A Tribute to the Saab 9-2x (2004-2006)

Posted on 03. Jan, 2007 by in 2000-2009, 9-2x

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Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

The Saab 9-2x, notable for it’s introduction of all-wheel drive, has had an interesting history and as of the first of this year, has recently hit the end of it’s journey. The Saab 9-2x can now be officially classified as a limited edition, collector’s car.

Here is a historical tribute to the Saab 9-2’s contribution to the Saab Brand.

2003

First press release and video from the 2003 Auto Show in Los Angeles where the 9-2x made it’s first debut.

12-18-2003

* Early entry in emerging premium sports compact segment
* Standard full-time all-wheel-drive for improved handling, traction and versatility
* Two models – 227 hp 9-2X Aero and the 165 hp 9-2X Linear
* Styling, performance and driving characteristics create a sporty, fun-to-drive offer in the segment
* Start of sales in the U.S. and Canada in July 2004

The new 2005 Saab 9-2X is the next significant step in the biggest product development program in Saab’s history. Saab – the fastest growing European premium car brand in the American market– recently launched the 9-3 Sport Sedan and 9-3 Convertible model ranges. Now the new 9-2X continues this product offensive.

With standard full-time all-wheel-drive, powerful engines, and distinctive European design, the Saab 9-2X is a unique and early offering in a car segment just emerging in the American market: the premium sports compact segment. The first Saab 9-2X models will go on sale in the U.S. and Canada July 1, 2004 – ahead of many competitors who are also bringing products to this market.

“The Saab 9-2X is the ideal addition to our line-up,” says Peter Augustsson, Saab’s President and CEO. “Like the recently-launched Saab 9-3 models, it is extremely dynamic and is a car that you want to drive. Additionally, its price point will attract some new, young, enthusiastic customers to Saab.”

For many customers, the Saab 9-2X will be their first premium brand vehicle as prices start below $25,000. In addition, customer surveys show that up to 40 percent of all Americans are looking for all-wheel-drive in their next vehicle – a feature standard in all Saab 9-2X models, a distinct advantage as Saab enters this new segment.

“The Saab 9-2X will help us continue our extremely strong momentum,” said Debra Kelly-Ennis, President of Saab Cars USA. “We are definitely on a roll. The 9-3 Sport Sedan is more than doubling the sales of its predecessor, we are in the midst of launching our all-new 9-3 Convertible, and this exciting new car will arrive in the early summer 2004.”

The Design: Progressive with a strong, dynamic character
“As the new 9-2X range is tremendously fun to drive and since we are targeting a young and enthusiastic customer, we decided to express the strong and dynamic character of the 9-2X in its design and even add a bit more of an aggressive touch compared to the rest of our line-up,” comments Saab’s Executive Director of Design, Michael Mauer.

The new Saab 9-2X takes a number of styling cues from recently-presented Saab concept and production vehicles and presents Saab’s view on what a fun-to-drive, versatile 5-door vehicle should look like.

“The Saab 9-2X needs to look as aggressive as its driving capabilities,” says Mauer. “Additionally, even though it is a functional 5-door vehicle, it shouldn’t look like a traditional hatchback. Therefore, we spent a great deal of time making sure it had a strong face and sleek Scandinavian lines.”

The vehicle retains Saab’s now familiar curvaceous front that harmoniously integrates the typical three-hole-grille and the low horizontally emphasized headlamps that wrap around into the sides of the car. Below the bumper area, a pronounced air intake signals the dynamic potential of the new sports compact. On the top-of-the-line 9-2X Aero model, the clean line of the front hood is accentuated by a nicely integrated air intake that feeds air to the intercooler of the turbocharged engine.

As with the 2004 Saab 9-5 Aero SportWagon, the horizontal lines in the design of the
9-2X’s rear end contribute to the car’s wide and powerful stance. Additionally, the rear apron’s dark accent provides a sporty flair.

Performance: Sporty and focused on the driver
The Saab 9-2X’s advanced full-time all-wheel-drive and boxer four cylinder engines are firsts in Saab’s history. Further technical highlights include four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes which, when partnered with a latest generation
4-channel/4-sensor anti-lock brake system (ABS), provide enhanced driver control. Traction and handling performance of the 9-2X Aero is further improved by a viscous limited-slip differential at the rear.

The turbocharged and intercooled two-liter high performance DOHC 9-2X Aero engine produces 227 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 217 lb.-ft. (294 Nm) of torque @ 4,000 rpm. The power plant of the Saab 9-2X 2.5 is naturally aspirated and delivers 165 hp @ 5,600 rpm as well as a maximum torque of 166 lb.-ft. (225 Nm) @ 4,000 rpm. Both cars provide a standard
5-speed manual transmission; a 4-speed automatic transmission is available as an option.

“The Saab 9-2X is the best example yet of Saab’s brand promise of delivering sporty, driver focused performance,” says Kjell-Åke Eriksson, Saab Executive Director for Future Products. “It is truly designed for people who love to drive, whether that be on a demanding section of a curvy road or during a relaxed long-distance drive on the highway.”

