Archive for '9-3X'

Saab Design Center – Mölnlycke, Sweden

Posted on 15. Jun, 2007 by .



In 2000, the Saab Advanced Design Team relocated from within the Saab factory complex in Trollhättan to a facility just outside the city of Göteborg. in Mölnlycke, Sweden.

Today the Saab Design Center facility not only includes the Saab Advanced Design Team, but also the Global Sales & Marketing teams and employs approximately 120 people.

The members of Saab Advanced Design Team that have worked in this facility include Michael Mauer, Anthony Lo, Ola Granlund, Simon Padian and Alex Daniel and others on projects such as the Saab 9-X, Saab 9-3X, Saab 9-3 SportHatch and the Aero-X.

In 2005, the Saab Automobile “Brand Center” was also established as a way to preserve the heritage and scandinavian design cues in all future Saab Automobile models. It has been carefully explained to Saab History that this center is not a physical building or facility but an integrated and iterative design process between the Saab Design Center in Mölnlycke and Technical Development Center & Factory in Trollhättan.

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Saab Automobile owns the “Design” Category

Posted on 22. Mar, 2007 by .


According to David at, the “Design” category should be owned by Saab Automobile, hands down.

There are many categories that brands that have owned such as “Safety” which has been long used by Volvo, or “driving” for BMW, but the “Design” category has not been taken by an automobile brand.

With the design category available and the momentous design & development work by Saab’s designers since the turn of the millenium resulting in design concepts such as the 9-X, 9-3X, 9-3 SportHatch, Aero-X, 9-3 BioPower Hybrid Convertible and now the 9-5 E100 BioPower concept, it seems clear that Saab Automobile’s heritage of having a progressive attention to design, positively embodies this category.


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The Next Saab Film? – Cast your Vote!

Posted on 17. Mar, 2007 by .


The Next Saab Film is going to be up to you, because we have what was the next film in line which was a 16 milimeter promotional film by Saab-Scania that covers the 900 convertible concept (some photographs), SAAB 340 Aircraft as well as the 9000, so I would have to say it was done between 1984 and 1986. The 16mm film below was donated to, thanks to long-time former Saab Cars USA, John Moss. This film is about 15 minutes long I believe. Total conversion cost $109 for this single 16mm film. Total time to convert 2 weeks. I have a clip of this film here, take a look at this link.

We also have three new contributions thanks to former Public Relations rep of Saab Cars USA, Dan Prescott. These contributions consist of promotional films of the Saab 9-X, 9-3X and the Michilin Race of Champions. These films are 4:30, 5:30 and maybe about 20 minutes in length respectively. I believe the 9-X and 9-3X films are longer than the films we have in the archive already which are 2:28 and 2:30, so perhaps there is more footage or something altogether different! Total conversion cost $132 for 3 films to be converted. Total time to convert 1-2 days.

Total contributions $115.50, so we have just about enough for either set of films.

From the information we have here about the 4 films total, and a choice beween one group of 3 or one single film which may not be as “exciting” as these newer films may be, I have decided to place place a poll here so that you can cast your vote.

Which Saab Film Group do you want to see converted next?

  • Saab-Scania Promo Film (80%, 16 Votes)
  • Saab 9-X, 9-3X & Michelin Race of Champions Films (20%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 20

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Below are images of the films that in analog format prior to conversion for your reference.





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The Origin of Saab’s Number 9

Posted on 30. Nov, 2006 by .


The original of SAAB using the numerical nomenclature 9, is that this number was an indication that the project was a non-military, but a civilian project.

The SAAB Scandia 90 (pictured above) was the first civilian project, followed by the SAAB Safir 91, then finally the automobile being SAAB 92001 in 1946, and the beginning of production models with the SAAB 92. Here is a list of all of the the projects from the beginning until the present.

For more information about these models, please visit our “Saab designs by model number” reference list.

