Saab Turbo-X – here it is….


UPDATE: For all the information about the Turbo-X in one entry, including specs, pictures and video, click here.


Saab Turbo X

Once again the Djup Strupe conglomerate – my group of Saab insiders – has come to the party. And this time Monsieur Strupe brought pictures!

These are the first images of the Turbo X, which will be unveiled this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This has been an eagerly anticipated model and given its limited numbers it’s sure to be an instant collectable.

It looks absolutely beautiful. Click on the images to enlarge.

Saab Turbo X

Saab Turbo X

The stuff we know so far, pending receipt of an official press release:

The Saab Turbo X is a special, limited edition release to mark the debut of Saab’s new XWD system. Sourced from Haldex, this latest generation system is capable of splitting power between front and rear wheels, as well as from side to side at the rear thanks to a new electronic limited slip differential (eLSD).

The system allows for extraordinary roadholding. Saab’s own testing on a slalom course during development showed the system outpacing German and Japanese competition, including a special test against the Porsche 911 Turbo.

The Saab Turbo X will feature an uprated version of the 2.8 litre V6 engine producing 280hp and 400Nm of torque and will do the 0-100 sprint in 5.7 seconds. All models produced are believe to be manual transmission only. Automatic IS available!

The Saab Turbo X will feature a unique black paint finish, special edition 19″ wheels (18″ for North America) and unique interior trim as seen in the shot above. There’s also new body treatment front and rear with a deeper front bumper, new rear deck spoiler and new dual exhaust tailpipe treatment.

The model will be limited to 2,000 units world-wide and these will include both Sport Sedans and SportCombis. The Saab Turbo X is expected to be available for sale early in 2008.

You may also like


  1. Aren’t these photos officially embargoed until September 11th, the day of the Frankfurt Auto Show?

    I didn’t think that Saab was authorizing use of these photos, etc. BEFORE the auto show. Has this changed?

  2. SG: you might remember that just before the official pictures of the new 9³ were officially released by SAAB at the SAAB Festival some outlet in Italy released them anyway. I’m assuming they were a legitimate recipient of the photos who wasn’t supposed to release them until the embargo is over.

    Swade apparently received these photos from an inside source, I’m guessing without the required embargo agreement he would have had to abide by had he received them from SAAB.

    So in other words, these are “leaked” pictures.

  3. 1985Gripen,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Isn’t it right to abide by Saab’s wishes and wait until they’ve made their “official” release first in the essence of promoting Saab in the best possible way?

  4. SG: I don’t have any inside information whatsoever, but there is the possibility that perhaps SAAB themselves “leaked” the photos to Swade.

    Mr. Aero: I’m guessing so. It’s got a Swedish license plate on it. Only North America will get the “neutered” 18-inchers. 😮

  5. 1985Gripen,

    We can’t believe that Saab would “leak” something, it’s a professional business with a lot at stake to do something like that.

  6. Anyway, what do you think of the car, SG?

    I think we get a hint of those extremely-bolstered seats that were rumored in that interior photo.

    I hope the front is more dramatically different from a typical black MY2008 9³ Aero w/ XWD than the rear. I mean, unless you’re a SAABophile I don’t think the rear of the car is dramatically different enough to notice it out on the freeway.

    Swade, could you maybe do some side-by-side comparisons between the rear of the Aero and the rear of the Turbo-X in a future post? Maybe also a side-by-side interior comparison to highlight the differences? Thanks in advance.

  7. The last I’ll say is that the first thing I noticed was the “circa” 1993 “Turbo” badge on the trunk lid as well as the “9-X” concept car dual exhaust pipes, that was also presented on Sept, 11th back in 2001.

  8. Looks good. I wonder if there are any mechanical differences between the Aero with XWD… like upgrade brakes or suspension. Hopefully, its more than just a cosmetic model.

  9. BrianL: I guess we’ll find out in a couple of days. I think that this will be a pointless waste of resources if this turns out to simply be a gussied-up, blacked-out limited-edition Aero XWD.

