At the heart of the Saab 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 Saab 9-3X 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 Saab 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 Saab 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.Published 11 February 2009