Saab 9-4x: Design

Note: this press release is designated as being for Europe and rest of world, not for US. I’m not sure what the differences will be.

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Crossing Over with Progressive Saab Design

  • Carries forward signature Saab design cues
  • Clean exterior styling follows Scandinavian tradition
  • Spacious cabin with driver-focused cockpit
  • Flexible cargo management system

Strong, crisply sculpted and unmistakably Saab: the 9-4X cuts a muscular stance that defines its crossover character. It takes Saab forward into a new market segment, sharing signature Saab styling cues from the new Saab 9-5 sedan.

Outside and inside, it gives fresh expression to a Saab design heritage drawn from aeronautical and Scandinavian roots. The 9-4X takes Saab’s design language into a new vehicle class, emphasizing a feeling of strength and solidity that goes to the heart of the Saab brand.

Clean exterior design
The athletic 9-4X brings Saab design values to the crossover segment of the first time. Like its 9-5 peer, the distinctive frontal styling of the 9-4X is inspired by the award-winning Aero X concept car, which introduced a new deep, three-hole grille treatment and ‘ice-block’-effect lighting themes in a blue-green hue.

Other Saab brand identifiers – the wraparound-effect windshield, peaked cap header rail, the shape of the headlamps, a wraparound-effect rear screen and hockey stick waistline – are now integrated within a raised, crossover body format. The result is a vehicle with clean, uncluttered lines that reflect the simplicity of Scandinavian design principles.

The blacked-out windshield and door pillars help to create a single glasshouse graphic, emphasizing that typical Saab ‘cockpit’ look. In the style of the new 9-5, the door mirror casings are also black, instead of body-colored, so that the visual impact of the window graphic is not interrupted.

Like the new 9-5 sedan, the ‘ice block’ headlamp units include a curving, signature light tube which illuminates to give the car a distinctive identity day and night. Indicator repeaters in the front fenders also adopt the blue-green ‘ice block’ theme.

Subtle sculpturing of the wheel-arches, and a side crease that underlines the hockey stick beltline, also give a taut look to the proportions of a mid-size crossover. In keeping with Scandinavian design values, the 9-4X’s bodywork is free from unnecessary trim. While a dark protective appliqué is coated on the lower body, the 9-4X’s svelte lines are not sullied by additions such as wheel-arch cladding or protective body panels.

The roofline is visually lowered and stretched by a deep spoiler integrated into the top of the tailgate. The rear screen appears to wraparound the rear quarters of the car, helping to form a strong ‘C’-pillar shape, another Saab signature feature.

The rear lighting follows the same distinctive theme seen on the new 9-5 sedan. The signature ‘ice-block’ light bar stretches across the lower tailgate, wrapping around the rear light units. It gives the rear of the 9-4X a distinctive night and day identity.

For easy loading, the tailgate opens flush with the top of the rear bumper molding, which is finished with a black, scratch-resistant insert. The rear bumper also comes with a detachable hitch cover, which preserves its good looks when a towing hitch is not required. With both engines, twin rhomboid-shaped exhaust tailpipes are neatly integrated into the lower bumper molding.

18-inch, six-spoke alloy wheels are fitted as standard, while Aero models are visually distinguished by 20-inch, nine-spoke ’turbine’ alloy wheels, a black mesh front grille and a side decor strip in brushed aluminum.

Cockpit-inspired cabin
The 9-4X’s spacious cabin provides comfortable accommodation for up to five adults and is distinguished by its signature Saab driver-focused cockpit. The center console, center stack and main instrument displays are all combined within a single form that arcs around the driver. For the 9-4X, this defining feature is presented with a wood or carbon fiber-effect finish.

Three main instrument dials are housed in chrome-edge tubes. The central speedometer includes a selectable, rolling ‘aircraft attitude’ meter as a speed read-out, a subtle reference to Saab’s aviation heritage. The needles of the dials and main display screen in center stack are all illuminated in signature Saab green. The aircraft-like ‘Night Panel’ button, another unique Saab feature, allows the driver to minimize distraction during night driving by switching off all the main instrument and infotainment illumination, except the speedometer.

Other unique Saab features include mesh-style air vents with ‘joystick’ adjusters and the car’s ignition – now a start/stop button – located between the front seats adjacent to the shift lever. Controls associated with the movement of the vehicle – such as the electric park brake button and DriveSense adaptive ride selector – are logically located in the same area.

The presentation of the infotainment and climate controls in the center stack below the color display screen follows the same layout as seen in the new 9-5 sedan. Small channels in the fascia link the main rotary controls and resemble the shape of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, a hint at the combination of human design and scientific precision used in the layout of the cabin. It is part of the logical, zonal groupings used for the location of the car’s interior, chassis and lighting controls.