91 Safir (Aircraft)
94 Sonett I
97 Sonett II & III
98 Prototype
9-6X (cancelled)

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Saab Concept Cars

Posted on 17. Nov, 2006 by .


As a little refesher, I thought it would be a good idea to post the 3 most recent videos of the Saab concept cars, the Aero-X, the 9-3X and the 9-X. I do not have a video of the 9-3Sport Hatch nor the EV-1 at this time. Enjoy the promotional videos!

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The Saab 9-3X – Defining the Saab brand

Posted on 07. Jan, 2002 by .




The Saab 9-3X – Defining the Saab brand

Norcross, GA – The Saab 9-3X is the latest statement of Saab’s commitment to the development of innovative and distinctive new products.

The Saab brand will enter an exciting new segment of the automotive market – the cross-over – with its latest concept, the Saab 9-3X. The 9-3X builds on the sport multi-dynamic theme launched by the Saab 9X concept that debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2001. It is a natural extension of the signature Saab sporty yet versatile range of products: turbocharged luxury 9-5 sedans, the award-winning “four-season” 9-3 Convertible, and the exciting 9-5 Aero SportWagon.

Saab customers lead demanding lifestyles that include a blending of careers, families, and free-time pursuits. They are confident individuals who seek to seamlessly balance these dimensions in their daily lives. Saab’s goal is to provide products that support these dynamic lifestyles – satisfying emotional wants and rational needs by delivering sporty, versatile cars. The Saab 9-3X is based on these values. It is an innovative and dynamic cross-over coupe that gives the driver the ability to pursue any path, either on or off-road.

“I would say this unique concept opens up a new mid-size, cross-over segment of the market,” said Saab Brand Director, Knut Simonsson. “An all-wheel-drive cross-over product from Saab must, naturally, be a little different. Here we have a sporty coupe concept that is multi-dynamic: it can be adapted for different uses. The 9-3X offers enhanced on-road stability for everyday driving, while also providing extra traction when needed for the occasional off-road experience, and, above all, it’s great fun to drive either way!”

The Saab “X” cars are the first visual evidence of how Saab’s Executive Director of Design, Michael Mauer, and its head of Advanced Design, Anthony Lo, see the brand developing. Both concepts are bold and distinctive, breaking new ground by challenging conventional design wisdom.

The Saab 9-3X, like the 9X, is a bold flag-bearer for the Saab brand. It sets the tone for future products and is a further step towards helping Saab achieve its commercial goals.

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Saab 9-3X On the move

Posted on 07. Jan, 2002 by .



Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

Saab 9-3X – On the move

The Saab 9-3X is designed to deliver levels of performance and a ‘fun-to-drive’ experience that fulfil the promise of its sporty looks. The advanced powertrain features an all-new, lightweight 2.8-liter V6 turbo engine, designed to incorporate Saab Combustion Control, a semi-automatic transmission and a state-of-the-art, ‘intelligent’ four-wheel-drive system.

New-Generation Engine
The ‘Ecopower 2’ all-aluminum-alloy, 2.8-liter V6 engine is benchmarked to set new standards in efficiency, refinement, packaging and emissions control. Saab Automobile is GM’s global center of excellence for charged engines, and Saab engineers have been directly involved throughout the engine’s design and development program.

The slim, 60-degree configuration features double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, direct ignition and variable valve timing. Maximum power is 280 bhp at 5,500 rpm but, in Saab tradition, torque is of more importance and is with this engine extremely generous, with almost 400 Nm available throughout the operating range from as low as 1,700 rpm.

The engine is very light and, in view of its compact dimensions, is ideally suited to a transverse installation. The single turbocharger is mounted on the transmission alongside the engine, feeding through the central intake manifolds. Engine highlights include:

Saab Combustion Control (SCC)
This revolutionary technology from Saab improves fuel consumption by up to 10 percent and reduces emissions by as much as 75 percent, all without impairing engine performance. Direct injection, variable valve timing and a variable spark gap are the key features, alongside a spark plug injector which provides air-assisted fuel injection and turbulence for better combustion, as well as a high-energy spark.