  10. let’s see some more pics !! the back looks kind of AWD rugged with the diffuser panel between the tail pipes. i am liking what looks like piano black trim pieces on the interior and the deletion of the silver plastic trim from the steering wheel. more pics and the SC please! the post seems to indicate only black color i thought other colors will be available as well.

  11. “I think that this will be a pointless waste of resources if this turns out to simply be a gussied-up, blacked-out limited-edition Aero XWD.”

    I’d bet that everything you see that is “new” are just various design exercises that were not selected for regular production. The only extra cost for these bits are probably due to the loss of economies of scale to produce them.

  12. tturboboy: from the information I learned in February (which could either have been mistaken or could have changed by now) though black is the Turbo-X “launch color” it will also be available in other colors.

    SAAB has been doing this quite a bit in recent years. I think it started with the Lime Green convertible, continued with the Electric Blue 20th Anniversary Convertible, then the Ice Blue 60th Anniversary Editions, then the Snow Silver 9³ Aero, and now the Black Turbo-X.

    I’m waiting for my 2014 Dolphin Gray SAAB Sonett convertible EV with gunmetal accents! 😉

  13. “[T]he first thing I noticed was the ‘circa’ 1993 ‘Turbo’ badge on the trunk lid…”

    It was the same thing I noticed, as well. It bothers me a bit as the 9-3 badge on the left side of the trunk lid is another typeface. I’m sure most buyers won’t care about or notice the inconsistency, but ignoring little details like that is at least minorly irksome.

    Let’s hope it can put some of the BMW-pandering critics in their place.

  14. Hrmm, is it just me, or is there something different between the first and second pics? That spoiler on the close-up shot seems different than the spoiler on the second shot. I’m lost…

  15. It looks ace but I am puzzled;

    The badge on the top image looks at first glance to be on the left of the back end, if that is supposed to be the end of some kind of spoiler that curves down. But the badge itself is clearly above a right hand side light cluster.(And is indeed on the right of the car in the second image, and I agree with Kroum that they are not the same bootlids.)

    The diffuser and exhausts on the second image look digitally altered to me as well. Particularly the left half.

    But it does look good.

  16. Gareth, thank god, I am not going crazy then! There is something odd in the second pic indeed, could it be some photochop based on impressions?

    Also notice, on the interior shot, the plastic panel around the climate control shift-knobs looks to be made of a different material than the rest. Could be part of the design, of course.

    I guess it’s now up to Patric95 and the other folks who have seen the car in the flesh to comment on the validity of the pics. But one way or another, it does look great!

  17. And regarding the wheels – prevouis Djup Strupe intelligence had suggested there will be black accents on the rims – those pictured appear to be dark gray only.

    Swade, I am in no way trying to discredit you or the sources here! Kudos for bringing those up! Simply trying to establish whether there could be two separate Black Turbo body kits altogether.

  18. It looks really nice but, I still wonder what is the difference between this and the aero model. I think this car with a 280hp motor is all bark and no bite. It needs to cross the 300hp to be worth the extra cost I am sure it will carry.
    I hope when the 9-5 comes out it will not have the same anemic flaw.

  19. The 1st and 2nd pics match. The shadow that the spoiler casts hides the tapering of it’s ends.

    Color-wise, it looks to be a bespoke new color. The non-metallic Black and the Jet Black are certainly different than this.

    The steering wheel looks chunkier – perfect.

    Two wishes: that the turbo lettering was all in lowercase, and that the pillars and headliner were blacked out as well. If anyone has sat in a Mk V GTI or GLI you’ll know what I mean.

  20. jc7222 – just wait for the specs. I’m quite sure there’ll be more points of difference, though the increased power AND the XWD system is a heck of a combination. I think the brilliance of the XWD system is being a little overlooked here.

