Saab 9-4x and the 2.8T

Following on from Cadillac’s decision to cancel the 2.8T version of the SRX, there was some legitimate concern as to what that might mean for the Aero version of the Saab 9-4x.

The 9-4x and SRX are vehicles that were designed in parallel and will be built on the same production line. Given that the 2.8T HF V6 isn’t one that sees widespread use in GM’s portfolio, there is some concern that the cancellation of the engine in the SRX could mean it’s ‘curtains’ for it’s availability in the Saab 9-4x as well.

I contacted Saab PR in Sweden and received the following in my inbox this morning:

We will launch the 9-4X with the 2,8T version as planned but can’t publicly comment on lifecycle changes. We all believe people will be very impressed with that engine.

So it’s confirmed that Saab will launch the 9-4x with the 2.8T Aero version as planned.

I didn’t really ask anything about lifecycle changes so the inclusion is an interesting side note. It may be that Saab can change the engine in the Aero for another offering from GM if a suitable replacement comes along. Remember, Saab continue to have access to GM technology for some considerable time as part of the sale agreement between GM and Spyker.

A contact at GM Inside News has mentioned a 3.0 twin turbo engine that GM have under development, due for debut later this year in another new Cadillac. This is an engine that Saab would have most likely contributed to developing over the last few years (being GM’s center of expertise in turbocharging) and could be a potential candidate to replace the 2.8T.

That’s pure speculation, however. What we know from this little exchange is that Saab will keep going with the 2.8T in the Aero version of the Saab 9-4x.

20 thoughts on “Saab 9-4x and the 2.8T”

  1. That’s good to hear! But I guess if Saab wants to use “another” (GM) engine they will have to pay GM big bucks for ‘adapting’ it to the 9-4X.

    Saab already has to pay big bucks for the current model:

    Saab will pay GM for the development costs until production starts in 2011 for an amount of $54.2 million. Also Saab will pay GM an agreed price per car produced for the coverage of the costs relating to the manufacturing of special tooling equipment.

    Does Saab want to invest a lot of money? If they are wise they don’t. Especially because the lifecycle of the 9-4X is pretty short.

    The is also a nice rumour about a SRX with the drivetrain of the Chevrolet Volt/Opel Ampera. But I guess GM does not want to share that technology with Saab…

    • Don’t know where youvegot that quote from but $54.2 million in development cost for a new car seems quite reasonable. I am quite confident Saab knows what they are doing.

      • Just read the financial reports from Spyker and you will learn a lot 😉 The complete quote:

        Besides the commitments regarding annual future lease and rental payments of € 15.7 million, Saab has a commitment to GM to buy the tooling for the new 9-4X model which will be introduced in 2011.
        Saab will pay GM for the development costs until production starts in 2011 for an amount of $ 54.2 million. Also Saab will pay GM an agreed price per car produced for the coverage of the costs relating to the manufacturing of special tooling equipment.
        (page 25)

  2. Well my thought is if the SRX is getting this engine as well then Saab will not have much to do in the form of conforming this engine for the 9-4x as well…

    • Even if it will fit with the same adjustments as for the SRX, Saab will have to pay I guess. I don’t think that GM will pay for all the adjustment and will say to Saab: “You can have the adjustments for free!”…

  3. How about the CTS-V’s 6.2L V8, good for 556hp ? That could allow the 9-4X to eat an M-B ML63 AMG for breakfast …….. [grin]

      • And do you know why Mercedes stops the production 😉

        The new ML is just around the corner and will be introduced in April at the NY Autoshow. And ofcourse there will be a new ML63 AMG version.

        This new version will get the new 5.5 BiTurbo (544 hp) that can already be found in the new S63, CL63 and CLS63 models.

    • I like your thinking 😉 Something for our little niche manufacturer to pick up? (in a 9-4X/9-5 that looks like a standard Aero on the outside). For those deep pocketed people who want to fly-under-the-radar. I know I know…

  4. The 2,8T, isn’t that engine block made in Australia by Holden? (I was under the impression that it’s a revised 9-3 2.8T block.) Does Holden use it, and if so, what are thier offerings?

    Btw, how is Holden doing, they dropped off my rader after the GM sales? Do Saab talk directly with them, or must everything go through GM US?

    • Holden builds the GM V6 in 3.0 litre and 3.6 litre direct injection versions for the Holden Commodore.

