We knew it was on the way, but the Cross-Wheel-Drive system which debuted on the 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo X has been made available across the rest of the 9-3 lineup for 2009. The Haldex-sourced system provides on-demand all-wheel drive which can be shifted to the wheel with the greatest grip on the fly. XWD equipped cars start at $34,870 for a 9-3 2.0T XWD Sport Sedan to a starting price on the 9-3 Aero V6T XWD SportCombi of $43,165. Also of note: The Saab 9-5, which is short for this world thanks to a new model on the way, gets a couple of new colors and some new wheels. Full details and the pricing after the jump.
SAAB EXTENDS XWD CROSS-WHEEL-DRIVE TO 9-3 2.0T MODELS DETROIT — Saab begins the 2009 model year with attractive news for those seeking a vehicle that combines the enhanced functionality of cross-wheel-drive technology, Scandinavian design and an engaging, turbocharged driving experience. Saab broadens the appeal of its 9-3 range – it’s most popular – for 2009 with available XWD cross-wheel-drive technology on 9-3 2.0T Sport Sedan and SportCombi models and a new 2.0T “Sport” model. Cross-wheel drive availability started in the 2008 model year with the V-6-equipped 9-3 Aero and the limited-edition Turbo X Sport Sedan and SportCombi. “True to its Scandinavian origins, Saab has built a large part of its reputation on excellent road manners under difficult driving conditions like rain, sleet and snow,” said Steve Shannon, Saab Automobile USA general manager. “Our new cross-wheel-drive technology, which delivers unprecedented levels of driver involvement and dynamic chassis control, further illustrates Saab’s commitment to offering active safety in sporty, efficient and driver-focused vehicles.” Saab’s XWD cross-wheel-drive is a pre-emptive, active-on-demand system that is activated only when required, limiting the impact on fuel economy while giving the car a surefooted, dynamic feel that enthusiasts embrace. It is available on all 9-3 models except the Convertible, which has a different floorpan that does not accommodate additional rear-wheel-drive components. The Saab 9-3 2.0T XWD Sport Sedan and SportCombi will come standard with additional equipment such as a winter package, moonroof and automatic transmission, while a 6-speed manual is also available. The 2009 Saab lineup consists of the 9-3 range (2.0T and Aero Sport Sedan, SportCombi and Convertible); the 9-5 range (2.3T and Aero Sport Sedan and SportCombi) and the 9-7X SUV range (4.2i, 5.3i and Aero). The model-by-model snapshot of what’s new for 2009: 9-3 – Developed in Sweden with Haldex of Stockholm, Saab’s optional XWD cross-wheel-drive system, becoming available on 2009 9-3 2.0T Sport Sedan and SportCombi models, is designed to optimize vehicle handling and stability in all driving conditions. This state-of-the-art, all-wheel drive system includes two innovative features: pre-emptive engagement of the rear wheels to optimize traction at take-off; and an electronically controlled rear limited-slip differential (eLSD) that allows variable torque transfer between the rear wheels. The eLSD is standard on Aero models; it is not available on 2.0T models. Saab XWD is a fully automatic, on-demand system capable of sending up to 100 percent of engine torque to the front or rear wheels whenever necessary. While offering drivers sure-footed handling in low-grip conditions, its sophisticated operation also adds a further sporty dimension to the driving experience in all road conditions. For 2009, Saab 9-3 “Sport” Sport Sedan buyers can choose an Aero-type appearance and performance package that includes dual bright finish tailpipes, sport bolstered seats, metallic interior decor, upgraded brakes, a sport-tuned chassis and new, sportier-looking 17 by 7.5-inch five-spoke alloy wheels. Carbon Grey Metallic and Glass Grey Metallic are new exterior color choices for 2009. Grey also is offered as an additional convertible top color choice. 9-5 – The Saab 9-5 Sedan and SportCombi bring Scandinavian-inspired performance and luxury to the competitive midsize sport sedan segment. Available in both 2.3T and Aero models, they feature distinctive, aircraft-inspired design inside and out, in keeping with Saab’s roots in aviation. The Saab 9-5 range includes the well-equipped 2.3T Sport Sedan and SportCombi models, as well as the uplevel and sportier Aero Sport Sedan and SportCombi models. For 2009, the 9-5 range gets revised power window switches in the center console and new exterior colors, Carbon Grey Metallic and Glass Grey Metallic. Nocturne Blue Metallic is being reintroduced. Aero models receive a high-gloss black metallic interior finish and new 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels that complement the sportier look. 9-7X – Saab brings a Scandinavian flavor to the midsize SUV market with the 9-7X SUV range, which includes the performance-oriented 9-7X Aero, the 9-7X 4.2i and the 9-7X 5.3i. All feature unique Saab brand characteristics that include sophisticated styling inside and out, premium design features, and the sporty and spirited performance inherent to Saab vehicles. Enhancements for 2009 Saab 9-7X models include new Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity that interfaces with the vehicles’ audio system, as well as two new exterior colors, Diamond Silver Metallic and Desert Tan Metallic. Saab’s popular 9-7X Altitude Edition package also returns for 2009. It is offered for 4.2i and 5.3i models and includes DVD touch screen navigation radio and highly polished 18-inch alloy wheels and specific badging. Exterior finish choices include Carbon Flash (only non-Aero model for which this color is available) and Diamond Silver metallic. Saab U.S. Model Year 2009 Pricing (excludes $ 775 destination charges) 9-3 2.0T Sport Sedan: $28,835 9-3 2.0T SportCombi: $30,265 9-3 2.0T XWD Sport Sedan: $34,870 9-3 2.0T XWD SportCombi: $36,285 9-3 Aero V6T XWD Sport Sedan: $41,885 9-3 Aero V6T XWD SportCombi: $43,165 9-3 2.0T Convertible: $40,605 9-3 Aero V6T Convertible: $49,610 9-5 2.3T Sedan: $38,830 9-5 2.3T SportCombi: $39,650 9-5 Aero Sedan: $39,400 9-5 Aero SportCombi: $40,765 9-7X SUV 4.2i: $40,935 9-7X SUV 5.3i: $43,665 9-7X SUV Aero: $47,425