    The pics are genuine. I had the same double-take on the badge pic, but it is the right side of the car. Have a look at the trailing edge of the tail lamp, for example. Also, to the left of the badge in the closeup you can see the trim at the beginning of the trunk.

    The wide lens and the lighting make it look like it’s the left side of the rear spoiler, but it isn’t.

  21. Kroum, those wheel illustrations were just an impression sent to me by someone who’d seen the car. They weren’t meant to be definitive. With two wheel sizes offered between Euro and USA maybe there are different wheels, though.

  22. Swade: am I mistaken, but isn’t the “run of the mill” 9³ Aero w/ XWD supposed to have the same output as the Turbo-X (280 bhp, 400 Nm)? I know the non-XWD Aero will be limited to 255 hp, but I don’t know if the Turbo-X will be above-and-beyond the performance of the Aero w/ XWD.

    I’m in no way overlooking the XWD system, which is a blast to drive. I wish I lived in an area where I could put it to good use.

  23. Gripen, yeah, IIRC the Aero with XWD will have the same output. We’ll have to wait to see the official release, but there’s other things to look for such as the brakes, dampers etc, that can all enhance the car’s performance and handling.

    I’ll prepare a comparo.

  24. The interior certainly looks better than the current 9-3 aero. Gone are the cheap looking aluminium inserts on the wheel leaving a tasteful leather steering wheel.

    Overall it’s a great looking car and I look forward to seeing one in person.

  25. Swade: thanks. When you write you’ll do a comparo, do you mean a comparison between the 9³ Aero w/o XWD, the 9³ Aero w/ XWD, and the Turbo-X?

    Or do you mean you’ll do my suggestion above of comparing (side-by-side) pics of the Turbo-X above to similar views of the 9³ Aero XWD?

  26. cdp88: I think the aluminum inserts on the 9³ Aero steering wheel are supposed to be one of those accents that reminds of the automaker’s aerospace roots. The aluminum insert was meant to evoke the look of a commercial airliner’s yoke.

    That being said, when I drove the Aero a few weeks ago I found that I position my hands on the steering wheel in such a way that they don’t align with the aluminum inserts the way they’re meant to so it was a bit uncomfortable until I moved my hand into a position in alignment with the insert. When I pointed this out to the journalist riding along with me he told me that I’m driving with my hands in the wrong place and I pointed out that I’m the driver: the aluminum inserts should bow to my preference, not the other way around! 😉

  27. I like it… I like the wheels too however it saddens me that the US market always gets the “lesser” versions of all the saab models. Take what we can get though, right?

    Ive also heard rumor the 3-spoke “inca” wheels for the 2008 9-5 may only be for the swedish market. That would make me cry. :*( It would make sence though because those are also 18″ wheels.

    The Turbo badge it hot. I cant wait to be able to order that part from saab! Looks just like the old school ones but without the connected letters. sweet!


  28. those wheels are funky!!! They remind me of the TL type-s with the gunmetal finish. Those wheels might have to grow on me!! They almost remind me of split viking wheels that came on the gm900set.

    I think the ‘diffuser’ between the exhausts looks lame, and plasticky, and I’d def get rid of it as sonon as I could…

    Otherwise, it looks gorgeous, the stitching on the side of the driver seat and bolster reminds me of my aero seats in the 9k 🙂

  29. I really hope those wheels aren’t the real thing cause they’re hideous ! 6-spokes? Any designer that’s attended the Wheels 101 class knows that even numbers on spokes are a big nono!

  30. Mats, i’m gonna have to disagree with that. why is it a no-no? Their are tons of great looking wheels out there with even number of spokes…

  31. I’ll pipe in with a less positive comment: that’s one really ugly diffuser lookalike at the back. Looks like a cheap piece of plastic without any added functionality. “Hey people, I’m young and stupid and I tuned my once beautiful car”. Clean lines, SAAB design team?

