Djup Strupe on future (and current) Saabs

Following the Saab Festival in June, Saab Sweden were busy hosting media and dealers from all over the world. The main focus for the media, of course, was the new 9-3. But dealers got a look at future products and every one of them that I’ve ‘spoken’ to so far states that the stuff that’s coming is fantastic. As they’ve got to sell this stuff for a living I’m sure they wouldn’t be quiet about it if it was a fizzer.

Djup Strupe was there, of course, and he’s reported in as follows:

——

……we were presented with the “black turbo” Which looks great.

By the way, Europe will definitely have a 19″ wheel option on it. But the states will not. We will only be getting 18’s. The front air duct and the rear next to the exhaust are the two places where the car really looks different than a 9-3 aero. Plus of course the rims. The seats are amazing. They grip you like BMW M3 sport seats. These things are side bolstered for real.

Plus they also showed us a 9-3X. Basically it is a 9-3 Sport Combi with XWD that is also raised two inches. This is DEFINITELY A PRODUCTION CAR. We saw it with onstar inside which of course means it’s going stateside. It is meant to compete with all these crossovers until the 9-4X comes out.

Also, I saw the new 9-5 and new 9-4X. The 9-5 looks like a cross of the next Jaguar XF and the Maseratti Quattroporte. While it is still clearly a Saab, no one will be confusing it with the old 9-3. The design is even more radical than the difference between the 2002 9-3 and 2003 9-3. By the way, it also has one of the coolest interiors I have ever seen in a car. Words cannot describe how innovative it is.

…..The dealers weren’t as excited about (the 9-4x) as the 9-5. However, it doesn’t have to be exciting. All Saab needs is for it to do well in the crash test rating and be relatively fuel efficient and it will immensely help Saab.

…..I got to drive a 9-7X Aero. The car is the fastest Saab ever made….. It has an absolutely amazing exhaust (it should with a corvette engine under the hood). The 0 to 60 on the car was easily 5.5 seconds. There isn’t much difference in the look of the car but wow. Drive one; it is a life changing experience.

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33 Comments

  1. Interesting, “they also showed us a 9-3X. Basically it is a 9-3 Sport Combi with XWD that is also raised two inches.” Okay guys, time to show off your Photoshop skills, let’s see what this could look like… 😉

  2. The 9-3X strikes me as the most interesting item- it doesn’t have a large window of time to appear stateside, as it will seemingly be a stopgap, and the 9-4X is coming in ’09.

  3. Personally, I don’t care about 19″ wheels, but why wouldn’t they be available here? I don’t really get what would keep them back.

  4. I’ve never cared for suvs much, yet I really like the 9-7x. There is something giddy and fun about a big heavy box hauling ass (literally) at more “jet like” acceleration speeds than any of the purpose built Saabs.

    My gripes are that the turbine wheels from the 9-7x Aero concept are m.i.a. and the perfect turbo engine for the Aero already exists but was mothballed by GM.

    GM built an inline 6cyl 400 hp twin turbo in late 2001 and tested it in a modded Trailblazer, then shelved it. They deduced (correctly) the original GMT360 variants weren’t upscale enough to justify the $47k sticker of a low volume high performance model with a specially prepared hi-output turbo engine, reinforced transmission, unique awd set up, and a carefully tuned and lowered handling suspension. Hmm imagine if…..

  5. Must.. see… new.. 9-5… uuuggghhh…

    “high performance model with a specially prepared hi-output turbo engine, reinforced transmission, unique awd set up, and a carefully tuned and lowered handling suspension. Hmm imagine if…..”

    Sounds like a 9-4X Aero to me.

  6. I remember reading about that twin-turbo engine and upgraded GMT360 platform way back in 2002 and wondering why
    such a pricey package would be cooked up for a Chevrolet suv of all things. When 9-7x came out I speculated GM would dust off the 400horsepower turbo for an 9-7x Aero and get the $45 to 50k money. Not sure what happened there. Cadillac charges 50k for the rough and tumble CTS-V, WHY NOT a 50k powerhouse turbo SAAB? I know a lot of folks dont care for the swedish dressed american GMT360. I think it is quite nice and wouldn’t touch the other GM models. Chevy, Buick, GMC and that poor Isuzu aren’t my cup of tea.

    Besides, it fills a need and brings extra $$ and some brand visibility for future Saabs.

  7. Agreed Gryphon. 9-3X sounds really promising!! It´s something I´ve been desperately waiting to be happen. two inches makes some difference, but XWD will make a world of a difference. Hopefully they´ll get the price right. I wonder if we´ll see it in Finnish market though…

    Please, anybody, tell us more about this car? Djup Strupe? When, oh when.. !!!

