After numerous leaks and a near death experience, Saab has officially unveiled the 9-4X crossover.
Virtually identical to the 9-4X BioPower concept, the production model features a wraparound windshield, a 'hockey stick' waistline, and a prominent grille. Other highlights include bi-xenon headlights, a dual-exhaust system, and 18-inch alloy wheels (20-inchers on the Aero).
While the exterior is bold and expressive, the interior is a tad austere. Despite this, the crossover comes nicely equipped with eight-way power seats, wood trim (faux carbon fiber in the Aero), mesh-style air vents, and a center console-mounted push-button ignition. Options include power-adjustable pedals, a Bose audio system, GPS navigation (with an eight-inch touchscreen), tri-zone climate control, and a rear entertainment system.
Under the hood, two engines will be available. The naturally-aspirated 3.0-liter V6 produces 265 PS (195 kW / 262 hp), which allows the car to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 9.0 seconds. On the other hand, the Aero has a turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 with 300 PS (221 kW / 296 hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque. This enables the range-topper to scoot from 0-100 km/h in 8.3 seconds.
Power is rooted through Saab's XWD (all-wheel drive) system which varies torque between the front and rear axles. Furthermore, an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential (eLSD) can transfer up to 50% of the torque to the rear wheel with the most traction.
According to CEO Jan Åke Jonsson, "The 9-4X significantly broadens the appeal of the Saab brand. It gives us entry to the fast-growing crossover segment with a vehicle that reflects our brand values in key areas, such as progressive Scandinavian design and sporty, responsible driving performance. The 9-4X is an exciting package and we're confident it will appeal to many existing Saab owners, as well as win new customers for the brand."
The 9-4X will debut the Los Angeles Auto Show, in November, and U.S. sales are scheduled for May 2011. Europe and "other global markets" will have to wait until August.