Ample cabin storage is a key requirement for a leisure-orientated vehicle. In addition a large, two-tier, cooled glovebox, Saab designers have optimized space by providing double-decked storage pockets in all doors, front and rear. The center console also includes storage within the lift-top adjustable armrest, as well as dual depth adjustable twin cupholders and a deep storage bin with a 12-volt power outlet and USB and AUX sockets for mobile devices. Rear passengers have additional storage in the rear face of the center console and in the center armrest with twin cupholders.

Large, supportive seats include an 8-way electrical adjustment for the driver (also for the front passenger in Aero specification). Driving comfort can be further refined by electrically adjustable foot pedals, available an option, giving a travel range of 55 mm and operated via a button on the steering column.

Rear passengers can also adjust their seating position. Each of the split seatbacks features a choice of three rake positions, which are engaged by a lever in the outboard edge of the seatback.

Adaptable cargo carrying
The trunk of the 9-4X is optimized for space and ease of use. Generously proportioned, with minimal intrusions in the side walls, it offers a load capacity of 485 (preliminary) liters with the rear seatbacks up.

The 60/40 split seatbacks are designed to fold down in a single movement, without having to move the seat cushions or remove the retractable head restraints. As the seatbacks are folded down, the cushions slide forward to enable a completely flat cargo deck.

The front section of the trunk floor is hinged and can be raised via an aircraft-shaped handle to reveal an additional under-floor storage for smaller items when a tire repair kit is fitted instead of a spare wheel. The raised floor can also be locked in a vertical position and is fitted with hooks, allowing shopping bags to be organized in a practical way.

A detachable, retracting cargo cover is also fitted a standard. It pulls out from the top of the seatbacks to conceal stowed items and features a convenient second movement, which allows both edges to slide up channels on the inside of the D-pillars. This opens up the cargo deck for easy access, without any need to fully retract the cover, or reach inside again to pull it back in position.

The cargo deck’s floor space can be tailored as required. The optional, U-shaped track accommodates an adaptable, telescopic cargo dividing rail which can be moved to any position. The concept, already introduced on the new 9-5 sedan, provides a quick and flexible storage solution, keeping a wide range of different-sized items in place.

For additional convenience, the tailgate is available with a remotely controlled, hydraulically powered operation. It can be opened, programmed and closed via a rotary switch on the inside of the driver’s door, the key fob or controls on the tailgate itself. The programmable mode raises it to a set lower position if there is restricted clearance overhead. The OFF setting disables the powered function. This feature is standard for all Aero models.

Cabin Decor and Equipment
In both specifications, the upper surfaces of the cabin’s front fascia and door panels are presented in a grained, jet black finish, with contrasting edge stitching for the Aero.

The standard interior offers a choice of dark titanium (grey), shale (beige) or jet black for the center armrest, lower door panels and seats, which are upholstered in leatherette. A wood-effect finish is applied to the main instrument panel and door grab handles, and the three-spoke steering wheel is leather trimmed.

The Aero cabin features a choice of dark titanium or jet black for the center armrest, lower door panels and sports seats, with under-thigh extensions, which are upholstered in perforated leather. Contrasting stitching, is applied to the flat-bottomed sports steering wheel, gearshift and the edge of the instrument panel. The Aero cabin is further enhanced by up-level ambient lighting, and a carbon-fiber look for the instrument panel and door handles.

Extensive9-4X standard equipment includes:

18” alloy wheels
Bi-xenon adaptive headlights with cleaning, automatic levelling
Fog lamps
Electrically-powered windows and door mirrors
Cruise control
Dual zone climate control
Keyless ignition with start and stop button
Color center console display
Steering wheel with audio/phone controls
8-way powered driver’s and 4-way manual front seat passenger adjustment
Electric parking brake
Night Panel
7-speaker Saab Infotainment CD with AUX, USB Rear seat with reclining adjustment, 60/40 split, armrest, dual cupholders and ski load-through
Rear center headrest, retracting
Roof bars, matt aluminum finish
Rear cargo cover

Aero specification adds:

20-inch turbine alloy wheels
Sentronic steering wheel controls for automatic transmission
DriveSense adaptive chassis including variable effort steering
Parking assistance front & rear
Perforated leather seats
8-way powered driver/passenger seat adjustment with lumbar support and thigh extension
Keyless entry
Up-level interior ambient lighting
Rain sensing wipers
Saab Infotainment Navigation
BOSE sound system
Power liftgate
Adjustable pedals
Light sensitive inside and outside rear view mirrors
Rear view camera

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