Archive for April, 2004

Saab announces pricing for all-wheel-drive 9-2X

Posted on 23. Apr, 2004 by .

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svgallery=2004_9_2X

Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

2004-04-23

Saab announces pricing for all-wheel-drive 92X

The new Saab 92X is the next significant step in the biggest product development program in Saab’s history. With standard all-wheel-drive, powerful engines, and distinctive European design – as well as versatile 5-door body style – it is a unique offering in a developing new niche in the car market: the premium sports compact segment. The first Saab 92X models will go on sale in the U.S. and Canada on June 1, 2004 – ahead of many competitors who are also bringing products to this market.

With aggressive pricing, the Saab 92X will be the first premium brand vehicle for many of its customers. With this vehicle, Saab expects to attract customers, in their early stages of their career, who are cosmopolitan and open-minded, and who appreciate the sophisticated style of a European brand.

Pricing starts at $22,990 for the 92X Linear, equipped with a 165-hp 2.5L 4-cylinder engine. Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 all-season tires, AM/FM/CD stereo system, climate control system, cruise control, tilt-adjustable steering column, power door locks with remote keyless entry, power windows, power-adjustable exterior mirrors and rear window wiper/washer.

The 92X Aero model, with its 227-hp turbocharged and intercooled 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, is priced at $26,950. In addition to equipment on the 92X Linear, the Aero model distinguishes itself with larger front brake discs, hood-mounted intercooler air intake, front fog lamps, unique light alloy wheels, automatic climate control system, 6-disc in-dash CD changer, metallic-rimmed instrument dials, sport textile upholstery, leather wrapped sport steering wheel, shifter knob and handbrake handle.

Both Linear and Aero models come with a 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 4-speed automatic transmission. Available option packages include leather-appointed trim and upholstery, power sunroof, xenon headlights, heated seats and more.

Saab Cars USA, based in Norcross, GA, is the importer and distributor of Saab 92X, 9-3 and 9-5 automobiles.

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Saab 9-7X: Versatility and functionality

Posted on 19. Apr, 2004 by .

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svgallery=2004_9_7X

Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

2004-04-19

Saab 9-7X: Versatility and functionality

First SUV Expands Saab Portfolio To Four Product Lines

* A comprehensively equipped SUV suiting active lifestyles
* Driver Information Center, including personalization program
* High degree of infotainment

The new Saab 9-7X offers the basic requisite for the versatility sought by SUV buyers: ample room for passengers and their belongings. With a wheelbase of 113 inches (2,870 mm) and an overall length of 193.4 inches (4,912 mm), the Saab 9-7X comfortably seats five adults. It holds up to 41.0 cubic feet (1,161 liter update) of cargo space with the rear seatback up and 80.1 cubic feet (2,268 liter) with the seatback folded down. A 60/40 split rear bench seat is standard in all 9-7X models as is a trailer hitch receiver and hitch receiver cover. Maximum towing capacity equipped with the V8 engine is an estimated 6,500 lb (2,948 kg).

All seats are trimmed with high quality leather. The folding self-storing second-row seat assembly not only extends the rear cargo area, it provides convenient storage for both tire jack and tools in the same compartment. The tools and jack are stowed side-by-side underneath the seat and can be accessed easily from the rear side door, without the need to remove cargo in the rear compartment. The rear seats are split 60/40 and fold forward to become part of the cargo compartment floor when more space is desired. They feature articulating head rests, which flip backward out of the way when the seat is lowered, eliminating the need to remove and re-stow them. When the seat is raised, the customer simply flips the headrest back into place.

The front row seats feature standard power 6-way adjustment, and independently heated seat cushion and back with three temperature levels. A four-way power lumbar control system and power recline adjustment also is standard, as well as a driver’s seat memory package for both seat and mirrors.

The rear cargo compartment includes the following features: a scroll-type stowage shade for privacy and added security, a convenience net, an air compressor hose, auxiliary power outlet, sidewall storage compartments and a hidden stowage well under the rear floor for storing valuables. Storage facilities also include a compartment in the center console and a lockable glove box.

Another striking example of the versatility of the new Saab 9-7X is the standard air suspen-sion at the rear. Because of this, the vehicle is designed to be self-leveling, regardless of the load in the cargo area. This also applies to a trailer hitched onto the 9-7X. In line with the active lifestyles of Saab 9-7X customers, who enjoy outdoor leisure pursuits such as boating, hiking, mountain biking, camping and winter sports, the trailer hitch receiver is standard on all models.