  8. The new 9-5 is coming – finally! Expectations running high especially after the comments by Djub here. Can’t wait.

    Pictures please please!

    By the way, absolutely love the Maser QP. Only can’t afford it!

  9. What about a surprise show of the 9-3X in Frankfurt in September? 😉 If it’s about to sell before the 9-4X, it has to be presented sooner rather than later.

    Also, now we know that Djup Strupe is an American. Only 300,000,000 to choose from… 🙂

  10. It would´ve been great if they´d show 9-3X in Frankfurt! Though, that´s not going to happen I guess. But you´re right CTM, it should be quite soon if 9-4X is coming as a MY09 and also next 9-5 is coming. Hopfully it´ll be in the next spring.
    Djup Strupe should tell us more should he know something we don´t.

  11. Why no 19 inch rims for the US-market on the Turbo-X????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    US is the biggest market, so why dont you give it 19 inches but only 18 inch rims ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  12. 5 Years of delay with the 9-3 Sporthatch Crossover version. Remember the pic in the Saab Advanced Design Center, in 2003-04 the AWD version of the Sporthatch and the Sporthatch were ready or nearly ready.

    Everyday I am asking about the Saab Combustion Control. What happend with that?? In terms of Enviromental reasons it was revolutionary. In an engine with no big changes you obtain a reduction of 50% of CO and HC, and 75% of NOx emissions. That makes that a petrol engine with over 200bhp for example has an gas emissions like a small engine with 100bhp.

    regards

  13. Mr. Aero…We’ll get there step by step. First the 18’s as we only get 17’s now in the US and then the DubCity die casts!!!

  14. It may be a false dawn but in a dealer training bulletin for the Frankfurt motorshow it does say that “Saab are releasing some exciting new products at the show”, emphasis on the products!

  15. “Saab are releasing some exciting new products at the show”

    YeS! That, I assume, is 9-3X. Right? Anybody reading this blog going to Frankfurt? If so, pictures would be nice.

    I still have problems in liking 19″ wheels on a 9-3. They look a bit boy-racer to me. Not like Saab original. 18″ Incas are just soooo good looking. Just like a mixture of super inca and 3 spoke EVO wheels.

  16. MarkoA –

    I agree with you on the 19″ wheels. They don’t seem to fit the car’s body or personality. However, the 18″ Incas (for those at SAAB USA – bring them to the U.S.!) are killer and show SAAB heritage.

  17. I’m looking into getting accreditation for ‘rayman’ to go to the Frankfurt show at the moment. Fingers crossed. I think we may well see the 9-3x there as well, but I’m guessing. Perhaps it’ll debut on the NA show circuit in a few months. Actually, I think I’ve got some info about that at home in a folder called “HotHotHot”. Will check it out.

  18. I got official word from SAAB USA on Tuesday (the same day Swade posted this ‘blog entry) that the Turbo-X would only get 18″ wheels in the U.S. event though it’ll be offered with 19″ wheels in Europe. The reason had to do with differing road conditions between the two continents.

    As for the 9³X being a stop-gap until the 9⁴X arrives, does that seem a bit odd to anyone else? Not that it doesn’t seem like a no-brainer to put a lift kit on an XWD Sport Combi, but because the the 9⁴X is due in 2009. So is the 9³X slated to be one of the shortest-run models SAAB’s ever made?

    Eduard: I’m kicking myself for not asking Peter Backstrom (curator of the SAAB Museum in Trollhattan) about the current whereabouts of both the SVC and SCC engine prototypes when he was at the S.O.C. I too think that the SCC would have been a very inexpensive and effective addition to modern SAABs. There’s no telling why it was not adopted.

    I wonder if there is any engine R&D going on inside of Trollhattan at all or if all engine R&D is done elsewhere by GM Europe.

    NY3VUL714: I think the turbine wheels you are thinking of were from the 9⁷X DUB Edition featured at the SEMA trade show, not an Aero concept. The truck (and its wheels) made an appearance at the S.O.C. a couple weeks ago. You can see pics in my Flickr set.

  19. I think the 9-3x and 9-4x can both be sold at the same time. No reason for the 9-3x to stop once the 9-4x comes along, providing Saab see a market for it.

    The 9-7x, on the other hand, that will cease as the 9-4x is more of a direct replacement for it.

  20. Is it really official info that we´ll see 9-3X sometime soon (or ever?)? Because I´v eonly read that some dealers have seen a car which looked like a ready for production. But don´t you think that it can still be a “research” mole or so.
    I´m a bit suspicious about it, but I hope for sure that it´ll come next year..

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