9-7x Aero released!

Right about the time you’re reading this, Saab will be releasing the Aero version of the 9-7x SUV at a small airfield near Detroit.

Sub 6 seconds 0-60mph sound interesting? Read on…..sometimes a 5.3 litre V8 just isn’t enough.

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DETROIT — Saab takes SUV-performance to a new altitude as it announces the Aero performance version of the Saab 9-7X today. The limited edition 9-7X Aero will make its way to dealer showrooms early this autumn.

The Saab 9-7X brings unique Saab brand characteristics to the midsize SUV segment, including sophisticated styling inside and out, premium design features, and the sporty and spirited performance inherent to Saab vehicles. Since its debut two years ago, more than 12,000 have been sold in the U.S. and Canada. For 2008, Saab adds the Aero model – the symbol of serious Saab performance – to the 9-7X lineup. The limited edition 9-7X Aero takes Saab’s interpretation on the midsize SUV to an entirely new level accelerating the performance aspect of the sophisticated vehicle with a 6.0L V-8, 20-inch wheels and tires, unique paint and custom interior accouterments.

9-7x Aero “The 9-7X Aero is one great SUV to pilot,” Shannon said. “We are excited to offer enthusiastic drivers an increased level of performance with the Aero, a symbol of Saab performance, in the midsize SUV segment.”

The new 9-7X Aero features a powerful, 6.0L small-block V-8 delivering 390 horsepower (295 kW) and 395 lb.-ft. (542 Nm) of torque. With 0-60 mph acceleration under six seconds, the 9-7X Aero is a treat for those who are actively passionate about the driving experience.

The 9-7X Aero will be easy to spot as it wears a paint color all its own: Carbon Flash Metallic. The charcoal metallic paint nicely enhances the SUV’s clean lines. Specific to the 9-7X Aero are 20-inch polished, aluminum wheels wrapped with P255/50R20 V-speed-rated performance tires that provide the optimum balance between ride and handling. Complementing the refined and driver-oriented cockpit-inspired interior are “Aero” embroidered leather seats and embossed floor mats.

Under the hood of the 9-7X Aero is the LS2 6.0L V-8 with a cold air induction package, rated at 390 horsepower (295 kW)* at 6,000 rpm and 395 lb.-ft. of torque (542 Nm)* at 4,000 rpm. The LS2 6.0L is based on the small-block V-8 architecture and delivers excellent down-low torque for strong off-the-line performance. Torque is inherent to the engine’s cam-in-block design, which features large 4.00-inch-diameter (101,6 mm) bores and a 3.62-inch (92 mm) stroke. Response is crisp and immediate, thanks to the electronically controlled throttle.

Unique to the 9-7X Aero’s version of the engine is a composite intake manifold adapted to the LS2 engine to help produce balanced torque and horsepower. Maximum towing capacity on 9-7X Aero model is 6,600 pounds (2994 kg).

Like all Saabs, the new Saab 9-7X Aero is driver-focused, with a lowered chassis tuned and tested to deliver responsive, balanced handling. Corner control and body roll control are improved with front stabilizer bars that are approximately 10 percent larger in diameter. Additional strength is provided by a heavy-duty rear axle with limited-slip differential.

With a four-wheel disc braking system enhanced with larger, 12.8-inch (325 mm) front disc rotors and iron twin-piston calipers, it’s not difficult to put a stop to things in the more powerful 9-7X Aero. The heavy-duty iron calipers are stiff and retain their shape under high-pressure/high-heat braking conditions, providing a more linear feel and reduced pedal travel in high-energy stops. The brake pads use high-performance linings for strong fade resistance.

ABS and automatic all-wheel-drive are standard on all 9-7X models as well as the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system that provides confident, sure-footed travel. The performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system delivers impressive on-road grip and enhanced “launch” feel. The always-engaged system uses a Torsen center differential to split torque between the front and rear wheels. It is a torque-bias system that detects low traction at one axle and directs more torque to the other when needed.

Like all 9-7X models, the Aero model represents a terrific value with a high-level of standard equipment. In fact, the 9-7X boasts the most standard features in its class while offering a very competitive starting price at $39,935. The limited edition 9-7X Aero will start at $45,690, which includes a $745 destination fee and will begin arriving at dealerships this fall.

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31 Comments

  1. Some might want to scoff at this, but it may yet have its place.

    I mean hey, it can to up to 6,600 pounds! Not bad- my 9-5 can’t do more than 3,500. Plus enhanced handling can’t be a bad thing…

    Hey, if I needed an SUV to haul a boat or trailer, I’d buy this sucker over any other behemoth out there, in a heartbeat.

  2. Since this an Aero model and all of Saab’s Aero models have had Turbochargers, I am surprised that there’s no mention of a Turbocharger here.