  32. I have a nice big picture of black Saab 9000 Talladega somewhere. The design of that one had nothing to do with pure Saab design, but we probably think it’s brilliant and classic today… 🙂

  33. I could care less about this car right now, because Weezer is making a new album, and that is taking up all of my brain’s happy neurons right now.


    It’s beautiful, and the exhaust pipes look cool, and the interior is completely and utterly perfect, and I want one.

  34. Kaylan Marie: I picked up the “new 9-3 Accessories” book yesterday and the 18″ incas are in there for sale at £216 each in the UK. Also the metal finish mirrors but with no price.

  35. This is the best looking 9-3 rear yet. The original version was too bland, too americanised. The rear exhausts and diffuser really give it presence – the Aero is there for those who want discreet. As much as I love my 07 it looks so bland compared to the 08 and the competition. As for the utility of the diffuser, remember most if not all spoilers were just plastic styling add ons and most people had no problem with them.
    On the downside, the styling details follow the herd (very close in detail to the BMW MSport outside my window but the Saab looks better, although I am biased) rather than give us something new. I really hope Saab can develop a Sporty interior with lighter trim colours that looks good to get away from black only (I appreciate that given the name of the car the interior is appropriate). I am glad to see the appearance of piano black trim rather than boring wood and hope it filters down to the rest of the range.
    I like the wheels but I wonder how they will affect the ride – I think standard 18s with the option of 19s is the way to go (Mats why are 6 spokes a problem? The old 9-3 Aero had them as does my Vector and loads of cars have 6, 8 and 10 spokes, maybe I am missing something).

    To anyone who buys one I hope you enjoy it, I wish they did a diesel version so I could afford to run it.

  36. Its Awesome!!!!! incredible!!! I have a 9-3ss 2.0t with Nordic stage2, always I think that it will be my car for years, but with this jewel i begin to have some doubts.

    About the pics……remember the 9-3Sporthatch, few days before the launch, a Spanish website leaked the first info of the model. Now it did the same with the Opel E-Flex. Check its website.


  37. I guess the technincal bits are the most special. But I have to say the rear “diffuser” and the exhaust are a bit ricey…

  38. WHY DOES THE CAR HAVE THE OLD NAVI-ANTENNA ON THE ROOF ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    Could this be that this is a photoshopped pic of an 2006 version, because of the 06 antenna?

    Somehow I doubt that this is the real version shown………………………………………….

  39. @ Jon

    no it is not. all 9-3 models including the MY 06 had the shown antenna, no matter it it was with navi, phone or with regular radio.
    From 07 with the new interior and navi, the car also became a new antenna.


  40. Mats,
    those are not 6-spoke, they are 3-spoke split! maybe a new pare of glasses are in order 🙂 just kidding.
    but im serious about the 3-spoke,

  41. As BaRa and others have said, what in the world is going on with that rear diffuser!?! It sure doesn’t look like a proffesional industrial designer have “created” it, at least not one with scandinavian design in mind.. What’s with the mesh imitation!? Also the tail-pipes looks wierd, way too squared, the shape should have been more streched out to create a wider more powerful look. And the wheels, they don’t look better =/ Well hopefully it looks a lot better in reality, for now its all a big disappointment /Daniel, Industrial design student

  42. I love the idea. The car is great. I love how the ‘turbo’ emblem text is remeniscient of the c900. Interior looks fantastic. Still don’t like the tail lights and the rear diffuser I’ll have to see in person. Wheels are nice touch.

  43. Since everybody has 2 cents to through in I have some pocket changes to donate.
    Hate the wheel design, like the colour.
    Rear difuser does not look technical, bumper should be lower, look at Mitusbisi product, fast for sure. Has the metal rear strip been dulled or greyed, not as shiney as mine. The photos are different, there should be a unique effective spoiler to differentiate this special model.

    On a style note look what Saab is offering for the 9-5, metallic side mirrors a la MY08 9-3 Aero!

  44. Well it’s nice to see the photos – I think it looks pretty good. Surprisingly the interior looks VERY nice in all black.

