• Oct 18, 2010
2012 Saab 9-4X – Click above for high-res image gallery

Much like the 2010 9-5 sedan, the fate of Saab's 9-4X crossover hung in limbo during General Motors' sale of the Scandinavian automaker. Now that Saab is safely under the umbrella of Spyker Cars, the new 9-5 is trickling out on the road and we've just received the full host of images and data detailing the production-spec 9-4X, set to be publicly revealed at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show.

While the 9-4X's styling is clearly the evolution of Saab's Aero X concept, the Cadillac SRX provides much of the crossover's groundwork – this vehicle was wholly developed during the GM era, after all. This means that both the Caddy's 3.0-liter V6 (265 horsepower) and turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 (300 horsepower) are on hand in the 9-4X, mated to six-speed automatic transmissions. The base engine can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive, while the turbo engine is solely offered with Saab's torque-vectoring XWD all-wheel-drive system. Saab has also fitted its DriveSense adaptive chassis system to Aero models, which offers three different drive setups: Comfort, Sport and Eco.

The 9-4X's cabin is similar to what you'll find in the 9-5, with a cockpit-like, driver-focused center stack and a push-button ignition on the center console. If the Saab's cabin is anything like what GM has crafted for the SRX, things should be pretty luxurious, albeit with a sprinkling of quirky Scandinavian touches.

Look for the 9-4X to hit North American dealerships in May of next year with prices being announced closer to launch. For now, follow check out the images below and hit the jump for the full details in Saab's press release.

[Source: Saab]
Show full PR text
New Saab 9-4X: World Premiere.
Scandinavian Choice for the Crossover Segment

* Saab enters fast-growing crossover segment
* Progressive Scandinavian design inspired by Aero X concept
* Car-like handling qualities deliver rewarding driving experience
* Advanced Saab XWD mated with Saab DriveSense adaptive chassis
* Spacious cabin, driver-focused cockpit and ample storage
* Compact, light, efficient engines: 265 hp 3.0V6i and 300 hp 2.8V6 turbo
* Flexible cargo management system

The new 9-4X brings unique Saab design and engineering values to the growing, luxury mid-size crossover segment. Distinctive Scandinavian and aircraft-inspired looks are combined with car-like handling and ride characteristics: this is a vehicle which delivers driving and design appeal in equal measure.

Making its world premiere at next month's Los Angles Auto Show, the 9-4X expands Saab's product portfolio to three car lines and will provide a fresh, alternative choice for independently-minded crossover buyers. It is an important next-step in the Swedish brand's renaissance as an independent premium car manufacturer.

Muscular and sporty to drive, the 9-4X is aligned in looks and size between the 9-3X all-rounder and new 9-5 sedan. Outside and inside, it communicates its Saab identity with clean, uncluttered design and signature motifs, such as its wraparound-effect windshield, ice block lighting theme, driver-focused cockpit and flexible cargo handling.

In true Saab tradition, the 9-4X delivers on its sporty persona. It is configured around a unique, purpose-designed crossover body structure, which has been key to delivering such excellent handling and ride properties. Its car-like driving dynamics can be enhanced still further by Saab's advanced all-wheel-drive system, Saab XWD, and DriveSense adaptive chassis control. Both are standard with Aero, while Saab XWD is also available as an option.

Under the hood, nestles a choice of compact and efficient V6 engines, naturally-aspirated or turbocharged. The 265 hp, 3.0-liter motor for entry-level and premium variants features direct fuel injection and variable valve timing; while the 300 hp, 2.8-liter exchanges direct injection for twin-scroll turbocharging and is exclusive to top-of-line Aero variants. Both engines are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions under adaptive, electronic control.

"The 9-4X significantly broadens the appeal of the Saab brand," says Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson, "It gives us entry to the fast-growing crossover segment with a vehicle that reflects our brand values in key areas, such as progressive Scandinavian design and sporty, responsible driving performance. The 9-4X is an exciting package and we're confident it will appeal to many existing Saab owners, as well as win new customers for the brand."

