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by George Skentzos

After having outed the new 9-3X in Sweden just yesterday, Saab has officially unveiled the new sports wagon ahead of its official debut at the Geneva motor show.

Positioned as an ideal alternative to large and heavy crossovers or SUVs, the new 9-3X range incorporates two efficient engines into its range.

The 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine delivers 157kW and 300Nm between 2500 and 4000 rpm mated to either a six speed manual or automatic transmission.

2009 Saab 9-3X sports wagon Geneva preview

Coupled with Saab’s advanced Cross Wheel Drive system (XWD) the 2.0T reaches 100km/h in just over 8.2 seconds (0-60mph quoted) from a standstill with the manual, whilst returning fuel economy of 6.9-litres per 100kms.

The XWD system is capable of continuously distributing engine drive torque between the front and rear axles as required for optimum stability and traction in all conditions by employing an electronically-controlled Torque Transfer Device (TTD).

2009 Saab 9-3X sports wagon Geneva preview

The standard fit rear limited slip differential (eLSD) operates on the same principle, splitting drive across the axle to whichever wheel has more traction.

The diesel option is a 1.9-litre twin turbo engine which produces 134kW and 400Nm with power sent to the front wheels via either a six speed manual or automatic gearbox.

2009 Saab 9-3X sports wagon Geneva preview

The sprint from zero to 100km/h is roughly the same as the petrol model at just over 8.3 seconds (0-60mph quoted) while fuel economy stands at 4.6-litres per 100km.

“The 9-3X is an efficient all-rounder for anyone who doesn’t want or need an SUV-type vehicle,” says Simon Padian, Saab Brand Design Chief. “Simply put, we are offering a vehicle that will do what’s required in more comfort and style than a heavier SUV.”

A new dark grey, grained finish front bumper continues down the sides of the 9-3X to the rear, offering a protective buffer zone for when the terrain becomes loose or muddy.

2009 Saab 9-3X sports wagon Geneva preview

Twin oval exhaust pipes are standard for both models, with unique five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels characterising the exterior of the new model.

Inside, the 9-3X interior features a unique trim, adding a dark metallic finish to the door trims, glove box and gearbox surround.

2009 Saab 9-3X sports wagon Geneva preview

Characterised by its usefulness, the 9-3X boasts up to 1287-litres of luggage space with the rear seats folded down or 419-litres when the back row is occupied.

The 60/40 split seat-back incorporates a ski-hatch and folds down without any need to move the fixed seat cushion while a TwinFloor stowage facility in the boot also helps keep luggage and equipment safe and tidy.




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