new Saab 9-3 range features bold, more assertive looks, reflecting
powertrain improvements that include the introduction of
all-wheel-drive and more powerful gasoline engines.
distinctive frontal styling, inspired by Saab's award-winning Aero X
concept car, is designed to reinforce the range's sporty appeal. For
the U.S. market, it heralds the introduction of an uprated 280 hp (206
kW) 2.8 V6 turbo gasoline engine.
The advanced all-wheel-drive system (Saab XWD - 'cross wheel drive') is exclusive to
Aero Sport Sedan and SportCombi models. It features innovative
developments in wheel slip management and, as an option, the use of an
electronically-controlled rear limited-slip differential.
- Dynamic, cohesive looks with new front, rear and side aspects
- Frontal styling inspired by Aero X concept
- 'Clamshell' hood, clean body surfaces, smoked white rear light lenses
new 9-3 range is visually distinguished by all-new bodywork forward of
the A-pillar, with new bumper moldings and light assemblies front and
rear, as well as new doors and handles for the SportSedan and
SportCombi. Flared side sill extensions become standard across the
range. All these elements combine to give the car a clearer Saab
identity and a bolder, more assertive stance. For the Sport Sedan, for
example, 70% of the external body panels and parts are all-new.
styling strategy brings together contemporary and classic Saab design
themes in a progressive, modern expression of the brand's distinctive
The deeper, more
prominent evolution of the Saab grille adopts a theme first seen on the
Aero X concept car. This is complemented by all-new headlamp lenses and
light units that now incorporate a thin 'eyebrow' lighting zone
designed as a brand specific 'signature' feature. These wraparound
units culminate in an upswept rear edge, introducing a Saab design
theme from the 9-5 range and classic 900 model. The grille's central
wing motif, referencing Saab's aircraft heritage, is, of course,
The new look sees
the adoption of another Saab signature feature: a 'clamshell' hood,
closing across the top of the front wings. The hood pressing
incorporates a sweeping, U-shaped styling line, as first seen on the
Aero X, which echoes the curvature of the windshield.
swept-back frontal lines are complemented by a front bumper and
splitter assembly with a deep, trapezoidal air intake, even more
pronounced on Aero versions. This is flanked by deep black vents which
are framed, like the grille, in a matte chrome finish. As with the Aero
X concept, these represent a metaphor for the intakes of a jet engine.
the rear, all new 9-3 models now feature smoked white light clusters.
The new bumper moldings are much deeper with curved, uninterrupted
surfaces. The trunk lids of the Sport Sedan and Convertible are also
altered to accommodate a new matte chrome life handle trim with an
integrated badge, similar that on the SportCombi.
removal of all external rubbing strips from bumpers and doors
(color-keyed on the Convertible) contributes to a cleaner and more
cohesive overall appearance. New door panels now adopt a simple,
uncluttered form with redesigned and color-keyed handles. The sill
extensions are visually integrated front and rear with the scalloped
corners of the new bumper moldings.
external enhancements include the introduction of flat wiper blades,
for reduced wind noise, and new alloy wheels. Two new colors are added
to the range, including a Snow Silver metallic paint finish similar to
that seen on the Aero X.
Sporty Driver Focus
- Intelligent Saab XWD offers greater driver involvement
- Active system for class-leading performance, up to 100% rear torque transfer
- Cutting-edge technology: pre-emptive engagement and active rear LSD
- New rear sub-frame and suspension geometry
active, all-wheel-drive system (Saab XWD) is designed to optimize
handling and stability in all driving conditions. It is offered on Aero
versions of the 9-3 Sport Sedan and SportCombi, in combination with an
uprated 280 hp (206 kW), 2.8 V6 turbo engine which delivers almost 15%
more maximum torque (400 Nm) to exploit the greater traction available.
It comes with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
state-of-the-art system includes two innovative features: pre-emptive
engagement of the rear wheels to optimize traction at take-off; and an
active rear limited-slip differential (eLSD), allowing variable torque
transfer between the rear wheels.
XWD is a fully automatic, on-demand system capable of sending up to
100% of engine torque to the front or rear wheels whenever necessary.
While offering new Saab 9-3 Aero owners sure-footed handling in
low-grip conditions, its sophisticated operation also adds a further
sporty dimension to the driving experience in all road conditions. Fine
balancing of the drive torque between the front and rear axles raises
the threshold at which ESP throttle and braking interventions are
triggered, providing more scope for closer driver involvement.
system is governed by its own electronic control unit, which functions
in harness with the engine, transmission and ABS/ESP control modules.
