The Turbo-X Debut at the Boston Auto Show

Posted on 11. Dec, 2007 by in 2000-2009, Boston, Massachusetts, Enthusiasts

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Photo Credits: Saab History

The Turbo-X Debut at the Boston Auto Show

On Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 I participated in the 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo-X North American launch at the Boston Auto Show thanks to Saab Automobile USA & General Motors as an extended guest, reporting for Saabhistory.com for the event.

Upon my arrival from Washington, D.C. to Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, I was picked up my longtime friend and Saab enthusiast, Carl Levine of New Hampshire. Carl Levine is the genius behind the Audio Troll and was also invited to the Saab Automobile USA Turbo-X Media launch event reporting for Nines Magazine where he recently provided a very well-written review of the event.

We proceeded in Carl’s 1999 Saab 9-5 Sedan that just recently hit 222,222 on the odometer and running strong which got us over to the Westin Hotel adjacent to the new Boston Convention Center after a few stops en-route.

Shortly after we arrived, we were invited out by Saab Automobile USA to dinner nearby at Rocca Kitchen & Bar, thanks a very kind tip from a local Bostonian of Swedish descent, Kirsten Amann, a wine blogger extraordinaire who joined us for the the evening. It was at this dinner where I also got to meet the founder of Gaywheels.com, Joe LaMuraglia who recently participated in a road rally called the fireball run with a Saab 9-3 Aero Convertible loaned by Saab Automobile USA.

1_600.jpgThe following morning was was the the media event which began especially early. I got up extra early along with Carl Levine to get outside to take some photographs as well as some time-lapse footage of the beautiful ice blue 2008 Saab 9-3 Convertible prominently displayed out in front of the Westin hotel. This display clearly indicated to the visitors and the press that Saab, was the main attraction at this year’s Boston Auto Show, and appropriate given that just about 50 years ago in the same city, the first SAAB 93bs were hoisted off a ship as the first port of entry of Hingham, Massachusetts for the Swedish Car Company, Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget or SAAB as it was referred to at the time. Once we were done taking photographs, my Brother arrived who would be joining us for the morning to assist in the photography and filming of the Turbo-X unveiling.

At 7:30am, all three of us picked up our press passes and continued into the main convention all. As we traversed the plush new carpet, I immediately noticed the well illuminated and aircraft inspired airplane hangar structural design of the new Boston Convention Center. This experience of this brand new convention center was a welcomed treat in comparison to my last Boston Auto Show that I attended with Saab Cars, USA back in November of 2001 when it was located at the dark Bayside Exposition Center. As I got over to the Saab Booth, I began constructing the rented professional grade video camcorder that I rented thanks to the Saab dealership, Saab of Hunterdon who joined as a site sponsor of Saabhistory, ultimately enabling the unique rental arrangement so that video footage could be had of the event for the record.

The Saab booth itself was quite nice with backlit boards complete with visual Saab design cues and Scandinavian landscapes that enclosed the area that held the much anticipated 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo-X on the stand, the Aero-X replica as well as the recently restored 1985 Saab 900 SPG in black. All of these elements combined with the products, gave a real Saab ambience to the place and distinctly set itself apart from all other brand’s territory in the convention center.

As I completely setup the camcorder equipment, I mingled during the breakfast with other media present where we met with other colleagues such as John DelRosario as well as Jeff Proposki, one of the Saab Vikings that also made it over to the Saab Festival in Sweden this past summer.

2_600.jpgAt 9:00am, the Saab Press conference officially began with the president of Saab Automobile USA, Steve Shannon starting off with some early comments, then inviting none other than the former President and CEO of Saab-Scania of America, Inc. Robert J. Sinclair who assisted Steve with the official unveiling of the 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo-X on the platform. Following the unveiling, Steve Shannon handed over the microphone to Bryan Nesbitt, Vice President of GM Design North America, who oversaw the design of the Saab Aero-X concept car.

