OK, so the super-secret photoshoot isn’t super-secret anymore, though it is most definitely super. We’re in a private home that Saab have borrowed for the occasion to show the new Saab 9-4x off in a classy, outdoor setting before it goes under the bright lights of the LA show.
I guess I better make the homeowner proud and show off the very nice residence they’ve selected to show the Saab 9-4x’s contemporary lines. The house is located in the hills behind Malibu. A nice spot.
This is the only Saab 9-4x going around that’s been built using production materials. It’s been built on a ‘beta line’ in Michigan, which is used to test the production line and is therefore, a pre-production type vehicle, but the most complete one ready for the LA Auto Show.
I thought I’d take you through a number of the details on this production version of the vehicle.
My first impression is very, very positive. It looks like years ahead of the Saab 9-4x BioPower concept it was based on, which surprised me a little. Maybe it’s the silver paint, but it just looks a lot more contemporary and…. finished.
This is the front grille, which is specific to the Aero model that’ll be on show.
You’ll also notice the blue tint to the headlamps. Here’s a more deliberate shot to show the headlamps to maximum effect. When they talk about ice-block headlamps, they mean it – and these do look really cool.
A shot down the side of the vehicle, showing the wheels and arches….
And around the back. The trunk space is useful, though not what I’d call mammoth. That’s not disappointing in any way is this isn’t a mammoth vehicle. It looks more like a large driving vehicle than a medium hauler, which is a great thing IMHO.
The U-rail system is in place and they’ve also carried over the airplane handle in the floor from the Saab 9-3 SportCombi.
This Aero model has the powered tailgate (I’m unsure if it’s standard on the base model – we’ll find out shortly). This is the button on the tailgate itself and there’s another one on the driver’s door.
Here’s a shot of the rear legroom. Those front seats are back as far as they can go. I’d say the rear legroom is somewhere between the 9-5 and the 9-3.
The rear seats are heated, too, as part of a climate package.
I know a number of people will be keen to know about the dashboard and interior.
In short, the dashboard is largely similar to the 9-5, but there are a couple of differences. Yes, there’s a large piece of black plastic in the main dashboard area. This is supplemented with a few nice touches, however.
The first of these is some leather stitched trim at the top of the instrument binnacle….
And the other is the use of some light grey patterned trim around the shifter, leading up to the dash and over the top of it as well (as is present in the 9-5, but in brushed aluminium or woodgrain).
You can see it a little in the photo of ‘Leornardo’ below. Not also the switches for the ventilated seats.
Speaking of seats, these are the very comfortable Sports Seats in the 9-4x show car, with perforated leather for the vent feature.
This is the switchgear on the driver’s door. You can see, once again, the silver patterned trim that’s also used around the shifter and as an accent on the dashboard. The knob below is for the power tailgate.
The Saab 9-4x show car is making a very good first impression on me. Unfortunately there’ll be no driving of this vehicle as it’s the only one they’ve got and it’s headed for the convention center later tonight.
I’m looking forward to having a proper look over it in the next few days, but I think a lot of people who have been a little skeptical about this car might change their minds when they see it for themselves. Saab have done a great, great job.
The Saab 9-5 was here as well….
This particular Turbo6 had a parchment interior with ventilated sports seats and looked absolutely fantastic inside and out.
And a final surprise…..
As I was walking down the driveway, there was a Viggen convertible parked in a lay-away off to the side. Apparently it belongs to the agent who put the deal together to get the use of the house.