  3. very smart making the 9-7x Aero a limited edition model while it’s slowly phasing out (over the next 2 years or so)

  4. yuk!

    I’m sure Saab was built on 4 cylinder Turbos, what are they doing with a 6L V8? Doesn’t say much about their green credentials. You can’t have it both ways.

  5. My heart says cool but my head has to agree with Richo I’m afraid.

    I like almost everything about this except the engine. We see this engine in a lot of Holdens here and while its got impressive specs & is quite reliable/durable/easy to service, its not green or hi-tech .

    However, Im pretty sure this would make most SUVs in America look pretty lame and so its definitely going to have an effect in both sales & perception. It also certainly stacks up aginst the BMW & MB counterparts and would get my $$ if I was pushed.

    Imagine this with a specced up TTiD? Now that would have me selling my X53.0d in a flash.

    On balance, a good initiative that should really help Saab i have to admit.

  6. This is the same engine that has been in the base Corvette for years. I think it might be phased out for 08 in favor of the LS3. Anyway, it’s cool seeing that engine in a Saab, for me, anyway. I remember seeing a Jeep Wrangler on Ebay that had an LS2 stuffed in it. It’s not supposed to be hi-tech. It’s a bullet, as opposed to a cruise missile (example: Veyron).

  7. Trailblazer SS models with that powertrain run sub 14 second quarter mile times, which is kind of neat for a vehicle that size.

    That Generation IV small block may seem like a dinosaur in the face of DOHC multi-valve engines, but it is an impressive package and it clearly works. There is so much aftermarket support for it – it is very popular here in the U.S.A.

    Mallett cars which is very close to where I live stuffs them in Pontiac Solstices/Saturn Sky’s just for the fun of it. He sells everyone he builds.

    Check them out for fun: http://www.mallettcars.com/

  8. in a sea of silver range rovers (and now cayennes, xc90s, q7s, and a few touregs) this could be a decent seller. (though i’m somewhat surprised it hasn’t done better than it has.) it’s counter-intuitive with gas prices the way they are, but the california driver has a mind of their own.

    considering the profit they make on these, go Saab.

  9. Ted/Jeff – your comments reflect the local situation here (Australia) too. Its a VERY popular engine with V8 fans. HSV is a local GM Holden tuning division and they love the things. There is even an LS2 badge on the cars.

    http://www.hsv.com.au

    Agreed – not hi-tech but effective nonetheless. Still an interesting direction for SAAB. Kind of a 180 turn in my view but the 97X has been that all along.

    Perhaps not as clever as Volvos V8 ( from Yamaha) that manages to be fairly clean as well.

  10. wow, I like this limited edition thing. i am pretty sure this 97x aero will sell out very very fast.
    now the 97x is the fastest saab.
    How about making a 390 hp 9-3 “Viggen Turbo X”? :-)))))

  11. Hey guys.. Ted came close.. But no one else seemed to pick up on it..

    This IS the Trailblazer SS!

    Many have said that THIS should have been the 9-7x to begin with, or at least offered, since ’05. This is 3 years overdue.

    But, who would pay a $10,000 premium for the Saab badge? We could argue that with employee discounts, rebates, and incentives that the difference would not be much. And us Saabers would certainly foot the difference, but I fear this will keep a lot of potential buyers away. I mean, if you are not a Saaber to begin with and find a Trailblazer SS for $35k and the 9-7x Aero for $45k with the same amenities, aren’t you more prone to visit the Chevy dealer? Sure, the Saab is more fetching, but I’m just saying…

  12. I have a feeling that was a rhetorical question, but regardless……

    They don’t do the carbon offset thing in the US, as far as I know, Andy. Here in Oz they’re paying for a carbon offset for each new car sold that gets 17 trees planted.

    Perhaps Saab USA could do a Terrapass for each one sold?

  13. Not that tree-planting counts anymore if you ask a “green” politician. …….*heads off to vote for the shooters party*………*cancels green fund support*……….

  14. I was just going to make the comment about the Trailblazer SS but Nevitz beat me to it! That’s what I get for snoozing…

    The Trailblazer SS (2007 model) makes 5hp and 5lb-ft torque more (395hp, 400lb-ft) than the 9-7x Aero (390hp, 395lb-ft). You get less and pay ($10k) more!

  15. I wonder if the 9-7x Aero qualifies for the Aero Academy. 😉 I can’t imagine trying to take one of those behemoths around the track exercises at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

    (BTW, the Aero Academy is cool-did it last year).

  16. In the “performance” catagory, along with “SS”-esque outfitted motors, we have the SRT-8 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 6.1L Hemi V8 with 420hp for $46,665 for “nicely equipped” ($40,925 base).