The 9-4X goes on sale in North America in May next year, with sales in Europe and other global markets due to begin from August. Prices will be announced shortly before sales commence.

Body sculpted by Saab

The 9-4X cuts a broad and powerful stance, with clean, uncluttered lines that echo Saab's Scandinavian design ethos. Its distinctive face, in common with the new 9-5 sedan, draws inspiration from the award-winning Aero X concept car, with a deep, three-port grille and 'ice-block'-effect lighting themes.

Disguised windshield and door pillars create Saab's signature wraparound-effect, the single glasshouse graphic emphasizing the brand's traditional 'cockpit' look. Other exterior Saab identifiers include the shaping of the headlamps, a 'hockey stick' waistline and strong C-pillars complemented by a wraparound-effect rear screen.

The roofline is visually lowered and extended by a rear spoiler integrated into the deck lid. The rear lighting carries forward the signature theme introduced by the new 9-5 sedan. An 'ice-block' bar lit by LEDs extends across the lower deck lid and wraps around the light units. Twin rhomboid-shaped exhaust tailpipes are neatly integrated into the lower bumper molding.

Overall, the 9-4X's bodywork is noticeably free from unnecessary decoration or trim. A dark protective appliqué is applied to lower body, but there are no wheel-arch claddings or protective body panels.

18-inch, six-spoke alloy wheels are standard fit, while Aero models are distinguished by 20-inch, nine-spoke 'turbine' alloy wheels, as well as bi-xenon cornering headlights and black mesh inserts in the front grille and fog lamp housings.

Cockpit-inspired cabin

The spacious cabin provides comfortable accommodation for up to five adults and is defined by a signature Saab, driver-focused cockpit layout. The center console, center stack and main instrument display are presented within a single form that sweeps up around the driver. For the 9-4X, this is finished with wood or carbon fiber-effect trim.

Other subtle references to Saab's aviation heritage include a selectable, attitude style speed read-out, green illumination for the needles of the three main dials and traditional Saab 'joystick' adjusters for the mesh-style air vents. The ignition – a start/stop button – is, of course, located between the front seats, in true Saab tradition, adjacent to the shift lever.

Large, supportive seats include a standard, 8-way electrical adjustment for the driver and an optional electrical adjustment of the foot pedals. Rear passengers enjoy particularly roomy accommodation as rear space is not compromised by the presence of a third row of seats. They also benefit from an independent, three-way manual adjustment of the rake of each 60/40 fold seatback.

Ample onboard storage includes double-decked pockets in all doors, a two-tier front glovebox and a deep bin in the center console with 12-volt, USB and AUX connections. Rear passengers have additional storage in the rear face of the center console and the center armrest.

Available infotainment includes two audio options, a seven-speaker or top-of-the-line Bose system with 5.1 surround sound. The optional 8-inch, touchscreen hard disk based navigation system includes a bird's eye map view and 10 GB storage for jukebox' music files. Communication on the move is supported by OnStar and integrated Bluetooth hands-free phone system, which functions via voice command and steering wheel controls.

In the rear, passengers can enjoy independent climate control, in addition to the standard dual-zone system, and select their own onboard audio/visual entertainment through a dedicated unit in the back of the center console. This optional equipment has a video AUX input and two 8-inch screens in the rear face of the front seatbacks.

Adaptable cargo carrying

The trunk of the 9-4X is optimized for space and ease of use. The 60/40 split seatbacks fold down in a single movement, without having to move the seat cushions or remove the retractable head restraints. They provide a completely flat cargo deck, offering a total volume of 61.2 cubic feet.

The front section of the trunk floor is hinged and can be opened via an aircraft-shaped handle to reveal additional under floor storage. Floor space can be tailored as required by the, U-shaped track with a telescopic cargo divider, which can be moved to any position to keep items in place.

For additional convenience, the deck lid is available with a remotely controlled, hydraulically powered operation. It can open fully, or to a programmable lower position if there is restricted clearance overhead, such as in the garage.