Furthermore, an external air hose coupling located in the right rear quarter panel for the compressor holding up the air pressure in the rear springs is provided. The 22-foot air hose is long enough to reach all four tires for inflation – and a number of fittings enable inflation of sports accessories like a rubber dinghy, balls, or bicycle tires.

Driver Information Center: Personalize your Saab
A multi-language 22-character information center acts as an interface to the driver for not only systems information, but for personalization and memory programming as well. It is positioned directly under the speedometer on the instrument cluster. Buttons to control the Driver Information Center are located in the instrument panel center stack. Features include the following:
* Low-level notification and/or status is provided for, oil life (based on engine speed, heat and distance traveled), washer fluid, door ajar, and liftgate ajar;
* Other messages include “key FOB battery is low”, “ice possible” or “tighten fuel cap”;
* Computer calculations are available for fuel data, estimated range, average fuel economy, instantaneous fuel economy, dual trip odometers and elapsed time;
* Memory settings can be created for seat position, mirror position, radio station selection, radio presets, climate control and personalization.

Personalization features set through the driver information center include the following:
* Configurable to perform in English, Spanish or French;
* Automatic door locks can be set to lock when the vehicle speed exceeds 8 mph for 3 seconds. (Feature can be disabled if not desired);
* Automatic door unlock can be configured for all doors when the key is withdrawn from the ignition; all doors when the vehicle is shifted into “park”; driver door only when the vehicle is shifted into “park”; or turned off completely;
* Key remote feedback can be customized for the horn shortly sounding, the lights flashing, both, or turned off completely;
* Headlamp delay at exit can be customized for times up to 220 seconds;
* Perimeter lighting can be programmed on or off;
* Automatic mirror curb view when the vehicle is shifted into reverse can be set on or off.

The advanced electronics of the Saab 9-7X also include battery run-down protection. If the interior lights, headlamps and park lamps, or both are inadvertently left on, the central electronic controller unit will automatically turn them off after 20 minutes, eliminating battery drain in the process.

The advanced “Pass III” key features an electronic chip that communicates directly with the engine management system. If an incorrect key or foreign object is inserted in the ignition, it will not be recognized and fuel will be prevented from flowing to the engine.

Entertainment: Much is standard, even more is available
Radios, all with Radio Data System (RDS), were not only selected for their high-quality performance, but special attention was paid to contours that permit flush-mounting, between the radio face, and the dark wood effect trim surrounding it. The standard AM/FM stereo with single-play MP3 CD as well as the optional AM/FM stereo with integral six-disc CD changer are aesthetically designed and ergonomically easy to operate. Standard equipment for all Saab 9-7X models includes “radio controls” for rear seat occupants and earphone jacks. In addition, the 9-7X provides OnStar, with 12 months of Safe & Sound protection featuring, automatic notification to the OnStar Center when airbags are deployed and optional hands-free calling and information services.

Optional equipment includes a rear DVD player with flip-down screen for second-seat passenger viewing, a navigational system and XM Satellite radio. The optional Premium Audio Package includes Bose uplevel audio and a 6-disc CD changer.

The standard equipment level of the Saab 9-7X leaves little to be desired. Beyond the standard items mentioned above, standard equipment in all Saab 9-7X models includes:
* 18 inch Aluminum-alloy Wheels with Dunlop all seasons tires P255/55R18
* All-wheel-drive
* Anti-theft system with remote
* Automatic Climate Control
* Automatic Transmission
* Cruise control
* Daytime Running Lights
* Floor mats
* Front Fog Lights
* Full size spare
* Homelink
* No Charge Scheduled Maintenance for 3 years or 36,000 miles
* Power door locks with remote keyless entry
* Rear Limited slip differential
* Head curtain side airbags
* Tilt-adjustable steering column

On top of that, the Saab 9-7X V8 distinguishes itself with
* Different 18 inch wheel design
* Integrated Roof Rails
* Dual Exhaust Pipe Tips

Available optional packages include a Convenience Package with adjustable pedals and headlamp washers as well as a Protection Package with body side molding and front skid plates. High intensity discharge (HID) lights, metallic paint and sunroof are available as freestanding options.

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9-7X Powertrain: Affordable V8 power pulls Saab 9-7X into the lead

Posted on 19. Apr, 2004 by .

