New Engines for the 2012 Saab 9-4X ?

Some of our readers have found a VIN-card from GM for the 2012 Saab 9-4X.

The VIN-card has two interesting things from my point of view, first the model year list ends in 2015, second four different engines are listed, and one of them is a diesel.

Let’s start with the petrol engines:

This is the well known 300HP from the 9-5 and will also be available on the MY 11 9-4X Aero.


The LFW is a flexible fuel version of the LF1, capable of running on E85, gasoline, or any mixture of the two. Output is identical to the LF1.

The LF1 is the known 265HP engine of the MY 11 Saab 9-4X or the Cadillaac SRX.

Those are the engines we already know, although the atmospheric engine is a renewed version of the current one being able to run on E85, although in the VIN-card it is stated that:
Engines listed as flexible fuel do not indicate the vehicle is equipped for flexible fuel.


The LFX is an enhanced version of the LLT engine. Introduced in the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro LS, it is 20.5 pounds (9.3 kg) lighter than the LLT, due to a redesigned cylinder head and integrated exhaust manifold, and composite intake manifold. Other components like the fuel injectors, intake valves, and fuel pump have also been updated. Power and torque are up slightly from the LLT. The compression ratio is 11.5:1.

Wikipedia also says that the SRX application will have 300HP. It makes sense in the SRX to offer the 3.6 as a replacement of the 2.8 Turbo, but I don’t think it makes sense for Saab to offer two engines with the same power output, but this is only my opinion.

And now the diesel engine:


Those Lxx codes are the GM RPO-code

Since the 1970s, GM’s North American divisions have used three-digit RPO (Regular Production Option) codes to identify specific equipment on their various lines of vehicles. RPO codes relating to engines generally begin with an “L”; hence many GM engines have become commonly associated with a particular RPO code

It is impossible to find any kind of information on that RPO code, but I’ve found three snippets that make sense.

  1. In the factory in Kaiserslautern(Germany), the Diesel Fam B is build.
  2. The Diesel engines for the 9-3 and 9-5 come from kaiserslautern, so they should be Fam B Diesels.

  3. In LinedIn you can find a guy called Bial Rathur, and this is what he writes in his CV.
  4. Bilal Rathur’s Experience
    Lead Analysis Engineer, Powertrain
    General Motors Corporation

    Privately Held; MTLQQ; Automotive industry

    June 2008 – Present (3 years)

    Coordinating all simulation & analysis activities for current production Ecotec, VM Motori diesel, Duramax diesel, and US application of GM Europe’s Family-B diesel engines.

    So this L4J is the US application of GM Europe’s Family-B diesel engines.

  5. Also in LinkedIn you can find a second guy with interesting work experience.
  6. Michael Chiang’s Experience
    Engine Systems Wave Analyst
    Achates Power

    Automotive industry

    November 2010 – Present (7 months)
    Lead GT-Power Analyst
    General Motors Company

    Automotive industry

    January 2007 – October 2010 (3 years 10 months)

    Lead GT-Power Analyst for NA Diesel Engines
    • Engines: 2007 LMM, 2011/2015 LML/LGH, Duramax2, L4J, 2014 VM Motori LWH

The diesel engines used in the current 9-5 are the LBS (TiD 160HP) and the LBY (TTiD 190 HP).

Without having founded information on that engine I would say that the L4J is a NA version of the TTiD we can find in the European version of the Saab 9-5. Nevertheless it seem like it is loosing some power (2kW) due to the US application, but an added SCR catalyst could cause that.


Nice work RedJ. Like I said, it makes a lot of sense for Saab to switch over to the 3.6L V6. Let’s hope they’re doing this behind the scenes with a quiet roll out along side Cadillac. I’m praying they have access to the 2013 SRX’s Plug-in Hybrid system. That would be a game changer in the segment, the ability to use no gas for commutes would make driving a CUV more economical for most people than driving a compact diesel car.


Bring it on!

Long Live Saab!!!


I’m almost certain a TT version of the 3.6 DI will replace the 2.8T.


Good reporting. I applaud you. Yes, clearly the 3.6l engine would be good for a single Saab variant. The diesel motor is primarily needed for non-US markets. The US diesel X5 and so on are not big sellers. These people can well afford the gasoline.

LV Saab

LFX is the only engine available for the 2012 Cadillac SRX. We are also a Cadillac dealer. Just a few changes on the 2012 SRX, door lock switch on the door, not the center stack above the radio. Heated steering wheel available as an option. a few other very minor changes.


When were we told that the diesel engine wouldn´t be?
This VIN-card is dated 14th of January 2011. Is it over ruled?

