- Powerful boxer engine.
- The price of entry into the Saab club just got lower.
- The entry-level Saab is also the quickest.
- All-wheel-drive handling.
- Attractive styling and practicality.
- It's not a real Swedish Saab.
- Subaru roots evident inside and out.
- Short on rear leg room.
- Some handling prowess sacrificed for ride comfort.
- It costs more than the Impreza WRX wagon.
Press Coverage :
The new 2005 Saab 9-2X is the result of a cooperation between Saab Automobile AB and General Motors' global partner, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI). GM owns Saab and holds a 20 percent stake in FHI. The Saab 9-2X program allows both companies to reach their goals by jointly leveraging the global resources of the GM Group. Sharing a heritage of aircraft manufacturing before entering the automobile business, both companies have a successful history in rallying and are renowned for their unconventional thinking. In addition, both brands look back on a rich history of technical innovations and have a solid reputation for producing dynamic cars with a distinctive character. Furthermore, Saab is a center of expertise within General Motors for the development of turbocharged gasoline engines, a technology also intensively and successfully used by FHI.
The joint effort that produced the new Saab 9-2X has all the ingredients of a classical win/win situation. Continuing with its biggest product offensive ever, Saab broadens its model line-up with a dynamic offering that will attract new, younger customers and grow the brand in North America. At the same time it puts Saab in a position to actively shape an emerging hot new market segment as the Saab 9-2X will be one of the first premium sports compacts on the American market. The Swedish manufacturer also gains insights into the all-wheel-drive experience from FHI, the eminent leader of on-road all-wheel-drive technology.
Saab enters the emerging segment for premium sport compacts with a distinctive model tailored for young driving enthusiasts that pursue an active lifestyle. Technical features include boxer four cylinder engines and advanced full-time all-wheel-drive (AWD), both firsts in Saab's history. With AWD, the ample power available in both engine versions is delivered to the road with less friction loss, improving the vehicle performance under acceleration. It also provides additional traction under difficult road conditions.
All Saab 9-2X models have disc brakes at all four wheels and a latest generation 4-channel/4-sensor anti-lock brake system (ABS). Four-wheel independent suspension features a MacPherson strut layout, with lower wishbones in front and three links at the rear. Stabilizer bars are standard fore and aft.
The 9-2X Aero offers a turbocharged and intercooled two-liter high performance DOHC engine delivering 227 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 217 lb.-ft. (294 Nm) of torque @ 4,000 rpm. Beyond the permanent AWD, traction and handling performance of the Aero is further improved by a viscous limited-slip differential at the rear. It comes with a standard 5-speed manual transmission; a 4-speed automatic transmission with lockup torque converter is available as an option.
With its outstanding performance, leaping for example through the standard sprint from 0 to 60 mph in about six seconds, the 9-2X Aero will find its customers among car enthusiasts. Young at heart, they will appreciate the Aero's outstanding dynamic capabilities wrapped in a premium package that offers excellent versatility. The base for the 9-2X's sharp handling response and smooth ride is provided by a very stiff body structure incorporating a hydroformed front subframe and tailored blank-welded side sills and B-pillars. The boxer engine layout is ideal for an all-wheel-drive application because it allows the transmission to be mounted directly behind it. Power travels in a straight, near-horizontal line to the rear differential, minimizing frictional loss. This symmetrical, uniform layout also provides excellent left-right balance. In contrast, an all-wheel-drive system in a vehicle with a transverse (sideways) mounted engine requires additional components to reroute the power from transverse to longitudinal orientation. Such a system adds friction (power loss) and weight. The boxer layout also concentrates the engine's mass in a small area and helps provide a lower center of gravity, contributing to quick handling and steering response. The horizontally opposed layout results in an inherently smooth-running engine, as well, because the motions of the pistons from one cylinder bank (and the vibration the motion creates) cancel the vibrations of the opposing bank. Furthermore, aluminum-alloy construction of the engine and transmission results in a lightweight drivetrain.
Even though the 9-2X is tuned much differently than other Saab models, as it is defined to have a bit more aggressive driving characteristics, it is still completely in line with unique Saab philosophy. This philosophy is defined by high straight-line stability for relaxed long-distance driving, outstanding on-limit stability and predictability even when the car is fully laden, and a supple ride, minimizing harshness and impact of rough roads.
In tuning the chassis, Saab's engineering team, under the direction of Platform-Manager Peter Dörrich, started from the ground up. They commissioned Bridgestone with the development of new tires. To reduce unsprung weight, they decided to only specify light alloy wheels in a 16-inch format with 205/55 R16 tires for all models. Aero models are also available with 17-inch wheels, using 215/45 R 17 tires. To further minimize mass in the suspension system, front wheel wishbones are manufactured from aluminum instead of steel.
Intensive work went into tuning the shock absorbers. The wheel angle settings and chassis geometry are defined to provide excellent predictability and stability in critical situations, as well as a high level of straight-line stability. The same objectives determined the configuration of the rear bump stops and the rubber bushings of the wishbone joints. For the Saab 9-2X Aero, additional attention was paid to the steering system. The steering gear mounting is designed to provide superior steering precision and response, as is the gear ratio.
Surfboards, skis, in-line skates, camping gear and more all fit well into the Saab 9-2X. With a wheelbase of 99.4 inches (2,525 mm) and an overall length of 175.6 inches, the Saab 9-2X offers nimble handling around town and on backcountry roads. It also holds up to 27.9 cubic feet (790 dm3) of cargo space with the seatback up and 61.6 cubic feet with the seatback folded down. A 60/40-split fold-down rear seatback is standard in all 9-2X models and the large rear luggage door opening gives optimal access to the trunk space provided.
1999-2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen
2,300 cc / 225-230 hp / 258 lb-ft / 3100-3200 lbs / 0-60 mph 6.5 sec.