Saab's first crossover, the 9-4x, was unveiled last month at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and we now know how much the CUV will cost at retail.Following its recent Los Angeles Auto Show debut, Saab has affixed a price tag to its all-new 9-4X crossover. The 9-4X is expected to arrive in U.S. Saab dealerships during the first quarter of 2011.
Based on the same General Motors Theta Premium architecture as the Cadillac SRX, the 9-4X was entirely designed while the Detroit automaker controlled the Swedish brand. New Saab owner Spyker says it has not made any major changes to the 9-4x since taking over the brand earlier this year. The 9-4X will be Saab's first crossover, although GM rebadged a Chevrolet TrailBlazer as a Saab 9-7x several years ago.
The 9-4X will be assembled alongside the SRX in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, built under contract by GM. Its basic design was previewed in 2008 at Detroit's North American International Auto Show as a concept car, but Saab had kept the production model under wrap until now. As these photos show, the 9-4x is essentially identical to the concept car.
Base 9-4X crossovers get a naturally-aspirated, 265-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 with direct injection and variable valve timing and either front or all-wheel-drive. Saab says a front-wheel-drive non-turbo model can sprint to 60 mph in about 7.9 seconds and sips fuel at an average of 20 mpg combined.
Saab will offer the 9-4X Aero with a turbocharged 2.8-liter, 300-horsepower V6, the same engine that is also optional in the SRX. The engine is based on a GM design, but Saab was responsible for turbocharging, so the automaker promises us that the engine is true to its Scandinavian form.
The turbocharged V6 pumps out 295 lb-ft. of torque spread between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm. The engine is mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission and is capable of propelling the crossover to 60 mph in around 7.7 seconds with all-wheel-drive. Saab says to expect combined driving to net around 18 mpg.
Saab's all-wheel-drive - dubbed XWD - will be standard on the Aero and optional on the base 9-4X. The system, already offered in the 9-3 and 9-5, features a Haldex center differential. It adds an electronically-controlled rear limited-slip differential called eLSD capable of splitting up to 50 percent of torque between the rear wheels. An adjustable DriveSense suspension with real-time damping shocks can be toggled between "comfort" and "sport" modes. A separate "Eco" button re-maps the throttle pedal and gear shift patterns for optimal fuel economy.
Pricing for the front-wheel drive 9-4X is set to begin at $34,205, with that price climbing to $38,075 for the mid-level Premium model. The range-topping 9-4X Aero -- which includes the 2.8T engine and all-wheel drive -- will list from $48,835. All prices include an $825 destination fee.
A look of its own
The 9-4X might share its structure with the SRX, but the two crossovers have their own design identities. The 9-4X was inspired by the automaker's Aero X concept car and it features a number of styling elements already shown in the Saab 9-5 sedan, including "ice block effect" lighting in a green-blue tint.
Blacked out windshield and door pillars give the 9-4X a "cockpit" look, while curved LED running lights provide a link to the 9-5 and 9-3.
The tailgate features another ice block-style light cluster running horizontally below the windshield.
Inside, the 9-4X is again visually similar to the 9-5 sedan. A wrap-around instrument panel focuses on the driver and can be detailed in either wood or carbon fiber trim. Leather seats will be standard, including power adjustment for the driver. Power-adjustable pedals will be optional.
A Bose 5.1 audio system and a touchscreen navigation system will be optional, as will dual rear-seatback-mounted 8-inch screens for an integrated DVD player.
With the second row of seats folded, the 9-4X offers 61.2 cubic feet of cargo room, about the same as the SRX. The Saab will offer a U-shaped track with a cargo divider to aid in securing luggage.
Look for the 9-4X to hit showrooms in May in the United States.