Five-door Versatility: Form follows function
Surfboards, skis, in-line skates, camping gear and more all fit well into the Saab 9-2X. With a wheelbase of 99.4 inches (2,525 mm) and an overall length of 175.6 inches (4,460 mm), the Saab 9-2X offers nimble handling around town and on backcountry roads. It also holds up to 27.9 cubic feet (790 dm3) of cargo space with the seatback up and 61.6 cubic feet (1,744 dm3) with the seatback folded down. A 60/40-split fold-down rear seatback is standard in all 9-2X models and the large rear luggage door opening gives optimal access to the trunk space provided.

Weighing in at just under 3,100 pounds (1,400 kilos), all 9-2X versions return excellent highway mileage anticipated to be in the 26 to 28 mpg range.

Peter Augustsson, Saab Automobile’s President and CEO, puts the launch of the Saab 9-2X in broader perspective: “The Saab 9-2X is a milestone in expanding our model range and our customer base, especially in the very important North American market. We see a rapidly emerging segment in the United States for a premium, small car below the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan. And being one of the first entries, we intend to shape that segment.”

2004

The 9-2x was officially released in 2004 and came in two models, the Linear and Aero models.

Below are some of the first television ads from 2004.




2005

The 9-2x was a top seller during the summer of 2005 when GM released their employee pricing for everyone campaign.

Here is a television ad and promotional video done in 2005.



2006

In 2006, the Saab 9-2x was ranked as “Top Safety Pick” by the IIHS Only Luxury Car Manufacturer with Two IIHS “Gold Awards”

Saab 9-2X joins 9-3 Sport Sedan as “Top Safety Pick” Gold Award from the IIHS.

Below is the official press release from Saab Automobile USA.

5-18-2006

Detroit, Mich. — With the 9-2X premium compact joining the 9-3 Sport Sedan, Saab is the first luxury carmaker to receive a pair of ‘Top Safety Pick – Gold Award’ designations from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The Gold Award is a best-of-the-best distinction that recognizes car designs that provide the best occupant protection in front, side and rear crashes based on Institute testing.

“We commend Saab for making the 9-2X the second Saab vehicle to earn our demanding Top Safety Pick award”, said Adrian Lund, President of the IIHS.

The IIHS frontal impact test is carried out at 40 mph against a deformable fixed barrier, with a 40 percent driver’s side offset. In the IIHS side impact test a deformable barrier constructed to resemble a full-size sport utility vehicle, is propelled at 31 mph against the driver’s side of the car to measure side impact protection. The rear-end test simulates a 20-mph rear impact into a stationary car, during which the front seat/head restraint performance is assessed.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a non-profit research and communications organization in the United States funded by auto insurers. It investigates the crashworthiness of vehicles. More information at www.IIHS.org

2007 –

The 9-2x now lay in the hands of their rightful owners including a place in the Saab USA Heritage Collection in Michigan
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Over its lifetime, there has been a growing enthusiast following to the Saab 9-2x which in one way or another, tend to look to the website www.saab92x.com as the dominant resource of Saab 9-2x information. On this site you can talk with others who own the 9-2x, learn about the history of the 9-2x, how to fix maintain it yourself or where to get it serviced, and any other details you want to know about it. Please visit the site below for more information,

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The Saab 9-2x is a piece of Saab History that we will never forget.

1.3.2007

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9 Responses to “A Tribute to the Saab 9-2x (2004-2006)”

  1. Chris

    03. Jan, 2007

    Excellent tribute. Well documented.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Chris

    03. Jan, 2007

    Beautiful compilation. Definitely sad to see the 9-2x gone. Thanks for posting.

    Reply to this comment
  3. SaabRX

    03. Jan, 2007

    AWESOME WRITE UP TWO THUMBS WAY UP!!!

    05 Mica Black 92x Aero

    Hail http://www.Saab92x.com

    Reply to this comment
  4. ruckus

    03. Jan, 2007

    Excellent write up, makes me proud to own a 92x.

    Reply to this comment
  5. john_matrix

    03. Jan, 2007

    Very nice tribute! Good to have all the videos in one place. Some of these I’ve never seen.

    Reply to this comment
  6. eric

    03. Jan, 2007

    Very well done, thank you very much for your effort and contribution. It’s unfortunate to see such a short History for a car many of us have so much affection for.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Tkon

    04. Jan, 2007

    Wow, very impressive write-up. I have never seen many of these US commercials in Canada. I’m happy to own an ’05 Aero.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Dan Mahoney

    13. Jan, 2007

    I have a 2000 Saab 93 that was diagnosed with oil sludge problems at 33K and haave changed the oil regularly. At 57K the engine is now showing signs of advanced deteroiation. Saab has issued a customer alert letter on oil sludge issues with these engines. My local dealer is less than cooperative to acknowledge and repair the damage.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Maria

    27. Jan, 2019

    I have a saabaru 9-2x and I can honestly say that it is the best car I have ever owned.

    Reply to this comment

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