    For a few less ponies but nearly the same cost, you can get the 5.7L V8 Hemi with 335hp in the Dodge Durango, Chrysler Aspen, Jeep Grand Cherokee, or Jeep Commander for $38,465, $39,810, $43,835 and $45,140 respectfully. I priced each of these with 4×4, as the 9-7x is AWD too.

    To me, the 5.7L prices are similar in that each model has something more to offer, but more or less is the same truck, the spread being $6,675. Then imagine that the SRT-8 has more to bring to the party, but it is not $10k more, in fact it is nearly IN THE SAME SPREAD as the others.

    Now, here’s what I find interesting. Ford only has their 5.4L with 300hp to bring to the party in a pig of a truck, the Expedition, but GM’s 5.3L with 300hp seems to beat that, and we get that in any V8 Trailblazer variant, so their 5.4L is nothing special at all. It is NOT classified as a “performance” engine. IMO, the only thing in the entire Ford Corporate portfolio can bring is the Range Rover Sport Supercharged 4.2L V8 with 390hp. This is more of the “performance” we are looking at in relation to this new 9-7x Aero, but the Rover is $71,950, which clearly sets them off this hypothetical shopping list. Even the most souped-up Volvo X90 has a 4.4L V8 with 311hp at $47,120, which doesn’t hold a candle.

    In summation, I would say that the Saab 9-7x has 2 main competitors. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8, and the Chevy Trailblazer SS. On this short list, the easier price winner is the Chevy, making the Saab it’s own worst enemy. In terms of cache, I believe the Saab wins “hands down.” I’ve never viewed Jeep as “luxurious” or “driver friendly” but more “rugged” and “mud getter outer”.

    I’ve spoken of the US market, are there any other “performance” models we’d consider competition in the 350+hp and “Under $50k” categories?

    I guess I love the idea of the new 9-7x Aero — but once again, I feel that Saab has missed out on potential sales in holding it for 3 years. Especially since they’ve already announced that they are putting the 9-7x on the chopping block! But then again, if they gave the same treatment to the 9-5 as Swade has spoken of (sending it out with a bang), it wouldn’t be so bad either.

    (You think I could turn this in as an essay for credit with my college professor? Sorry, just felt inspired here. 🙂 )

  17. Nice idea, 6.0 V8… it surely going to improve the “clean and enviromental friendly” image of Saab :((((
    I can’t understand, the guys in the USA have never enough of the petrol globber monsters?
    Why don’t use a half size engine with turbo?

    This Aero SUV is totally against all of the traditions of Saab. :((((

  18. This is the last deserate try from the mothership in Detroit to sell the outdated American way of life through the Saab brand. Soon, even they have to understand what people really want.

  19. While at the barber shop, I remember reading a comparison of the 9-7x and the Trailblazer SS. If I remember correctly, the 9-7x had a slight edge over the other due to better handling. Anybody else read that one?

  20. I have read similar things in Swedish press since the 9-7X was introduced. If it was due to the fact it were Swedish journos writing it, I don’t know… But I think the Saab engineers managed to make the thing a little stiffer and more “European” in the handling compared to it’s sibbling.

  21. I own a 2007 TrailBlazer SS and I must admit the 9-7x is what brought me to purchase the Chevy.

    I have always had an on-again-off-again love relationship with Saabs. So, when I found one used for around 32K and then saw a TrailBlazer SS for the same price, for me it was a no brainer.

    I like speed….i like hauling stuff….I, sad to say, am American and I like my rigs BIG! With that, would I buy my TBSS in SSSaab cladding? If the price were right, maybe….but at $11K more for some leather, tricked-out ignition key location, and “Euro-handling;” I’ll stick with the “Bow Tie.”

    Besides, the TBSS was proven at the Nürburgring long before it was ever badged a Saab. I am not hating on the Saab 9-7x, I am just stating facts…..it is built in Moraine OH on the same line as the TBSS & Envoy Denali. They need to get up extra early to get this one past me.

    Sorry, but unless I can trade my TBSS to get the SSSaab 9-7x Aero AND get full price for the trade [laughing hysterically to myself] ….. I pass.

  22. Has anyone heard the scoop on the 9-4x? Stats? Debut? I honestly think this car will propel, no pun intended, Saab into the hearts of X-3 and LR2 buyers and give Saab a big boost in sales. Also they really need to invest more time and money into their advertisting if they are going to meet their quota. My next purchase will be a 9-7x Aero because its so un-American and American at the same time. You have to admit the truck rocks!! I mean just take a look at the front fascia…one look at it and you’d swear it says Don’t $#@! with me!! LOL It’s got style, class, power, luxury, comfort, all the features you need, and a competitve price. To me this is an American muscle car disquised beneath a Swedish design!!!

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