On the move

The Saab 9-4X brings car-like handling and ride qualities to the crossover segment. Key to its dynamic performance is a unique body structure, purpose-designed for a crossover application and free from compromises through adapting an existing sedan or wagon format.

Advanced driving technologies include Saab XWD, the sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, which infinitely varies drive torque between the front and rear axles. This pre-emptive, light and fast-acting system offers optimized grip in virtually all driving conditions, dry or wet, smooth or loose. It is combined with an electronically-controlled, rear limited-slip differential (eLSD) which can transfer up to 50% of rear torque between the rear wheels, to whichever has more grip.

Driver and vehicle in the Aero are brought even closer together by Saab DriveSense, an adaptive chassis function which uses real time damping control to help the 9-4X react to how it is being driven and to changing road conditions. In addition to the default 'Comfort' setting, the driver can select 'Sport' mode, which introduces a firmer range of adjustment for the dampers, as well as a sharper throttle pedal response and raised gear shifting points. An 'Eco' mode also re-maps the throttle pedal and gearshifting patterns for optimal fuel economy.

Other driving aids include variable effort steering, a function of Saab DriveSense, and bi-xenon adaptive lighting, which provides better illumination of upcoming bends by linking the direction of the headlamp beam to the steering angle.

Efficient power packs

The powertrain line-up comprises two efficient all-aluminum V6 engines, both with a six-speed automatic transmission. These light and compact, 24-valve motors feature variable valve timing, on both inlet and exhaust sides, and boast power ratings typical of larger displacement engines.

The 265 hp, 3.0-liter naturally-aspirated motor is available with front-wheel drive or Saab XWD and includes direct fuel injection. With front-wheel drive, it propels the 9-4X from zero to 60 mph in just 7.9 seconds (8.4 seconds with Saab XWD) and is expected to enable estimated city/highway combined fuel consumption of 20 mpg* (19 mpg* with Saab XWD).

Available exclusively in Aero specification with Saab XWD as standard, the 2.8-liter turbo engine packs 300 hp and generates an impressive 295 lb.ft. spread of torque between 2,000 and 5,000 rpm. It delivers zero to 60 mph acceleration in 7.7 seconds and estimated city/highway combined fuel consumption of 18 mpg*.

* EPA estimated fuel economy ratings not yet issued

Leading safety performance

Excellent safety complements strong performance, and the 9-4X benefits from more than 50 years of Saab experience in working with occupant protection. Saab crash testing and computer simulations are based on what happens in real collisions, on real roads. Many in-house tests developed by Saab are over and above those legally required or carried out by consumer test organizations.

The success of Saab's work is reflected in surveys of real-life collisions by the US Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) and the Swedish Folksam insurance company, where Saab cars have consistently scored well, several times being ranked best in their segment. The Saab 9-3 and the new 9-5 sedan are also maximum 5-star performers in EuroNCAP crash safety ratings, as is the 9-3 in U.S. NCAP.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Alright, who screwed up and forgot to paint half the car?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Automakers like to do this to their crossovers to make them look higher of the ground and therefore more rugged!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Once there's a sport package with body colored moldings it will look better.

        • 4 Years Ago
        it's fine

        this way no paint scratches and no worries if anyone ever went in gravel roads

        but, this also gives them a way to bring in a top level with painted bumpers and charge an extra $2-3k for it

        I like it the way it is

        definitely better looking than the SRX
        and almost as good looking as the MKX

      • 4 Years Ago
      I like it! Can't wait to test drive one.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Still looks like a GM vehicle with a new nose.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The C-pillar looks too equinox/2011 Explorer to me to feel very fresh.

      I've always been a fan of SAAB design quirkiness, but under GM they had become chick cars.
      My wife and I saw the new 9-5 at the outdoor mall this weekend. My wife kind of liked it because it looked a bit different; then she saw the 56k sticker on the window, laughed and walked away.

      I hope the next few years have more interesting vehicles in the pipeline!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, it's an Equinox. Yes, I know this is "Theta Premium" and the Equinox is "Theta", but the fundamental architecture can't be hidden, especially that C-pillar. I see this and all I can think of is the Trollblazer, which had a similar Chevy-with-a-Saab-grille thing going on.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't know what you're looking at... but the 9-4x does not look like an Equinox at first glance, it doesn't look like any of it's "platform mates". All manufacturers who manufacture more than 1 brand do this... Ferrari, Audi, BMW, Lexus, Porsche, etc. This is in now way offensive like the Trailblazer you speak of. This car has it's own exterior design and a completely unique interior... that's not badge engineering.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I know what you mean, but I don't agree. Unlike the "TrollBlazer" this design actually integrates traditional Saab design cues. Perhaps more importantly, the interior isn't so obviously sourced out of a corporate parts bin.

        Like it or not, this may well be Saab's volume leader in North America for the forseeable future.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why do people berate GM for doing exactly what other manufacturers do. This car shares no body panels with the Equinox. Yes, they may have similar platforms, but thats not different than a $400,000 Rolls Royce using the same platform as a $80,000 7 series. Acuras that share Honda platforms... a Lexus that shares a platform with a Toyota... an Audi that shares a platform with a VW etc...
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's not exactly what other manufacturers do. Look at the hard points and you'll see that they're all shared with the other Theta vehicles. It's not the reuse of the platform that bothers me, it's the fact that I looked at it and saw an Equinox right away. Not even the SRX resembles its lesser cousins that much.

        The new 9-5 is much better on that front. I still think it's too big and heavy and the proportions are a bit wrong, but I didn't see a LaCrosse immediately when I looked at it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      It doesn't look too different from the concept, and that is a VERY good thing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is nothing new from Saab , its just a rebadged Caddy SRX . This would be newsworthy if and when Saab puts out a car that isn't another brand with a Saab sticker on the front .
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good to see Saab continuing ahead.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Saw the 9-5 at local Saab dealership over the weekend. Handsome lines and quite a big car, bigger than I imagined in any event.

      This one was a dark blue and the standard wheels looked far too busy for my tastes.

      Ultimately it gives up the Saab quirkiness for a more conventional look. The rear 1/3 of the car is the most attractive part, but overall it was just sort of blah, but big!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think a lot of people were initially put off by the high price of the 9-5 Aero XWD -- which is admittedly high (if not ludicrous) for any previous Saab 9-5 but the new car is actually an upmarket move to compete head on with the A6 and 5 Series. It's much larger and more luxurious than the car it replaces. They probably should have called it a 9-6 to avoid some of the perception issues.

        It will also be interesting to see how the public perceives the next generation 93 which is predicted to move down market so not to compete directly with the A4 and 3-Series. Instead it will be an A3 competitor. It's very difficult to shift a product's market focus without changing its name. If Saab does move the 93 downmarket a notch without renaming it, I won't be surprised when the reviews say things like, "The 93 has a handsome interior but the quality and feel of the materials used is not on par with the 3-Series let alone the benchmark A4. There are lots of hard plastics where soft touch surfaces are found in the competition."

        As for the 9-4x, I'm just happy to see Saab do away with the old 9-7x. The SRX is a decent vehicle and so I would assume that this one will be, too. For Saab, however, I see it as a catalog filler. It won't necessarily attract Saab purists but it won't necessarily scare them away either now that GM is mostly sort of out of the way. What Saab needs today most of all is an updated product catalog and sales! The 9-4x is new and updated. If it helps to drives sales along with the 9-5 then it will be considered a success (all things being relative).

        Whatever it takes for them to release the next Sonett is fine by me. :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      I really like Saab, but for the SUV...I will stay with my Q7.
      • 4 Years Ago
      One of the best looking SUVs out there - bar the Range/Land Rover collection.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think the Audi Q5 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee look better just to name a couple. Of course as someone mentioned above, if you like Saab then more then likely you will dig this. I think it looks good but no where near best looking IMHO.
        • 4 Years Ago
        In my opinion the new Jeep looks like yesterdays news, and the Q5 is certianly well executed - but not interesting. No really new ideas on either of these 2.
        To me, this thing is interesting, modern, and restrained. It shows new thinking in this segemnt.
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