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svgallery=2004_9_7X

Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

2004-04-19

9-7X Powertrain: Affordable V8 power pulls Saab 9-7X into the lead

* A choice of two powerful all-aluminium engines, standard automatic transmission
* All-wheel-drive and limited slip differential are standard
* Quietness reinforces premium character

The Saab 9-7X is especially well equipped for the demands of the American market for which it was developed. As the company?s first entry into the SUV segment, it will be positioned in the $37,000 to $45,000 price bracket. Its high performance version, incorporating the new Gen IV 5.3 liter V8, with an estimated 300 horsepower (224 kW) and 330 lb.-ft. (447 Nm) of torque is particularly destined to be an attractive offer among its peers. The vehicle?s standard 4.2 liter in-line six is available rated at 275 hp (205 kW) and 275 lb.-ft. (372 Nm) of torque. Both all-aluminum engines are coupled to an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission.

The Saab 9-7X will receive the new Gen IV version of GM Powertrain’s hallmark small block 5.3L V8. This engine is distinguished from other Vortec 5300s by its cast-aluminum engine block. It has pressed-in iron cylinder liners, similar to the 5.7L LS1 and LS6 aluminum Corvette V8s. Due to the lighter block, a fully dressed engine weighs 100 pounds less than a comparable iron-block V8. Saab expects that up to 70 percent of all 9-7Xs sold will be powered by it. The V8 is equipped with high-flow, cast-aluminum cylinder heads common with the famous LS6 Corvette engine. This plus larger intake valves and an increase in valve lift (to 12.2 mm from Gen III?s 11.6 mm) results in significantly increased engine air flow. A new flat top piston profile combined with the chamber volume of the new cylinder head increases the compression ratio from 9.5 to 9.9:1. Flat response knock sensors mounted on the engine block allow optimal spark and knock control during hot conditions and/or with poor fuel quality conditions.

Another distinguishing feature is what engineers call a “pan-axle” oil pan. Both the 5.3L and the 4.2L share this unique design, saving undercarriage space while reducing interior noise. The all-wheel drive system is bolted directly to the engine’s oil pan (rather than the chassis), and a half shaft passes through the pan via a cast-in passage. Typically, the differential shaft crosses underneath the pan, and in turn, the engine must be raised. In this application, the shaft is designed to pass through the oil pan, which helps in engine packaging, which in turn helps in styling, visibility and noise reduction. This design helps to eliminate noise transmis-sion path for axle/driveline going into the vehicle compartment.

Both engines feature an algorithm called Smart Start that prevents the starter from engaging when the engine is running.

Among its advanced features are technologies such as variable exhaust valve timing (cam phaser), electronic throttle control, coil-on plug ignition, a state-of-the-art powertrain control module, a roller follower valve train, and the unique oil pan axle configuration mentioned above.

The in-line 6 impresses with a dramatically extended torque curve through the majority of the speed range. Peak torque is 275 foot-pounds (372 Nm) at 3,600 rpm with 90-percent of peak torque already available at 1,200 rpm. EPA fuel economy numbers are estimated to be 15 MPG city/21 MPG Highway, which are fully competitive with primary competitors.

The 4L60-E Hydra-Matic Transmission, is standard on all versions of the new Saab 9-7X. It is noted for its smooth operation, performance across the full torque curve, rugged durability, precise shifting and economical operation. The four-speed transmission with its die cast aluminum case is electronically controlled with automatic overdrive and a torque converter clutch.

An important element of quality is quietness. The Saab 9-7X engineers incorporated insulation measures, including
* An acoustically laminated windshield;
* Laminated front door glass;
* Door primary seal designs providing sealing and windnoise attenuation;
* Passenger compartment mat assembly, constructed of both a sound barrier and a sound absorber;
* Engine side front of dash sound absorber;
* More than a dozen sound absorbing insulators in the doors, pillars and panels, made of composite and/or fiberglass materials (strategically located around speakers, door handles or body structural gaps and openings).

The Saab 9-7X uses a special acoustic water deflector assembly, consisting of both a barrier and an absorber, for exceptional sealing/noise attenuation. This assembly is used on the inside of all four of the doors on the Saab 9-7X to absorb noise and provide a protective seal against water and dust intrusion.

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Sporty performance and high levels of safety

Posted on 19. Apr, 2004 by .

