Whether any of this is going to turn out to be accurate, I can’t say.
But it’s sounding good so far.
Given that this is one category on this website that specialises in telling the truth, it would seem that we can talk about a 9-3 Sport Sedan utilising an AWD system with a high level of confidence.
So, let’s talk about an AWD system. If Saab’s going to use one, they’re likely to do what a bunch of other OEM’s do and outsource the technology. If you’re thinking AWD and you’re thinking Sweden, the first place to start (and maybe the place to stop) is Haldex.
The first thing I found after a little digging around Haldex’s web pages was an image of the badge above. It’s a little freebie you can get if you write to them and I’d suggest that when they replenish their stocks it might be priority 1 for prospective new Saab owners that want to bling up their MY08 9-3.
A little more digging offered up some other gems. But first, a little look back at something I discovered a few months ago:
The new MY2008 9-3 will be using a ‘proactive’ electronic stability control system. In an understeer situation the current reactive ESP system applies the brakes to the inside rear wheel. This creates an opposing force to help bring the car onto the required course. The “proactive” system that we’ll see in the new 9-3 will actually increase the power to the other 3 wheels to create the same opposing forces.
This was some pretty solid, Djup Strupe grade information and gave a pretty solid pointer toward the fact that the next 9-3 would be AWD.
And looking around Haldex’s pages, I found the following written about a new system that they’ve got under development. Bear in mind that the info appears to be over a year old, so we’re talking final stages, or product-ready by now.
First there’s this:
Development continues of the fourth-generation of AWD systems, and the system is being tested in cooperation with two major customers. Launch is slated for 2007. The new generation includes technical improvements and will also be less expensive than previous ones. Deliveries of a new variant of the third-generation system to Land Rover began in 2006.
The introduction of our cross-wheel drive product, XWD, a type of electronically controlled differential in the back axle…..
New system, less expensive, an electronically controlled diff in the rear axle. Sounds OK. There’s a little more about the system on their Traction Systems website:
The 4th generation of Haldex LSC, in conjunction with the Haldex eLSD add-on, offers a true platform solution to the OEMs. Through its modular nature and integrated controls it allows for customized system features and torque management performance…..
Torque management is basically what the Djup Strupe info was talking about. The ability to use torque in conjunction with stability control systems etc to provide a proactive rather than reactive system.
The full press release on this system-under-development appears in the News Archive section of the website linked immediately above. The following are a few more snippets from that release….
Press Release October 26, 2005
Haldex has been awarded a 1,200 MSEK contract for a global All-Wheel Drive platform.
Haldex has been selected by a leading Tier One supplier to provide the latest generation of its proprietary Haldex AWD system consisting of Haldex Limited Slip Coupling /Haldex LSC) and Haldex electronic Limited Slip Differential (Haldex eLSD) for a major global mid-size vehicle platform.
So, we’ve got a Haldex product being developed for a Tier One company, specifically being developed for a mid-sized platform vehicle.
Know any large companies developing a mid-size vehicle?
And how about this?
The first vehicle models featuring the systems are scheduled to debut in 2008.
It all fits pretty neatly, huh?
As mentioned at the start of this article, I can’t say for sure if this is the system that we’ll see on the next 9-3 range, but when it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…..