The Saab 9-3 SportWagon
Saab 9-3

Ahead of the imminent launch of the Saab 9-3X crossover, Saab decided to put its acclaimed XWD technology into the existing Saab 9-3 Saloon and SportWagon, making them even more appealing.

Since the company announced that it was distancing itself from the mighty but troubled General Motors and taking matters back into its own hands, things have gone a little quiet. However, Saab has a few new things up its corporate sleeve; the Saab 9-3X being one, so it's a case of watch this space.

In the meantime, the Saab 9-3 XWD also goes about its business in a quiet manner, building on the traditional values of the marque and adding more benefits. Of course, there is a charge - Saab 9-3 XWD test car is priced at £28,745.85, which is £1,658.84 more than the standard 2.0T in Aero trim (£27,087.01).

The Saab 9-3 XWD is an all-wheel-drive system that is not only 'on-demand' but has pre-emptive capabilities, too. It continuously monitors and distributes the torque to the front and rear axles as needed to maintain traction and stability.

When taking advantage of the Saab 9-3 XWD's 0-62mph time of just 8.2 seconds, drive to the rear wheels is automatically activated just in case the front wheels lose grip. Saab believes this function sets a new benchmark in AWD systems, offering immediate traction from the get-go and making the most of the available acceleration.

The system also incorporates an eLSD or electronically-controlled Limited Slip Differential at the rear axle, which can transfer up to 50 per cent of the available torque to the rear wheels and more specifically, to whichever one has more grip. This comes into play under fast cornering or lane-changing on the motorway, while, when cruising at higher speeds, the torque to the rear axle is generally around 5-10 per cent. It works very well, offering good responses and excellent handling, and a measure of its capability is that the driver doesn't even notice.

Published : 28/05/09 Author : Melanie Carter

Saab 9-3 News

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