During our test-drive of the MY08 Saab 9-3 today, we were given the opportunity to take the new XWD models out for a spin. This was a huge privelege and even moreso when they gave me the OK to install my camera mount into the car.
I did two laps of the specially designed curcuit, which included gravel, tarmac and wet sections. The first one was used to get accustomed to the car (first time driving a LHD manual) as well as the track and the second lap was a bit more adventurous.
I wish I had the expertise to tell you that I could feel the power distribution shifting through the vibrations or something, but I can’t. All I can tell you is that this was one very surefooted ride. I never felt anything but confident plying it through the lane changes and twisties they set up for us.
Jan-Ake mentioned a test they did in his presentation speech for the XWD system. Saab did a simple slalom exercise, where the cars would have to hit the start at 40km/h and slalom through three poles with the foot flat to the floor. Least lateral G’s and time as well as highest top speed wins.
The competitors were 3 in number and IIRC were one Japanese model, one BMW and just for fun – a Porsche (no, I don’t remember the model at this late hour, but it was a big’un). And the Saab cooked them all with the quickest time and a course curve quite similar to that of the Porsche, indicating a smooth line of control through the slalom.
This is one exciting development. Saab are the first company in the world, nay the universe, to use this new Haldex system and the expertise they have shown with it has seen Saab rewarded with the responsibility for XWD development for all of GM’s brands in the future (as well as BioPower and turbocharging…..)
This is a real treat. I filmed myself driving the course in the XWD 9-3, but thought that if I’m going to load one video tonight, It should be this one.
You’ll understand why quite quickly…..
Youtube may still be processing it. If it doesn’t come up, please try again shortly. UPDATE – Damn Youtube! It’s been 6 hours and they still haven’t processed it – it’s 3 minutes in total!!??
Thanks for your patience, hopefully it’ll come up soon. I’m off to the airport.