SAAB OFFERS PREMIUM, SPORTY MIDSIZE SUV
The new Saab 9-7X, which debuted in spring 2005, is a key part of the most aggressive product development program in the company’s history. The 9-7X targets the growing mid-luxury SUV segment, which increased from 220,000 sales in 2000 to 483,000 in 2004. The segment is projected to hit nearly 850,000 units in 2010.
The 9-7X brings unique Saab characteristics to this segment, including sophisticated styling inside and out, premium quality and design features and sporty and fun-to-drive performance.
Indeed, the 9-7X plays a crucial role in Saab’s strategy to enter market segments where it had never before had a presence. The premium midsize SUV segment is one example, where demand for vehicles like the 9-7X continues to grow. Saab market research revealed that 39 percent of U.S. Saab customers own a SUV, and nearly 30 percent of Saab customers who leave the brand purchase a four-door SUV.
For 2006, the 9-7X receives Displacement on Demand technology on the 300-horsepower V-8 engine, standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), more power for the Inline 6-cylinger engine, a DVD-based navigation system, and three new colors – Lingonberry Red Metallic, Winter White and Graphite Gray Metallic. In addition, interior and exterior color combinations are now unrestricted and customers can opt for both a power moonroof and the rear DVD entertainment system.
GM’s Displacement on Demand enables fuel economy gains of up to 5 percent in certain driving conditions by reducing the number of cylinders engaged in the combustion process. A sophisticated engine controller determines when to deactivate cylinders, allowing the engine to maintain vehicle speed in conditions such as highway cruising. When the cylinders are deactivated, the engine effectively operates as a four cylinder, with every other cylinder in the firing order disabled. The engine seamlessly returns to V-8 mode the instant the controller determines that vehicle speed or load requires additional power.
Standard ESC assists the vehicle in maintaining the driver’s intended path by applying a brake force at any corner of the vehicle independent of the driver’s use of the brake pedal.
ESC uses an accelerator pedal position sensor, a brake master cylinder pressure sensor and a steering wheel angle sensor as inputs to interpret the driver’s desired path and whether to accelerate or decelerate the vehicle. ESC also uses these sensors plus a lateral accelerometer and yaw rate sensor to determine the vehicle’s actual path.
If the difference between the driver’s desired path and the vehicle’s actual path becomes great enough, ESC takes appropriate action to assist the driver with maintaining the desired path. If the vehicle begins to ‘plow,’ or understeer, ESC applies the inside rear brake to help turn the vehicle. If the vehicle begins to fishtail, or oversteer, ESC applies the outside front brake to straighten the vehicle. ESC is integrated with the traction control and ABS systems.
Design: Saab refinement for the exterior and interior at first glance
The 9-7X’s design conveys the sporty refinement of a Saab rather than the ruggedness of a traditional SUV.
The exterior reflects Saab’s sporty, functional character. Key features, such as Saab’s signature three-port grille, rear quarter windows that visually appear to wrap around the D-pillars and brand-distinctive wheels, telegraph the 9-7X’s heritage even from a distance. Overall, it presents a smooth, aerodynamic, sporty appearance, with an excellent body-to-tire relationship derived from the vehicle’s low stance and standard 18-inch alloy wheels. The 9-7X’s profile is clean and uninterrupted, without any big bumper offsets, body-side moldings or protruding shapes and forms.
The Saab 9-7X’s cockpit-inspired interior is highly refined and driver-oriented. The center stack and controls are angled toward the driver. Like the exterior, it features Saab-traditional strong, brand-distinctive design elements and cues, including the distinctive sliding-plate air vents, the famed cup holder found in the Saab 9-5, and the trademark center console ignition key.
Performance: sporty and focused on the driver
Like all Saabs, the 9-7X is designed to be a driver’s vehicle, with a comfortable, well-controlled ride and responsive handling, as well as a low ride height with firm front and rear suspensions, a thick front stabilizer bar and stiff upper control arm bushings at the rear.
Shock absorbers have been tuned to help provide firm body control for confident handling. The P255/55R18 high performance all-season tires were specially developed by Dunlop for their road-gripping capability. A quick 18.5:1 steering gear ratio, together with stiff mounts, help provide steering responsiveness and precision. The steering gear is tuned for on-center feel and smooth operation. The front part of the frame is stiffened to help increase steering responsiveness and precision.
The Saab 9-7X features standard automatic all-wheel drive. Brakes are large, 4-wheel vented discs with front aluminum dual piston calipers and 4-wheel ABS. The two all-aluminum engines are mated with a standard electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. The 4.2L inline 6-cylinder, named one of the ’10 Best Engines’ by Ward’s Magazine for four consecutive years and upgraded for 2006, delivers 290 horsepower (217 kw), up from 275 horsepower (205 kw), and 277 lb.-ft. (375 Nm) of torque. The 5.3L V-8 engine delivers 300 horsepower (224 kw) and 330 lb.-ft. (447 Nm) of torque.
The vehicle features dual-stage frontal air bags; Passenger Sensing System (PSS); rollover sensing system; head curtain side air bags; front seatbelt pretensioners with load limiters and front seat belt buckle-up reminder.
With a wheelbase of 2,870 mm ( 113 inches ) and length of 4,808 mm ( 193.2 inches ), the vehicle offers ample room for friends and family. It holds up to 1,127 liters ( 39.8 cubic feet ) of cargo space with the rear seatback up and 2,268 liters ( 80.1 cubic feet ) with the seatback folded down. A split rear seat is standard in all 9-7X models, as is a trailer hitch receiver and hitch receiver cover: Maximum towing capacity equipped with the V-8 engine is 2,948 kg ( 6,500 lb ).
OnStar-equipped 9-7X models feature OnStar Dual-mode (analog-digital) equipment. OnStar’s digital equipment also includes enhanced hands-free voice recognition capabilities including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada. Using the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Hands-Free Calling that allows drivers to make and receive voice-activated phone calls using an externally mounted antenna for greater reception.
The OnStar service standard on the 2006 9-7X includes the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to the participating 911 centers to help them dispatch the appropriate life-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster.
The 9-7X also has standard XM Satellite Radio (continental U.S. only) featuring more than 120 coast-to-coast, digital-quality channels of original commercial-free music and premier news, sports and talk as well as advanced traffic and weather information for select major metropolitan areas nationwide. Consumers can subscribe to the basic service for $12.99 a month. In addition, GM customers with GMAC financing can choose to include the XM subscription in their car payments .
Price this car:
MSRP: $38,270 – $40,270
Invoice: $35,208 – $37,048
Source: Saab Press Release