The hardware consists of a Power Take-off Unit (PTU) in the front
final-drive that transmits engine torque through a prop-shaft to the
Rear Drive Module (RDM). This incorporates a Torque Transfer Device
(TTD) and an optional electronically-controlled Limited Slip
Differential (eLSD). Both are wet, multi-plate clutch units from
At take-off from
rest, the TTD is initially activated when the clutch plates are forced
together under hydraulic pressure, thereby engaging the RDM. This
pre-emptive function is a valuable improvement in current technology,
which requires the detection of wheel slip before the TTD is activated.
For the driver, the enhanced functionality gives maximum traction
immediately for smooth, strong acceleration from rest without the
possibility of any initial hesitation.
the open road, drive torque is seamlessly and continuously varied
between the axles by the control of a valve in the TTD, which increases
or reduces the pressure on the wet clutch plates. When cornering, Saab
XWD rewards the driver by providing enhanced, more finely balanced
chassis dynamics. Data from the vehicle's ABS/ESP sensors - measuring
wheel speed, yaw rate and steering angle - is utilized, and careful
programming of Saab XWD enables the application of rear drive to
balance oversteer and understeer characteristics, improving stability
cruising conditions, when traction or optimum grip is not an issue,
only 5% to 10% of engine torque is typically transmitted to the rear
wheels. This helps provide the driver with a measure of greater
stability, while helping to save fuel.
ultimate 'icing on the cake' with Saab XWD is the eLSD option. This is
the first application of an electronically-controlled, rear limited
slip differential in this segment of the market. The eLSD is installed
alongside the RDM and operates via pressurized clutch plates on a
principle similar to the larger TTD. In icy or wet split-friction
conditions, for example, it uses inputs from the rear wheel speed
sensors and can transfer up to 40% of torque between the drive shafts,
to whichever wheel has more grip.
eLSD also gives the driver enhanced control when cornering hard or
completing a high speed maneuver, such as a lane change, by momentarily
applying more or less torque to either of the wheels to help the rear
of the car more closely follow the direction of the front wheels. This
yaw damping effect can keep the car better balanced and more tightly
controlled, without requiring 'outside' intervention from electronic
of Saab XWD includes the fitment of a new rear sub-frame to carry the
RDM, revised rear suspension geometry and new wheel hubs for the drive
shafts. The three piece prop-shaft runs through two bearings with
constant velocity joints for smooth running with minimal 'wind-up'.
Wheelbase and rear track dimensions are unaltered. Saab XWD will be available from the beginning of next year.
Other driving enhancements include:
Sport Mode standard for automatic transmissions.
This can be selected via an instrument panel button and aligns gear
selection more closely with the intentions of the driver. If the driver
momentarily lifts of the throttle, the current gear will be held for
more effective engine braking and a quicker acceleration when required.
During braking, downshifts are also faster and more closely matched to
the rate of vehicle deceleration.
Optional cornering bi-xenon headlights
provide improved vision. The steering-linked bulbs can swivel up to 15
degrees when negotiating a bend or corner above 15 kph (9 mph). In
highway driving above 110 kph (69 mph), the low beam is also
automatically raised slightly for improved illumination.
Uprated 2.8V6 Turbo
the new 9-3 Aero XWD models, the current 2.8-liter, 24-valve V6 Turbo
engine is uprated to 280 hp (206 kW) and 400 Nm maximum torque. This
has been achieved to by increasing available boost pressure from 0.5 to
0.8 bar. It gives the Sport Sedan projected zero to 100 kph (62 mph)
acceleration in 6.3 seconds and 80 (50 mph) to 120 kph (75 mph) (fifth
gear) in 7.9 seconds.
advanced specification includes: a lightweight, all-aluminum
construction; variable inlet valve timing; a twin-scroll turbocharger
and hydroformed exhaust manifolds with stainless steel liners and air
injection for improved cold starting. In two-wheel drive applications,
this engine now offers a 5 hp (4 kW) increase in maximum power, to 255
hp (188 kW).
Other enhancements include:
Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM).
This warns the driver if pressure in any of the tires drops below the
recommended level. Sensors in the valves initiate a radio signal and a
warning message is illuminated in the main instrument display,
indicating which wheel(s) has lost pressure. TPM is standard on all new
9-3 models for the U.S. market.
Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound audio.
Available as an option on all Sport Sedan and SportCombi variants, this
offers exceptional reproduction quality through five channels from CD,
MP3 or XM digital radio sources. Surround sound quality is
automatically provided even if a CD is not encoded for it. With 11
(Sport Sedan) or 10 (SportCombi) speakers, performance is optimized for
the acoustic requirements of each passenger cabin.