      • If I’m not mistaken, the 3.0 used in the Commodore is the same as in the SRX and 9-4X, and the 3.6 is a very close relative.

        The 2.8 appears to be on the way out, it will be interesting to see if the rumoured 3.0TT makes its way to Saab. I seem to vaguely remember VM letting it slip earlier this year that there would be a twin-turbo 9-5 at some point in the future?

    • The 2.8T (LP9, LAU) and the 3.0 (LF1) are both versions of the GM high feature V6 family´developed by GM Powertrain and assembled in Canada, Australia and USA. Contrary to what many believe it is not a Holden engine.

      The HFV6 is availible in two direct injected versions, the 3.6 litre LLT and the 3.0 litre LF1. GM have confirmed a twin turbo version based on the LF1, designated LF3.

  5. Car manufacturers still define themselves vastly by their engine technology, with a certain shift from power to fuel economy. It’s evidently still a core asset, and being dependent on other manufacturers like Fiat, GM or BMW might turn out to be problematic forever:
    -V6 Diesel cancelled by GM
    -Generation change of Fiat 2 l Diesel leading to the 1.9 l TTiD becoming “obsolete” just before finishing the significant fuel improvements intThe 9-3.
    -2.8 T lacking direct injection, and no way of changing this (?)
    -No 2.4 l four cylinder engine as direct replacement for the 2.3 H engine which would be more fuel-efficient
    -The 1.6 l BMW being modern, but developed for sub-premium cars.

    • Although the 1.9 Diesel engine was originally a joint development with Fiat I think you will find that Fiat Powertrain is respoensible for the ongoing development of diesel engines for Fiat and Fiat related applications (Chrysler?) whilst GM Diesel powertrain, also located in Italy but a completley seperate company and facility, is now solely responsible for the further development of the engine for GM and GM related applications. As such developments at Fiat do not have any influence on those at GM.

      I think you will also find that the 1.6l BMW engine will in future be found in some BMW models which you may consider to be more worthy of the premium lable!

      As has been mentioned many times in the past Saab have a history of using engines from other manufacturers and lending them an individual Saab note. I am sure that also in the future Saab will be able to define themselves through their engine/drivetrain technology, amongst other factors.

      • The Situation with The Diesel engines is a bit confusing, I must say. I have heard of the divorce as well, but why do the two potentially different engines still have the same displacement, i.e. 1956 ccm? And why is there still a 140 kW biturbo version of the new Lancia Delta with the old 1910 ccm block, pointing to The same problems that led to a delay of the 1956 ccm biturbo in Opels and Saabs?

        • The 1956ccm engines started out as a common engine, after the “divorce” both companies further developed the engine independently of one another. Think Triumph slant 4 and what Saab then developed out of that!

  6. In case of Saab, I would offer the 9-4x as long as possible in a form, that is compatible with existing contracts, and uses the Hirsch software update to 333hp/430Nm to distinguish it clearly from the base 3.0l engine. The power / torque improvement is massive against the 265/320Nm base engine.

  7. Not sure why the stopping of an engine by one brand would have people questioning whether it would effect SAAB’s offerings. Maybe some people are just on edge these days about SAAB and GM; which given the history is understandable but me must remember SAAB are on there own now. As far as I see it, everything SAAB has is now either their own property or are leasing it.
    The phase out of the 2.8 V6 by GM could spell good news for SAAB. I haven’t seen it mentioned but SAAB could buy the rights and make the engine solely their own. I don’t know if it can be converted to DI or even better HCCI but a 2.8 displacement would make more marketing sense than a 3.0 as in some market areas owners get hit very heavily on engines over 3000ccm. Back in 2007 I had a SAAB engineer tell me that the 2.8V6 could easily produce over 400hp but it was a matter of cost vs. priorities. Looking back we can all relate to that. Image SAAB sacrificing the 119g CO2 9-3 at the expense of a 420hp 9-5 Aero. However; having the sole rights to the engine , developing it further, adding their own dual clutch transmission and flocking it to the chinese sounds like a petty good plan for SAAB in my book. At 420hp would that not also make a very interested Spyker too?

  8. I’ve driven the SRX and it’s a very good vehicle, I expect the Saab to be even better. That said the base 3.0 v6 is just not enough to move that rig. The 2.8T will help but in a day of 300hp v6 Mustangs they better be working on something even beafier for the US market.

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