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Super Saab here in September

2008-07-15 07:24
Saab Turbo X

Saab Turbo X

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Saab
Model Turbo X
Engine 2.8-litre, turbocharged V6
Power 206kW @ 5 500r/min
Torque 400Nm @ 2 150r/min
Transmission Six-speed (manual or auto)
Zero To Hundred 5.7 seconds
Fuel Tank 62-litres
Tyres P235/45 R18
Front Suspension MacPherson struts with anti-roll bar, hydroformed sub-frame
Rear Suspension 4-link with Re-Axs rear-wheel steering system
Turbo X is hardly an original name, but with sophisticated all-wheel drive and V6 turbo power it’s a seriously speedy Saab.

From the land of long-distance ice-driving Saab is to bring cutting edge Swedish dynamic all-wheel drive security to the local market in the guise of the new Turbo X sedan and wagon.

Although Saab sales volumes in South Africa are so low as to qualify them as a nearly imperceptible niche player, the Turbo X performance sedan will be available in locally from September.

More cruise missile than cruiser

Echoing the characteristics of previous Saab performance models such as the 99 Turbo and 9-3 Viggen, the latest Turbo X is a high-speed tourer with room for five.

Powered by a 2.8-litre, twin-scroll turbocharged V6 producing 206kW and 400Nm, Saab claims 1732kg Turbo X reached 100km/h from standstill in 5.7 seconds. Drive to all four wheels can be through either manual or automatic six-speed gearbox selection.

Keeping this performance in check is primarily the task of the new Haldex developed all-wheel drive system. With their local snow-driving skills you know the Swedish automotive component manufacturer is going to find the requisite amount of traction no matter the road surface.

To aid the handling balance from it has self-levelling rear suspension dampers and the whole car has been dropped by 10mm.

Rear-wheel drive biased

Big deal with the Turbo X will be its XWD all-wheel drive system. The intelligent Haldex system which attempts to blend handling, stability and grip in all climatic driving conditions – from dry highs-speed sweeps to slow, snow covered hairpins.

Unlike conventional all-wheel-drive systems, the XWD set-up incorporates an innovative, pre-emptive engagement of the rear wheels optimising traction at take-off - eliminating the need to detect front-wheel slip before engaging the rear wheels under harsh acceleration.

Indicative of the Turbo X performance bias the electronic stability control (ESC) intervention threshold has been recalibrated too allow a wider set of dynamic driving parameters. Beyond more ‘liberal’ ESC the XWD torque split between front and rear wheels is decidedly ‘traditional’ – keen to deliver up to 70% of the available torque to the rear wheels.

Limiting differential slip

Any performance drive system is only as good as its differential technology, with many all-wheel drive vehicles exhibiting terminal understeer on the limit – not to mention the terminal front-wheel drive understeer of previous Saab performance models.

To quell this Saab has employed an optional rear – and only rear – Haldex sourced active limited-slip differential called the eLSD – and yes, it’s the strangest automotive acronym we’ve come across so far this year.

In practice eLSD can distribute up to 50% of the maximum rear axle torque split to whichever wheel has more grip, usually the outside, apex-clipping wheel; increasing stability on the handling limit, especially under power out of tighter corners.

The XWD system will be available locally in limited numbers – worldwide production is only 2 000 total - on the Saab Turbo X from September this year.

And you can only have it in black - although we cannot confirm this is solely for snow-contrast visibility reasons...

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