    Someone mentioned the rear exhaust – too much going on. All those layers make it looks like a transformer.

    ..and the wheels have to go too. But again, still looks killer!

  45. Im going to chip in my 2p worth – and then run…
    …i think it looks awkward from behind, and those wheels do nothing for me. Interior is great though and i think the wagon will probably carry the exhaust/diffuser thing off better than the saloon (i hope).
    I really wanted to be one of the 2000 owners, but based on looks alone it’s not won me over like i wanted it to 🙁

  46. Anybody in the Saab Festival asked for the rivals in the slalom test??

    we know one of them is a BMW, its a 330i(272bhp) or a 335i??

    and the japanese car?? a Mitsubishi EVO?? Lexu? Subaru??

    it would be interesting to know.


  47. This is exactly the stuff we’ve all been waiting for swade. Thanks for coming through AGAIN! Now, I just wish I had gotten up earlier this morning, so I could have spent the full day drooling over the pics!

    I think the Turbo X is a hot looking, aggressive piece of work. The outside styling knocks it out of the park. Impressive work Trollhattan!

    Only 2,000? Boys, we better get our orders in soon. If there are 2,000 worldwide, I bet the U.S. will only get half with most of those going to the extreme North East. I hope the dealers in Washington, DC get some!

  48. Mr Aero, the “new” shak fin you’re talking about was introduced in MY07 for the North American market and is the standard GM shark fin. The “old” one will remain on all non-American models, MY08 included.

  49. That car looks spectacular and given that most people will be seeing the rear of it as it passes them – the new exhaust tips look great.

    Nice to see the enthusiastic response as well and that Saab took a page out of the Henry Ford/Buick GNX marketing manual “Any color you want – so long as it’s black.”

    GM is famous for dumping money into a car during its last production year, so nice to see them spending some money to launch a new car with this limited edition model. With that said – hopefully Saab does not build a 2009 or 2010 Black Turbo Model. That would leave a lot of people who are likely to pay a premium for a car standing there with the key to a suddenly depreciating Black Turbo in one hand and an already depreciated Apple iPhone in the other…

  50. Can someone help me and chip in to get Mr. Aero a new keyboard? A number of his keys seem to be stuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. Really tasteless exhaust pipes. Rear looks like a cheap Korean SUV. Interior is however nice. Cheap solution to put some ugly plastic back part and two even uglier exhaust pipes in it.
    Overall car looks very nice.

  52. CTM says: “The pic *is* photoshopped to a certain degree since the number plates are not for that car.”

    This actually doesn’t indicate anything, because promotion pictures often has “wrong” licence plates. The plates on the picture belongs to a Saab test car, registered to Saab Automobile which could support the idea that the pictures are the real thing. You would be amazed if you knew how many test cars has the wrong MY, color, engine etc.

  53. Though I have managed to get my head around what it is supposed to look like – tapering off towards the sides of the car and whatnot, I’m still not entirely convinced by the spoiler picture.

    Shouldn’t there be a well defined horizontal crease in the bodywork going from the top of the light cluster to the trim above the number plate? It does appear on the rear view image, but doesn’t on the close up of the Turbo X XWD badge.

  54. Gareth, I am still not entirely convinced, too. On the close-up pic, there appears to be a very defined well over the Turbo X badge, while this is nowhere to be seen on the rear view shot.

    I guess we’ll have to wait till Tuesday to see for ourselves.

  55. Looks like the old 99/900 turbo rear badge. Why a “T” in turbo when the old badeg had a “t”.
    Should have had been an easy heritage thing…

  56. @ Kaylan Marie:

    so I guess that you have seen it too, right?

    ok that is all I wanted to hear!

    Thanks a lot!

    I am now looking forward the see the car “in the flesh” 🙂

  57. Turbo X = cool
    turbo X = cooler (more visual emphasis on the “x.”)

    not a big deal for me, though. if i were to get one, it’d be de-badged, anyway.

