Further to my news about the Melbourne International Motor Show and Saab’s improved diesel and BioPower offering here in Australia, there’s another release about the availability of XWD for 2009.
* XWD is coming, though it’s only mentioned in terms of the V6 (i.e. no 2.0T availability)
* The eLSD is not standard, but part of an upgrade pack
* V6 engine is the higher-rated 206kW version, with 400Nm
* Pricing starts at around $79K
Saab Introduces Upgraded V6 Engines and New Cross Wheel Drive Models
Saab’s widely-acclaimed all-wheel-drive system – Saab XWD (cross wheel drive) – is given broader appeal and is now available in the latest 9-3 Aero Sport Sedan and SportCombi models.
Premiering at the Melbourne International Motor Show later this month, these new models feature the cutting-edge XWD system which has been specifically tuned for the Saab 9-3 chassis and fully exploits the power of an upgraded 2.8-litre V6 turbo engine delivering 206kW* (increased from 188kW*) and an impressive 400Nm* (increased from 350Nm*) of torque (convertible torque figure increased to 370Nm*).
The increased performance V6 engine, now standard for the range, is a sophisticated, transverse-mounted compact and lightweight powerhouse that delivers the performance of a larger-displacement engine.
Continuing the brand’s heritage of leadership in turbo power established in 1977, the 2.8 V6 delivers excellent responsiveness through low-speed torque and high-rpm power as well as exceptional refinement.
Following on from the success of the XWD system in the Turbo X – the first vehicle to offer the state of the art XWD system – the XWD delivers a level of driver control that promises to be ‘best in class’.
“The Saab XWD system sets a new benchmark in all-wheel-drive performance by offering customers a technologically advanced, performance driving experience,” said Director of GM Premium Brands, Parveen Batish.
“The Turbo X was our first offering in the Australian market to feature this dynamic system; extending to our Aero V6 models continues to provide innovative products to our customers.”
Introduced to Australia in 2008, the halo Turbo X was offered in a special edition performance model with limited numbers being released to customers in Australia and New Zealand.
Saab XWD System
Saab XWD is an ‘intelligent’, active system that continuously distributes engine torque between the front and rear axles, giving optimum handling and grip in all driving conditions.
This fully automatic, on-demand system is capable of sending up to 100% of engine torque to the front or rear wheels whenever necessary.
It offers owners’ sure-footed handling in low-grip conditions and its sophisticated operation also adds a further sporty dimension to the driving experience in all road conditions.
On the open road, it operates seamlessly and helps the driver keep the car stable by splitting drive torque to counteract over steer or under steer characteristics when cornering.
To optimize traction at take-off, Saab XWD also features an innovative, pre-emptive engagement of the rear wheels which unlike conventional all-wheel-drive systems eliminates the need to detect front wheel slip before rear drive is activated.
The new 9-3 Aero XWD models are now on sale in Australia and prices listed below are recommended retail price excluding dealer delivery and government charges:
Sport Sedan 2.8TV6 206kW/400Nm* $79,400 (manual) $81,900 (auto)
SportCombi 2.8TV6 206kW/400Nm* $81,900 (manual) $84,400 (auto)
Also available is an optional pack which includes an active rear limited-slip differential (eLSD), larger brakes and 18 or 19 inch alloy wheels. The 18-inch XWD Pack is an additional $3,510 and the 19-inch XWD Pack is an additional $4,550 (includes LCT and GST).
The eLSD can transfer up to 50 per cent of maximum rear torque between the rear wheels, to whichever has more grip, and its inclusion on the Turbo X was the first application of an electronically-controlled, rear limited-slip differential in this segment of the market.
*Figures as per ECE regulations