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svgallery=2004_9_7X

Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

2004-04-19

Sporty performance and high levels of safety
The Saab 9-7X Puts The Driver In Control

* Chassis tuned to help provide responsive handling.
* Standard all-wheel-drive and rollover sensing system.
* Comprehensive standard safety equipment complements active safety vehicle dynamics and capabilities.

Saab enters the fastest growing market segment in the USA, the mid-luxury SUV segment with a distinctive model offering the elegant style and responsive handling that Saab is known for. The Saab 9-7X is designed to be a driver’s vehicle. To achieve its dynamic road manners and comfortable, well-controlled ride, the Saab 9-7X uses a uniquely tuned double A-arm front suspension with front coil spring and a five-link, electronically controlled rear air suspension. For improved traction under difficult road conditions, an advanced all-wheel-drive (AWD) system that requires no input from the driver to activate is standard on all models.

The Saab 9-7X uses firm front and rear suspensions, providing a low ride height, a large-sized front stabilizer bar and stiff upper control arm bushings in the rear, all designed to provide good body control for confident handling. The P255/55R18 all-season radials were specially developed by Dunlop for their road-gripping capability.

Saab 9-7X has standard 4-wheel ABS. All brakes have 12.8 inch, ventilated rotors. The front brake system utilizes dual piston aluminum calipers. The steering gear is tuned for on-center road feel and smooth operation. The front part of the frame is stiffened with braces to help make the steering responsive and precise. An 18.5:1 steering gear ratio together with stiff steering rack mounts are designed to help provide enhanced steering responsiveness and precision.

“The Saab 9-7X emphasizes the ‘sport’ aspect of its Sport Utility Vehicle nomenclature,” says Peter Augustsson, Saab’s President and CEO. “Like the soon to-be-launched Saab 9-2X models, it is very dynamic and is a vehicle that you want to drive.”

How To Put More ‘Sport’ Into A Sport Utility Vehicle
Suspension systems in mainstream SUVs tend to be under-damped and over-insulated from the road. Steering is often vague, requiring considerable correction at highway speeds. Body roll during sharp turns may be noticeable. Consequently, the person at the wheel is left somewhat removed from the driving experience.

In contrast, Saab puts the driver in control, providing him or her with a responsive vehicle that offers rewarding performance coupled with a reassuring feel of what’s happening between the vehicle and the road surface. The chassis components of the new Saab 9-7X are specifically designed and its steering and handling tuned to provide Saab-like, fun-to-drive performance characteristics and superb ride quality. Main elements of the unique formula for the Saab 9-7X’s chassis are:
* Responsive steering/handling in tight turns and good on-center feel;
* Excellent tire grip;
* Well controlled body roll;
* Good crosswind stability;
* A firm, but still comfortable ride, capable of absorbing the sharp bumps and ridges of rough roads.

Saab’s first SUV is equipped with a double A-arm front suspension with coil springs, a 5-link solid axle electronically controlled rear air suspension and a rack-and-pinion steering system. The rear air springs are continually monitored by two sensors that feed data to a frame-mounted compressor/electronic control unit. The compressor module inflates or deflates the air springs as necessary in order to maintain the designed trim height of the vehicle. This helps keep the headlights, including the optional high intensity discharge (HID) lamps, in a consistent position to light the road ahead.

All shock absorbers are valved to help provide firm body control for confident handling. The diameter of the front stabilizer bar is 36 mm to help with body roll control. A rear limited slip differential at the rear is standard. It was specifically selected to help dampen yaw reactions during high speed maneuvers.

The 18 inch wheels have eight-inch wide rims, enabling their tires to spread out further and put a bigger footprint on the ground. The P255/55R18 all-season radials were specially developed by Dunlop for their road-gripping capability. The wheels accommodate four ventilated disc brakes with large 12.8 in (325 mm) diameter front and rear rotors. An anti-lock braking system (ABS) is standard.

The steering system: Stiff, fast and responsive
The Saab 9-7X is equipped with hydraulically assisted rack and pinion steering designed to help provide precise steering response and a tight turning radius. A reduced 18.5:1 steering gear ratio together with stiffer bushings improves steering responsiveness and precision. In parking maneuvers, the 9-7X only requires 3.5 turns from lock-to-lock. The steering gear itself is tuned for on-center road feel and the front part of the frame is stiffened with additional braces to help make the steering responsive and precise.

Chassis tuning includes a new valve profile with high response rates for the steering gear; firm mounting bushings; and low-friction components within the steering gear. The bushings used to mount the steering rack are designed to help minimize compliance in the steering system that might compromise on-center feel. The gear uses new, low-friction components such as bearings (in place of bushings) and low-friction seals to provide smooth operation. Braces at the front of the main frame are added for more lateral stiffness/support. Stiffening the front part of the frame makes the steering more responsive and precise by reducing compliance in the frame so that it begins to generate lateral force more quickly.

“The Saab 9-7X is an excellent example of Saab’s expertise applied to achieve sporty, driver- focused performance,” says Kjell-Ã…ke Eriksson, Saab Executive Director for Future Products. “Although it offers excellent versatility, it is still a delight to drive with minimal body roll and a firm but subtle and quiet ride.”

Dual-stage front airbags and rollover sensing system
On top of its well-mannered vehicle dynamics, the Saab 9-7X features a comprehensive standard safety package, including
* Dual-stage frontal airbags;
* Passenger Sensing System;
* Rollover sensing system;
* Head curtain side airbags;
* Front seatbelt pre-tensioners with load limiters;
* Front seat occupants belt buckle-up reminder.

During a frontal impact, the standard dual stage frontal airbags allow the Sensing and Diagnostic Module (SDM) to choose a high or low inflation level based on crash severity when the seats are positioned toward the rear of the seat track for taller occupants. However, when the seats are positioned toward and near the front of the seat track, as for small occupants seated closer to the airbag, a switch in the seat track informs the SDM and limits the airbag to a less aggressive inflation level.

A Passenger Sensing System (PSS) is used to automatically switch the right front airbag on or off, based on the passenger’s weight and the type of pressure on the seat. The PSS combines inputs from a pressure sensor on a bladder located in the seat and a belt tension switch to decide whether the airbag should be suppressed or enabled. An indicator in the rear view mirror signals whether the passenger airbag is “on” or “off”. Even with this innovative feature, passengers should always wear their safety belts and be sure that children are properly restrained in the rear seat.

Standard head curtain side airbags are designed to help provide head protection in certain side impact collisions and rollovers for all outboard-seated occupants. The new rollover sensing system is intended to help protect occupants during rollovers by triggering the head curtain side airbags and activating the front seatbelt pre-tensioners.

The rollover sensing module (ROS) is located on the center tunnel under the rear seat and uses a complex algorithm to deploy safety systems in rollover events. The ROS is designed to measure the lateral and vertical accelerations of the vehicle, as well as the roll rate. It obtains the vehicle speed from the wheel speed sensors. These four inputs are used to help make a predictive deployment decision. Once the ROS makes its deployment decision, a message is sent to the central control unit, or Sensing Diagnostic Module (SDM), which is designed to then deploy the appropriate safety systems.

Seat belt load-limiting retractors with pre-tensioners are also standard for the front seat. Pre-tensioner front seat belts are designed to help minimize forward movement during a frontal collision and vertical movement in a rollover. A device attached to each front seat belt retractor and triggered by the SDM at the same time as the airbags is designed to remove belt slack during a collision to help restrain front seat passengers. An energy-absorbing element built into the belt retractor helps regulate the forces on an occupant?s upper torso.

The Saab 9-7X features a front seat occupants safety-belt reminder, which lets front occupants automatically know via a chime and indicator light if their safety belt hasn’t been fastened.

The Saab 9-7X also provides knee bolsters that meet FMVSS 208?s new, more stringent standard. The driver’s side bolster includes a metal panel with reinforced ribbing, which is located behind the plastic bolster surface, and in front of the energy-absorbing brackets. The panel more evenly distributes knee-loads into the energy-absorbing steel brackets, which are designed to crush during severe impact. The passenger-side glove box door is also engi-neered to act as a knee restraint and also meets the new FMVSS requirements.

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Saab 9-7X: Progressive Design

Posted on 19. Apr, 2004 by .

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svgallery=2004_9_7X

Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

2004-04-19

Saab 9-7X: Progressive Design

An SUV With the Dynamic Looks of a Saab Car

* Smooth surfaces and clean execution convey a premium and contemporary look
* Typical Saab instrument panel and exclusive features for a driver-oriented interior
* Unmistakable styling cues create Saab brand character

As the first SUV of the Swedish premium brand, the new Saab 9-7X has the expected dimensions and capabilities of a sports utility vehicle ? but its exterior and interior styl-ing give it a much more car-like appearance than most competitors in the segment.

“The exterior and interior design of the Saab 9-7X are in line with its dynamic road be-havior and convey the sporty refinement of a Saab rather than the ruggedness of a tradi-tional SUV,” comments Saab?s Executive Director of Design, Michael Mauer.

Saab styling cues are apparent even from a distance. Key features include Saab?s sig-nature three-port grille, rear quarter windows that visually appear to wrap-around the
D-pillars, and brand-distinctive wheels. The Saab 9-7X?s profile is clean and uninter-rupted, without big bumper offsets or protruding shapes and forms.

Inside, Saab drivers will instantly feel at home. The instrument panel?s cockpit-inspired center stack and controls are angled toward the driver. Like the exterior, the 9-7X?s interior features Saab-traditional strong, brand-distinctive design elements and cues. They encompass such Saab icons as the air vents with their characteristic sliding plate design, a cup holder like the Saab 9-5, and the center console ignition switch location.

The Exterior: Clean, Harmonious and Powerful

The new 9-7X retains Saab?s familiar curvaceous front. The rounded hood ends at a horizontal cutline, with flush surfaces supporting the aerodynamics. The one-piece front fascia harmoniously integrates the typical three-hole-grille and the low horizontally emphasized headlamps that wrap around into the sides of the vehicle. The grille textures themselves, sharing a precise, geometric mesh pattern, create a strong identity away from the horizontal-bar pattern of other Saab models.

The headlamps are detailed to provide a rich, multi-tone effect, reflecting the latest in European design trends. The unique tail lamps have a clear acrylic lens and reflector optics. Their bezels have a stainless (smoke gray) color, which contrasts with the chrome to heighten the jewel-like effect of the lights.

The headlamps use three independent lighting units, with separate lamps for the high and low beam, as well as the park/turn signals, including daytime running light functions. Base models use a projector beam for their low-beam lighting. Optional high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps for the low beam provides even greater nighttime visibility. The optional headlamp washers pop out like those on the Saab 9-5, mounted on the front fascia, just below the headlamps. Their location eliminates gaps and provides flush surfacing, enhancing the ?functional beauty? characteristic of the vehicle?s design. Projector beam fog lamps are standard. Small, round and laser-like, they contribute to the precision and overall balance of the front-end design.

The Saab 9-7X?s profile is clean, smooth and uninterrupted, without big bumper offsets or protruding shapes and forms. As part of the contemporary simplicity of the overall bodyside theme, the vehicle also has no bodyside moldings, a design feature expected to be most heavily favored by Saab purists. Moldings are available as an option. But unlike those of most other SUVs, they?re tailored for a very refined, subtle, understated appearance.

Styled, brightly finished roof rails are available for customers who want them. The roof rails visually integrate with the vehicle?s upper contours, accentuating and extending the profile. The roof rails taper down and forward in front, picking up the trajectory of the windshield profile and accelerates higher as it goes rearward to create a kind of forward thrust before tapering down at the back. It has chrome accent bars and a brightly painted silver base. The roof rail?s cross bars accept all the same support hardware as the 9-5 SportWagon , making it easy to add Saab-common accessories.

The standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P255/55R 18 tires, combined with the vehicle?s low stance, emphasize its stability and fun-to-drive performance characteristics. Wheels are painted bright silver with exposed lug nuts that reinforce Saab?s philosophy of functional beauty. The base model with the 4.2L engine has elegant twin 6 spoke wheels, the slender spokes radiating to the tip of the outer rim for a flangeless appearance and contempo-rary, large-wheel look. With the available 5.3L engine, the vehicle is equipped with a stronger, bolder sportier six-spoke wheel design, underscoring its enhanced performance capabilities.

The rear: Typical and distinctive wrap-around rear window
The rear quarter glass windows feature the same wrap-around, Saab-distinctive design as the Saab 9-5 Sport Wagon. Visually, they appear to wrap over the D-pillars and into the rear window. The upper header portion of the tailgate extends the flow of this design by allowing a line to extend from the rear quarter window to its lower edge.

The Saab 9-7X provides a standard receiver hitch assembly and a bumper step pad, providing convenient roof access. The surface pattern of the step pad matches that of the sill plate in the interior cargo area, providing a harmoniously integrated appearance when the liftgate is opened.

The rear lamps, like the headlamps, include three lighting units, with clear acrylic and polycarbonate lenses, reflector optics and precision-detailed bezels combining to create a three-dimensional, jewel-like effect. The lamps are vertically stacked, with a clear backup light at the top, an amber-colored turn signal in the middle and a red stop light at the bottom.

As part of the 9-7X?s clean design, the badging is discrete. A Saab emblem appears at the top of the license box which is incorporated right into a strip of horizontal chrome running across the top of the license box, providing a harmonious balance to the bright chrome cues at the front. The rest of the license box is body-colored. The exhaust pipe tips, like the wheels, signal the vehicle?s performance characteristics. A single elliptical-shaped chrome tip helps identify 4.2L models and twin, round chrome ports on the passenger side indicate the more powerful 5.3L model.

Interior Design
Work inside the Saab 9-7X was focused on providing an upscale, sporty, driver-oriented interior that captured the feel and flavor of other Saab models. In doing so, the designers blended the best of heritage cues from models like the 9-5 SportWagon with design features from more recent new entries like the 9-3 Sport Sedan and Convertible. Along with brand-distinctive cues and elements like the graphics, instrument cluster backlighting and logos, designers utilized components from the Saab 9-3 and 9-5.

The Saab 9-7X?s instrument panel is shaped to create a driver-oriented space by angling its center stack and controls toward the driver. A sporty new 4-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel, textured with a low-gloss grain like the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan, provides a European feel. Additionally, like all other Saab models, the Saab 9-7X offers dual stalks with wiper controls on the right stalk.

The instrument cluster features satin nickel ringed gauges and the distinctive graphics of Saab 9-3 models. Saab-unique green provides the color and backlighting for LED cluster and HVAC displays, as well as for the radio, and driver information center (DIC).

Saab aficionados will likely recognize the dash panel?s distinctive, vertical cupholder, like the one used in the Saab 9-5 models. The cupholder pops out of the dash, when pressed, flipping out sideways with a spring-dampened, twisting motion. A second, large, conventional-design cupholder is also provided in the center console.

Control knobs for the radio, rear wiper, dimmer switch, HVAC system and the directional airflow controls feature the 9-3?s familiar soft, rubber-molded texture. HVAC outlets feature Saab?s distinctive sliding plate design. The control knob moves a series of plates (rather than conventional vanes and shutters) that slide over each other.

Reflective of the 9-7X?s European character, the steering wheel features an easy to handle set of redundant audio system controls on the top left- and right-side spokes. Buttons to control the driver information center are located in the instrument panel?s center stack. Also located there is the hazard switch, providing an easy-to-access, five-button row of switches at the very centerline of the instrument panel above the radio.

Another typical Saab feature is the location of the ignition switch rearward of the gear shifter on the new center console. The gear shift lever has a symmetrical design, wide shift boot and conveys a substantial feel, reinforcing the Saab 9-7X?s driver-oriented character.

The center console is highly functional and tastefully appointed with dark burl wood appearance trim inserts and chrome accents. A matching dark burl wood appearance trim insert is found on the gear shift lever. The front of the console houses a large-size drink holder and two 12-volt power outlets.

The front door sills of the Saab 9-7X feature brushed aluminum, with the word ?Saab? prominently de-bossed in bright, polished aluminum lettering. The same material is used for rear door sill plates and inserts in the cargo area, taking the brunt of cargo as its slid into the rear. Their surface pattern matches that on the top of the rear bumper top.

The standard soft nuance heated leather-trimmed seats, with six-way power adjustment, electrical lumbar and recline for both front seats, and leather-trimmed rear seats, are among the Saab 9-7X?s many standard features. Seats are available in either a desert sand color, with matching door armrests and door inserts, or in a carbon black color that matches the carpeting, instrument panel, and console that is standard with both interiors.

The backs of the seats, headrests, center console lid and even the door armrests, as well as the shifter boot and parking brake, are tailored with luxury French seam stitching. All sew lines and seat trenches are tight and small. This not only ensures a detailed, high-end upholstered appearance, but one crafted to be durable and eliminate the possibility of a “stretched seam” appearance over time. With the carbon black interiors, contrasting beige stitching is used in the door armrests and inserts. Vehicles with desert sand color seats have that same color stitching in the doors. The stitching in the seats always matches that of the seat color itself.

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