  58. That ‘shark fin’ antenna on the roof of the car is the XM satellite radio antenna which was an option on some 2007 models (non Aero). And you did need it without the navigation radio as navigation was an option but XM was standard on Aero models.

    The regular radio antenna is integrated into the rear window defogger grid.

    At any rate it is only logical that 2008 model would have one as XM is now standard on all models (at least for three months – unless you want to pay for it).

  59. @ Mr. Aero

    The shown Turbo X is a EU-version. In the EU, every Saab still uses the ‘old’ shark fin antenna. The ‘new’ one is only for US/CA-spec vehicles. I’m sure you’ll find more differences with the US-spec Turbo X. (front headlamps e.g.)

  60. First off — I like the car! A great bit of tweaking — subtle cues and some nice wheels.

    Second — you people are picky, picky! First it with the dates, then whether the car has and even number of spokes, the old antenna, etc. Look at the BIG PICTURE. It’s a press piece. It may be (most likely is) based upon the most convenient pic they had at their disposal. Chill! Enjoy the tweaks. Sheesh.

    Happy beginning of the week!

  61. of course it’s very nice. But I can’t wait to see some real visual modifications to the interior. Most manufacturers are stuck in the past and the dashboards/instrument panels/controls all look alike (and boring) to me. I can’t wait to see some BIG changes to the interiors in the next few years – as Swade has intimated for the next 9-5 revision. THAT should be what I’m waiting for…I’m hoping..for 2010???

  62. I want it……no……no…….I NEED IT!!! Dagnabbit!!

    I sooooooooooooo hope this is on the list that I have access to 🙂 🙂

    I’m picking up my new MY08 vert in the next week or two, but this pic already has me salivating over the Turbo-X version. I still rue the fact that there will not be a ‘vert Turbo-X, technical issue or not, there must be a way round it, there is a pretty solid market for AWD verts as Audi has shown.

    I LOVE this car!! I’m glad they haven’t gone Japanese style OTT. The car remains balanced, aggressive yes, but also sophisticated. And I also love those Alloys!! Awesome looking shoes for a sharp looking suit.

    Can’t wait to see the Combi now :).

  63. ^yep it is different, but i am looking forward to real pics from the frankfurt auto show in three days. maybe some people take pics tomorrow already.

  64. What? Only 280bhp and only one cupholder?

    Just kidding!!!

    That’s a great, drool-inducing looking car. The rear looks like a refined but more muscular version of the Acura TL, with far more tasteful horizontal creases along the sides.

    That will likely rival the Viggen as the prettiest modern Saab…

  65. I noticed it CAM up in post 90. Whay are you yelling? Ha!

    Nice throwback to the past I would say. I hate the fact that the text in the SS dashboard doesn’t match the text on the center console like older Saabs.

  66. I don’t get that you guys mean by the old boost gauge?!

    You know what would REALLY excite me? I 3 din gauge holder somewere in the dash, with options for boost, oil pressure, and others. Kinda like the c900s. Now THAT would be cool. And with a little moveable cover to slide over them. Kinda like those sunglass compartment covers that flip in and out!!!

  67. Absolutely fantastic!
    As an italian driver I have to say that this car let me astonished about swedish carmaker talent. In my opinion this can be a real newcomer in the restricted world of german performance cars. It remembers me on the famous 9-3 Viggen…what a pity that there wouldn’t be a two-door version.

  68. Its a hirsched 2.8V6T with variable 4wd.
    Only difference to my hirsched 2.8 is it will handle better in the wet well that is if they dont fit pirellis to it

  69. Brandon
    a bmw m5 pushes 500bhp so what my hirsched 2.8 pushes 275bhp and is as quick as an m5. its not what you got its the way that you do it.
    Plus the holden engine is capable of so much more. they run 400bhp in auz,infact you can run more than that but for a daily driveable car why do you need more. but i would anticipate that once the xwd system is proven the power will be upper to audi rs4 levels, then watch out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *