• Nov 17, 2010
LA 2010: 2012 Saab 9-4X – Click above for high-res image gallery

Saab is looking to move forward after its long relationship with General Motors. Saab CEO Victor Muller quoted Winston Churchill today at the LA Auto Show saying "If you're going through hell... keep going." Muller says that Saab has gone through hell and is seeing the light on the other side. The 2012 Saab 9-4X is the latest taste of what Saab now has in store for us.

2012 Saab 9-4XThe 9-4X takes aim at the luxury crossover segment and is prepared to do battle withs some heavies, such as the Audi Q5, Lexus RX and BMW X3. The Cadillac SRX platform-mate arrives chock full of upmarket goodness like eight-way power adjustable seats, Bluetooth connectivity and a tri-zone climate control system; all part of the standard features list.

The exterior styling stays true to what we see with the Saab 9-5 sedan, and clearly states that the vehicle comes from a line of sporty cars. To match this style, the under-hood offerings come in two spirited flavors: a naturally-aspirated 265-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 and a direct-injection, turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 that pumps out 300 hp. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox that feeds all four wheels through Saab's XWD system.

It wasn't just the 9-4X on the menu at the 2010 LA Auto Show. We learned that the 9-5 wagon is set to make its debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show next March, Saab is expanding distribution into China and Russia and all operations have officially been moved to Trollhättan. It's also the first time in Saab's history that the 9-3 convertible has been built on Swedish ground.

Hop the jump to find out more about the 2012 Saab 9-4X including a chance to watch the model's first commercial, and stay tuned for more from this now-independent Swedish automaker in the near future.

Photos copyright ©2010 Jeff Glucker / AOL

[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
      I love the sloping back. Really Saabish...almost like the old hatchbacks. Much better than the 9-7X - way less of a GM look.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The more I look at it the more I like it. The new Saab back looks fantastic, and the two-tone thing really looks great. Way to go SAAB!! Bring it over here!
        • 4 Years Ago
        The irony in these statements is that this crossover was FULLY (save one of the engine choices) developed in-house at GM (exterior, interior, drivetrain)...

        "Way to go Warren Tech Center!" seems more appropriate. ;)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Quite a good job by SAAB.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hate to say it, but I do see a lot of Acadia in the design. On the other hand, that's not necessarily a bad thing; it looks good, and for Saab's sake, I hope they sell well.

      Meanwhile, in my own corner of the automotive world, I'll keep hoping they'll continue to crank out 9-3 and 9-5 wagons.
      • 4 Years Ago
      ?new? maybe I'm off, but isnt the 9-4 just a gussied up Acadia, still GM base?
      not anything bad, mind you but hardly new Saab.

      tho, IIRC, the engines are Saabs. I think GM uses the 3.6
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, it was developed with the Caddy SRX, they share the same platform and engines but have been tuned and styled differently for their respective brands. The platform was developed only for the Caddy and Saab so it's more than just a gussied up GMC
        • 4 Years Ago
        You know, it's not a bad thing that the 9-4X is based on well, the best selling crossover platform today. Plus, Saab didn't have to sink millions into a new platform.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm not gonna lie, it looks bland and a little outdated now. There's nothing to get excited about after so many years of seeing it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        People who drive crossovers usually like bland and boring, because usually your life shares similar traits when you are at the point where you would consider such a vehicle... :x

        As a person who drives an X5 35d sometimes (a crossover of sorts, seeing as its a softroader) i can say stuff like this.
      • 4 Years Ago
      GM should have kept Saab and used it as the luxury brand for Europe. Unless they're really planning to make Cadillac a full line manufacturer with the ATS, 4 cylnders, diesels and small wagons in Europe.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice to see the leading edge of the D-pillar leaning towards the front of the vehicle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      looks pretty damn good. almost like a tall 9.5. GM/Saab did a good job on this and the 9.5 I think it will sell very well for them. i think that it need to lean a little meaner in the back.

      It will be interesting to see a comparo with this and the Evoque
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am a huge Saab person so i obviously want to see them succeed, but I admit i didn't think this was a good idea at first but i think its actually a good looking vehicle. While this isn't the vehicle that i'm looking forward to getting my hands on as far as the Saab brand goes (read next gen 9-3, or a more powerful 9-5) its obvious that with the current trend in vehicles that this is an essential product in the brands line up. I think they did it right on this one. It looks classy and modern without being too overdone and flashy, something refreshing in the segment IMO. Also the Saab fanboy in me is pleased to see a Saab related Autoblog article with a large percentage of positive feedback in the comments section... :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yeah great, love it! Can I have a diesel?
      No!?! - Will never sell in Europe.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now that Saab is no longer under the Government Motors umbrella I want them to succeed but a rebadged Cadillac SRX, complete with the tendancy for blown engines and miserable electrical problems is not a good addition to the portfolio.

      It also faces an uphill battle as there are cheaper clones in the Government Motors stable in the form of the GMC Terrain and Chevy Equinox. Both of which are fleet queens at the rental lots. That could be a blessing in disguise.
        • 4 Years Ago
        So, I say this only because you took the trouble to spell out "Government Motors" several times, as opposed to just once to prove your point and then just reverting to "GM," but you *do* know that GM's IPO is today, and that the US Government will no longer be majority owner, most likely after today.

        Right? You did know that?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm fearing this will follow the recent GM trend of being overweight with underpowered unrefined engines and transmission. I'm hoping Saab can fine tune it and refine the engine, transmission, and suspension calibration.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You're both right. The top of the range model Aero has a turbo 2.8L V6 that Saab developed off the GM (Holden) design. The base model has the Cadillac's less powerful SIDI engine. Pat yourselves on the back.

        The more I look at this thing the more I can't wait to see how they refine it in a year or two's time, with sport packages, painted lower sills/bumpers, and interior upgrades. Saab has innovated with the Haldex XWD, and it feels glues to the road in the other models. I'm very interested to see how this thing drives on ice, and from the looks of the video shot in Norway, I won't be disappointed.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Don't worry, they're using Saab-developed engines. I think the sixer is a Saab development of the old GM European V6, and the turbo is their own design out of the 9-5.
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