The SCC engine concept allows exhaust gases to comprise up to 70 percent of the combustion mixture, a far higher proportion than conventional exhaust-gas-recirculation systems. Carbon monoxide and hyrdocarbon emissions are reduced by almost 50 percent and nitrogen oxides by 75 percent. The Saab Ecopower 2 V6 is the first production engine designed to incorporate this technology.

Twin-scroll turbocharger
The turbine wheel is made from a titanium/aluminum alloy for lightness, durability and low inertia. ‘Twin scroll’ management of the exhaust-gas flow to the compressor speeds up airflow at low engine speeds to give an improved throttle response and engine pick up.

Oil quality sensor
This feature allows for extended change intervals, depending on how the engine is driven. If it is used relatively lightly, the driver can expect to cover up to double the usual 18,000 miles between oil changes.

Double-skinned exhaust manifolds
Both are made from hydroformed stainless steel for improved heat management and quicker ‘light off’ for the catalytic converters during engine warm-up.

New Saab Transmission
The Saab 9-3X is equipped with Saab’s newly developed semi-automatic transmission. This allows the driver to enjoy both the benefits of an adaptive, five-speed automatic transmission and the close control of manual gear shifting.

The automatic transmission adapts its gear-shifting pattern to match the style of driving or prevailing road conditions. It can sense changes in road gradient to avoid ‘hunting’ between gears and will engage neutral during an emergency stop.

At any time, the driver can override the automatic ‘drive’ program and enjoy fingertip control by manually changing gear via buttons on the 9-3X’s steering wheel.

Advanced Chassis and Four-Wheel-Drive System
To achieve its ‘fun to drive’ goal, the Saab 9-3X utilizes sophisticated chassis, suspension and drivetrain technology. The car’s performance, handling and ride quality in everyday use should not be compromised by its off-road capabilities.

Chassis and suspension
The four-link rear suspension has been adapted for four-wheel drive and incorporates a passive steer feature when cornering, allowing the rear wheels to more closely follow the path of the front wheels. This improves steering feel and helps to limit both oversteer and understeer characteristics. A bottom toe link also improves stability under heavy braking at high speed.

An Electronic Stability Program (ESP) further improves maneuverability, the Saab system being particularly ‘driver friendly’ by avoiding harsh interventions. In addition to wheel-speed sensors in the ABS system, the ESP also includes sensors to measure steering angle, yaw rate and lateral acceleration. Each wheel can be braked independently, allowing excessive oversteer or understeer to be controlled so smoothly that the driver may often be unaware of any intervention.

As a further refinement of the Saab 9-3X’s agility, Saab engineers are also developing an adaptive damper program for optimized body control according to off-road or on-road conditions.

‘Intelligent’ Four-Wheel Drive
The integrated Saab system is ‘intelligent’, using inputs from the ESP and ABS wheel sensors as well as the electronic throttle control to distribute power in the most efficient way. The system is being developed to ensure predictable and consistent handling in all road conditions, in addition to maximizing off-road traction.

Drive is taken from the front transmission via a propshaft to an electronically controlled, hydraulically operated, multi-plate clutch, which is located immediately ahead of a differential housing and driveshafts within the rear suspension unit. Messages from the various sensors are constantly interpreted in order to distribute power most effectively. In this way, the front/rear torque split is infinitely variable.

Saab engineers are currently fine-tuning the system to establish a ‘baseline’ torque split and to ensure that the clutch mechanism executes power shifts between the axles smoothly and progressively, without any sudden surprises for the driver.

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Saab 9-3X First cross-over coupe

Posted on 07. Jan, 2002 by .



