for the first time through Saab XWD, a cutting edge all-wheel drive system that sets performance standards competitors will also seek to emulate.
With 400Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque from its 280hp 2.8 V6 turbo engine, the Turbo X is the ultimate performance expression of the new Saab 9-3 range.
Saab XWD features active management that not only splits torque delivery between both axles, but also between the rear wheels. This responsive system delivers a level of driver involvement and dynamic chassis control never seen before from Saab.
In addition to tuning of the suspension and its electronic chassis, throttle and powertrain settings, the Turbo X features distinctive styling additions that enhance aerodynamic performance.
To exploit the full benefits of Saab XWD, the chassis of the Turbo X has been lowered 10mm and the springs and dampers stiffened to minimize body movement. To maintain a constant ride height, irrespective of load, self-levelling dampers are fitted at the rear.
Stopping power is also increased with larger brake discs fitted: internally vented (345x30 mm) at the front and externally vented (292mmx20mm) at the rear. Standard 235/45 R18 tires ensure excellent mechanical grip for the 18" alloy wheels.
The powerhouse at the heart of the Turbo X is a 24v, 2.8 liter V6 turbo engine generating 295 lb-ft of torque between 2150 and 4500rpm, and maximum power of 280hp (206 kW) at 5500rpm. The advanced specification includes a lightweight, all-aluminum construction with a 60-degree angle between the cylinder banks for perfect balance, variable inlet valve timing and twin-scroll turbocharging. It is offered with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
This responsive, high torque powerplant is the perfect partner for Saab XWD. Together, they give the Saab Turbo X sporty, all-wheel drive performance and handling characteristics that will appeal to all enthusiastic drivers who seek a rewarding experience behind the wheel.
The Saab Turbo X visually communicates its focus on driving performance by extending the bold, progressive design themes of the new 9-3 range. Offered only in metallic jet black, with the front grille and all exterior detailing accented in a matte grey titanium-like finish, it represents a contemporary expression of its illustrious black 900 Turbo forebear.
Distinctive styling additions are designed to improve aerodynamic efficiency, as well as emphasize the Turbo X's performance focus. At the front, a deeper lip spoiler and integrated air intake contribute to reduced drag while also increasing airflow to the engine and intercooler.
At the rear, the re-profiled bumper and insert panel lower the point of airflow separation, further reducing drag and assisting high speed stability. The Sedan features a rear spoiler that extends the line of the boot deck, reducing high speed lift forces at the rear axle. The standard SportWagon already has a similar spoiler that extends the rear roof line.
The Turbo X is further distinguished by unique, 18" alloy wheels (19" available as an option outside US/Canada markets) with a grey titanium-like finish that evokes the look of Saab's classic three-spoke design. Twin, rhomboid-shaped tailpipes complete the exterior additions.
Inside, the `black turbo' theme is continued throughout the cabin. The sports seating, with additional bolstering, is upholstered entirely in black leather. The sporty ambience is further emphasized by a carbon-fiber finish to the main fascia, door inserts, glove box and gear shift console which is unique to the Turbo X.The driver benefits from improved `feel' through the addition of a thick-rimmed, soft grip leather steering wheel. Seating comfort can be taken a step further with an optional premium, natural leather interior, which includes perforated bolsters for the front seat squabs and backs.
In recognition of Saab's turbo heritage, the Turbo X boost gauge is a replica of the original 900 Turbo display. Owners will also enjoy a personalized greeting when they get behind the wheel and switch on the ignition. A unique `Ready For Take-off' message (`All Systems Go' in US/Canada) flashes in the main instrument display. The owner's name and the edition number of the car can also be programmed by the dealer.