The Saab 9-3X, which comes with an off-road capability minus the gas-guzzling quality of a regular SUV, is schedule to showcase at the Geneva Motor Show next month. It is basically a current-generation 9-3 SportCombi riding on 35mm raised suspension, which is 20mm higher on the FWD diesel variant. Highlights include new front and rear bumpers with a dark grey, grained paint finish.
The side sills and edges of the wheel arches are also finished in the same protective paint. Complimenting this finishing treatment are skid panels with matte aluminum finish, curving toward the door opening at the back and receiving a wing shape in the lip of the bumper at the front. The lower door strips come in matching aluminum-color and the same finish for the roof rails. Further details consist of dual exhaust tailpipes, fog lights, and five-spoke 17-inch alloys.
In the interior, the car features special trim, with additional dark metallic finish to the door trims, gearbox surround and glove compartment. The sport seats come with grey fabric inserts in black leather upholstery. In the rear comes split fold seating which provides a maximum of 1,287 liters of storage space.
The powerplant that comes with the 9-3X is either the 210bhp (157kW) 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine in combination with the XWD Haldex-derived AWD system, or the 280bhp (134kW) 1.9-liter TTiD turbodiesel with FWD. A 6-speed manual and auto transmission are both offered.
An electronically-controlled Torque Transfer Device (TTD) is included in the drive system, the function of which is to vary the delivery of power between the front and rear axles. A valve for this very purpose increases or decreases hydraulic pressure on wet clutch plates within the TTD to gradually engage or disengage the axle at the rear.
The level of 'slip' determined how much drive is channeled to the wheels at the rear. A limited slip differential is also fitted on the rear axle. The acceleration rate for the faster 2.0-liter gasoline turbo is 8.2 seconds from 0-60mph. The first of this model is expected to be displayed in showrooms by mid-2009.