Photo Credits: Saab Automobile


Saab 9-3X – First cross-over coupe

Saab concept blends off-road performance with strong on-road appeal

Norcross, GA – Saab breaks new ground by going “off-road” for the first time with the muscular Saab 9-3X. As you would expect from a design team led by Saab’s Executive Director of Design, Michael Mauer, it does so in a very sporty, distinctive style.

Saab customers are confident individuals who demand a vehicle that supports diverse and active lifestyles. The sporty multi-dynamic Saab 9-3X concept was built with a focus on the needs of this demanding customer group.

Just as Mauer’s previous concept, the multi-dimensional Saab 9X, combines characteristic features of a performance car, roadster, wagon and pick-up within a single vehicle, the 9-3X now brings together coupe and cross-over formats. It is further evidence of Mauer’s belief in the arrival of a new automotive order; one where vehicles are no longer satisfy only one need. These multi-dynamic vehicles fulfill many roles. This unprecedented versatility is a cornerstone of the new design foundations established by Mauer’s bold concepts.

“The Saab 9-3X is where coupe meets off-roader. It is a sporty interpretation of the cross-over theme,” Mauer explained. “This means we have created a vehicle offering some off-road functionality that also looks good, in a sporty way, and is a real fun-to-drive experience on any surface.

“For Saab to be true to its heritage, we wanted to go off-road in a slightly different way. If you want a large, heavy sort of mud-plugger, there are plenty of products already out there. But if you want something truly distinctive with a strong sporty ethos, we think the 9-3X coupe format provides quite a unique solution.

The 9-3X design and its components are close to production standard and I am confident we could accommodate such a car within our current product program.”

Sporty Looks
The Saab 9-3X project team was led by the head of Advanced Design, Anthony Lo. His task was to ensure that the unique application of a coupe format did not conflict with the “real world” requirements for such a vehicle. “The car had to look desirable as a sporty coupe for the road,” Lo said. “But this is not a cosmetic exercise – the looks had to be backed up with true functionality. That is the Saab way.”

The Saab-signature wraparound windshield, the high, wedge-shaped waistline and strong, curving C-pillar instantly identify the 9-3X’s lineage. The disguised A-pillars, the clean, smooth lines and bold frontal styling are also characteristic of the 9X concept.

“We wanted to create a look that clearly links the two concepts,” Lo added. “The lines of the 9-3X are extremely clean and uncluttered and, despite the relatively high ride height required for this type of vehicle, we wanted to disguise the higher stance. Having a relatively long 270-cm (106.3-inch) wheelbase helped.”

Traditional features that typically denote a vehicle’s all-terrain capabilities would have no place in the design language of the Saab 9-3X. Three prerequisites were therefore necessary for the Saab 9-3X to achieve its exterior styling goals. There would be no roof bars or bumper appendages of any sort, no extra cladding down its flanks and no unsightly wheel-arch clearances.

The high stance of an off-roader is also effectively disguised by sporty, 20-inch alloy wheels shod with relatively low-profile tires. The increased wheel movement required for off-road driving is accommodated by the carefully shaped, flared wheel-arches. These are body-colored and defined only by a satin paint finish.

The front of the car is dominated by a bold interpretation of the traditional Saab grille. As with the 9X concept, the headlamps are located within the two outer openings. Powerful gas-discharge lamps are the preferred lighting system. A robust skid plate, protecting the engine oil pan, is neatly integrated within the color-keyed front bumper assembly.
At the rear, the coupe silhouette is accentuated by a steeply raked rear window and C- pillar profile. The rear taillights are mounted high for good visibility and appear to merge seamlessly into the smoked-glass rear window. The low-profile roof spoiler effectively stretches the lines of the car even further.

High-Tech Interior
“This car is intended for people with active outdoor interests, so the interior is designed to reflect this by being versatile, roomy and light, giving the cabin an airy feel,” Lo explained.