Niklas G

While we’re speculating: Does four engines mean that all four engines are supposed to be available 2012, or does it just mean that they are supposed to appear at some point in the future but included on the cardn now anyway just to have it there in case someone use the 2012 service card, say , in 2015? (Wild guessing…)


It just means they’re being tested, it doesn’t mean the LFX or diesel will be available, though some of us are hoping that if the claims of the LFX’s superior performance and fuel economy to the LAU 2.8L are true, that Saab chooses to use it too. JAJ said that they weren’t interested in it, but I’m hoping that was meant not to discourage sales for 2011 of the Aero.

sala or bust

It could also mean that SAAB will not provide yet another engine for the short run. That would be expensive fore the service stations and raise the price tag for us the owners.
If they stick with the 2.8, all the infrastructure is already in place.

It may seem strange that an engine with better performance and better mileage isn’t chosen, but they need to think about service as well when developing new stuff.


I thought Saab told that they (Saan and GM) tested a diesel for the the SRX and the 9-4x and that GM stopped the project. For the MY2012, the cars delivered from now on is the 2012, there is no Diesel. So I think these VIN-cards are still from the test-period.

Aussie Paddan
Side issue I know but “Wheels” here in Ox is banging on about Holden fitting the VM Motori Diesel into Commodores here as they claim GM has poured a load of money into this engine and need to get some return on investment. I am sure I missed something previously on this engine and its staus, so I assume some of these assertions may be incorrect otherwise surely the engine should be in teh pipleine for the Caddy and the SAAB already, its bigger and more powerful than the diesel listed above. 136kW, in th e9-4 – it will be… Read more »

I wonder why they wont just have the 2.8T as the only engine for the 9-4x? Its the most “Saaby”, and would probably move more units if it was in a base car. Even if they have to remove some standard equipment to make a case for it…it might be worth it…

The reviews of that 3.0 are horrible.

Aussie Paddan

Agree, rememebr SAABs wre pushed by GM to be just “all turbo” they shouldstick to this, esp if the other options are dogs.
What I can’t work out is why the 3.0l and the 3.6l variants haven’t been turbocharged, the only thing I can think of is it will take peoelp away from the GM V8s.


i believe thats exactly the reason.

The 3.0l may not be capable of being turbocharged im guessing…?

Aussie Paddan
Well they’re all made on th esame line from same basic components. I agree development work on higher stressed parts may not have been done, but I would have thought it isn’t that big a deal. If you exptrapolate what the 3.6 in turbo form will deliver against a V* it starts to get interesting. Still I agree even in Australia with Diesel Prices going up ath a decent performing diesel is th epriority. SAAB suffers from offering too many choices for such a small volume. Why offer an engine for th esake of it if there is little difference.… Read more »
A twin turbo 3.0L is under development as we speak. It seems GM is replacing the 3.0L applications with the upgraded 3.6 LFX. I could see it going two ways: 1. Since the SRX is moving to strictly offering the LFX, Saab could stricly use the 2.8T. 2. Or, Saab will follow suit of the SRX and simply drop the current two engines and go with the LFX. I’ve always heard the 2.8T is an expensive engine, and I’m sure it would be cheaper for GM and Saab to simply offer the LFX. Less configurations, less inventory and create synergies… Read more »
Aussie Paddan
Yeah and that’s why their V8s are still Pushrod! Turbo engine is of course going to be expensive and not suit all products but if the vehicle is aimed at a certain target the more expensive engine is ok. There is no doubt the twin boosted small VW engine petrol engines are cheaper to build than a bigger petrol engine, but which hav ethey gon efor? The new US ecconomy rules will possibly push to th eturbo solution anyway. While GM is preapred to make the turbo, and I asume there si contracts with SAAB for these in the 9-5… Read more »

Sorry I missed something back there. What’s LFX ?


The 3.6L DI V6 engine that is currently used the Chevy Camaro, Caddy CTS and some other applications. Its new code is the LFX for MY12, due to improvements in power and i guess tweaks to the design.


Wow RedJ, Sherlock, that’s some nice detective work. Quite interesting!


A Diesel-engine would be very nice for the European market and will help to sell a lot more of the SAAB 9-4x.


Is it possible for someone in the Saabs United team to contact Saab and ask whether the 3.6L V6 engine and/or the 2.0L diesel engine will be available in the Saab 9-4X? Especially the diesel engine would make wonders for 9-4X sales in Europe. 🙂


The TE architecture in which the SRX and 9-4X are built is basically Equinox’s Theta and 9-5’s Epsilon bits mixed together, so a GM diesel could theoretically fit with little changes. That would likely go around the cost of testing and certification issue JAJ spoke about re a 9-4X diesel.


GM is thinking about introduction of the 2.0 Turbo (same engine as in the 9-4X Concept car) in the SRX according to R&D


Please, NO quoting Wikipedia. Wikipedia is run by a sadistic bunch of young kids. I once tried to correct a factual scientific error (nothing controversial). They changed it back to the error and changed it back a second time. I gave up. They also threatened me, calling me a sock. That is their standard excuse to bully people. Why would a sock (duplicate account) correct an error?

Besides, SU is an authoritative source. Wikipedia is not. In Wikipedia, you can add rubbish. Subtle rubbish is even better.


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