This launch was appropriately located in Boston, Massachusetts because this city represents the first aforementioned port for SAAB Motors, Inc. back in 1956, and theforefore synonomous with the Saab automobile. Boston is also located in the North East and therefore it is part of Saab Automobile USA’s most important market where approximately 40% of their sales take place within the United States. The last and most important reason why this was the most appropriate venue for a North American launch of the Saab Turbo-X is due to what the Turbo-X symbolizes. The Saab Turbo-X which above all else, is a halo car for the brand which embodies one of the most sophisticated all-wheel drive systems in the world. This system was developed by the Swedish company, Haldex AB who have successfully integrated what Saab refer to as the Haldex “Cross-Wheel Drive” system. Having had the opportunity to test drive a 2008 Saab 9-3 XWD prototype this past August here in the Washington, D.C. area, I must admit that it is one of the most responsive systems I have ever driven.

“I have previously driven Saabs where they were first imported here in the United States, New England, and while driving during inclimate weather year-round there, I have learned where that point of no return is, when driving, which is to say being in control and within a split second, knowing when your losing that control. While driving the new Saab 9-3 XWD during the off-road part of the test drive, I felt that for the first time, I put myself in a situation where I surpassed that point of no return and to my surprise the haldex system defied the conventional by ultimately keeping me in control.”

As a long supporter and promoter of the Saab Automobile brand, this XWD (Cross-Wheel Drive) technology is long awaited and very much welcomed. The North East region has historically thrived for vehicles that have facilitated easy accessibility through some of the toughest weather year after year. This year and next, is Saab Automobile USA’s real chance to promote Cross-Wheel Drive (XWD) in one of their most important markets, the North Eastern region of the United States. There are a number of opportunities available and I hope that Saab Automobile capitalizes on each and every one of them in order to gain a significant number of new buyers from conquest sales due to the availability of this new technology.

Following the Press conference and formal unveiling of the Saab Turbo-X, I was given the opportunity as other journalists were, to interview numerous personalities from Saab & GM, Steve Shannon, Jan-Lin Sun, John Libbos and Bryan Nesbitt as well as former President & CEO, Robert J. Sinclair. These interviews were really good, and I already understand that they were much appreciated.

The final activity for the day included a media luncheon hosted by the New England Auto Show where amongst many highly acclaimed speakers such as the inventor of the BOSE suspension system, Click & Clack the Tappet Brothers of Car Talk, the audience experienced a presentation by Bryan Nesbitt that in my opinion, was probably one of the most interesting and intellectually stimulating presentations on Saab Automobile design that I have ever experienced. Following this presentation, after I thanked Bryan Nesbitt, he mentioned that he can send me a copy of this powerpoint presentation which I indicated that I would like to share it with us here on Saabhistory in the near future.

3_600.jpgAll in all, the 2007 Boston Auto Show was a real treat, especially for Saab enthusiasts where we could really appreciate segments that may not show up on the radar for others and for all of this, I am sincerely appreciative. A special thank you goes to Saab Automobile USA, GM & staff for making it happen, Saab of Hunterdon seeing value in supporting Saabhistory which ultimately allowed me to film the event with professional rental equipment. This event was certainly one for the record books and I hope that in all of the material that I have captured, I have done it in a way that others can truly appreciate and enjoy.

The press continue to rave about this event, so please read what they have to say about the 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo-X North American launch at the 2007 Boston Auto Show.

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3 Responses to “The Turbo-X Debut at the Boston Auto Show”

  1. Mike C.

    11. Dec, 2007

    I enjoyed your coverage of the show. Keep up the good work.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Saabhistory

    18. Dec, 2007

    Thank you for your kind words. I am glad you enjoyed it. I hope to be able to continue this high quality work in the future as well.

    Reply to this comment

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Saab History » Saab History Enjoys A “State Of Independence” - June 7, 2008

    […] In February of 2007, I was first invited by Saab Automobile USA as a member of the media to attend the 60th Anniversary event in San Diego, California. Since that time, I now participated in the Saab 9-3 Drive Event in Washington, D.C., the Saab 9-3 Turbo-X North American Launch at the Boston Auto Show, the Saab 9-4x BioPower Concept North American Debut in Detroit, Michigan, the Saab 9-X BioHybrid Reflective in NYC and now, the most recently, the Saab 9-3 Turbo-X test drive back in Boston, Massachusetts. I think it’s important that I cover these activities as a Saab owner and a passionate enthusiast, so that we can see what Saab Automobile are doing these days. It is my intention to maintain this independence so that I continue my ability to write from an objective perspective. […]

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