There is ample seating for four adults. The feeling of spaciousness is amplified by the twin glass panels that extend the entire length of the roof. The open feel is enhanced by pale green leather upholstery for the sports seating and interior trim, contrasted with dark seat inserts and upper surfaces of the dashboard fascia and doors.
Ventilation and soft interior lighting are provided through narrow openings in the dashboard and door trims, a theme first seen on the 9X concept. This contributes to the clean interior layout, eliminating the need for separate air-vent mountings and light fittings.

Stepping inside the 9-3X via its keyless entry, the driver immediately notices there are few visible knobs or buttons, because one of the design team’s priorities was to eliminate “visual clutter” from the interior, consistent with the clean lines of the exterior styling.

The dashboard breaks from Saab tradition by eliminating a wraparound, integrated center console. The twin-dial instrument display is set in a gently curving, relatively narrow fascia panel flanked only a by a rotary lights switch and the main display screen. The speedometer and tachomter dials, illuminated in light blue, are digital but use an analog-style presentation. A small oval display for warning information also sits atop the dashboard, close to the natural line of sight.

The elegant aluminum and leather-trimmed steering wheel features buttons on its twin spokes that control the entertainment system, phone, and gear changing mechanism for the semi-automatic transmission.

A long console over the transmission tunnel accommodates a starter button set in the side of a small pop-up tower as well as the selector lever for the transmission. The four electric window controls are located immediately aft of the starter button between what appear to be two grab handles. The one nearest the driver is, in fact, an electrically powered handbrake with a disguised button. A second display screen, for rear-seat passengers, is located at the back of the console.

The advanced “infotainment” functions of the 9-3X are based on an extremely powerful electronics network using fiber-optic technology with a capacity of 25 Mbits per second. In terms of multiplicity, this system already leads the automotive industry and will serve as a platform for use in the next generation of Saab cars.

A large, three-position knob – an “automotive mouse” – is positioned alongside the gear selector and provides access, via the main display screen, to the entire “infotainment” system.

The menu for the first position covers settings for all in-car comfort features, such as the automatic climate control, front seat positioning, and interior illumination. The second position activates “media” functions, including satellite navigation, radio, CD, TV, and DVD systems. The third position governs “office” functions, such as e-mail and other Internet facilities.

A large storage box at the rear of the console includes an outlet for connecting a hand-held PC, allowing the driver to access information, such as calendar, schedules, and addresses, via the main screen.

A small, drawer-like panel can be pulled out from the lower dash fascia to allow extensive custom programming of many systems such as default settings for the automatic climate control, anti-theft alarm, rain sensing wipers, clock/radio, and other information displays.

Innovative Versatility
The Saab 9-3X fulfills its mission as a platform for pursuing a variety of outdoor interests and sports by offering extremely flexible load-carrying abilities and plenty of useful storage. “This car should become part of its owner’s lifestyle, so we have tried to provide really useful features, not just gimmicks,” Lo commented.

An innovative refinement is the ability to store and charge up a mini camcorder and batteries in a customized pack mounted in the driver’s door pocket. The Saab 9-3X even includes an instant playback facility through both front and rear screens.

The Saab 9-3X also features further developments of the sliding floor and cargo-securing tracks, which first appeared on the Saab 9-5 SportWagon . Both front and rear seatbacks fold down into the seat cushions, giving flat, level surfaces for easy load carrying. In addition to four cargo-securing tracks running longitudinally down the rear floor, all four seatbacks are each equipped with a pair of tracks. This increases the options for securing loads safely when the seats are down, even allowing a custom-designed rucksack, for example, to be easily mounted for additional stowage when the seats are up.

The floor-mounted door of the split tailgate features a neat, mechanical linkage that automatically extends the rear floor when it is lowered. This facilitates loading bulky items and allows for an easy return of the floor before the tailgate is closed.

As an alternative to roof bars, the Saab 9-3X further extends the use of cargo-securing tracks. A pair of tracks is mounted in the central roof spine between the two glass sections so that custom-designed roof boxes, ski holders or bicycle carriers can be securely located when needed.

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Production Concept