Saab 9-2X: A Premium Sport Compact Built for Driving [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Saab 9-2X: A Premium Sport Compact Built for Driving

8th December 2003, 05:12 PM
1) Formula for success: Dynamic design, fun-to-drive, and 5-door versatility

2) All models with advanced full-time all-wheel-drive for dynamic driving experience

3) Chassis tuning gives fine balance of agility, comfort, and stability

Saab enters the emerging segment for premium sport compacts with a distinctive model tailored for young driving enthusiasts that pursue an active lifestyle. Technical features include boxer four cylinder engines and advanced full-time all-wheel-drive (AWD), a first in Saab’s history. With AWD, the ample power available in both engine versions is delivered to the road with less friction loss, improving the vehicle performance under acceleration. It also provides additional traction under difficult road conditions.

All Saab 9-2X have disc brakes at all four wheels and a latest generation 4-channel/4-sensor anti-lock brake system (ABS). Four-wheel independent suspension features a MacPherson strut layout, with lower wishbones in front and three links at the rear. Stabilizer bars are standard fore and aft.

The power plant of the Saab 9-2X Linear is naturally aspirated and delivers 165 hp @ 5,600 rpm as well as a maximum torque of 166 lb.-ft. (225 Nm) @ 4,000 rpm. The 9-2X Aero offers a turbocharged and intercooled two-liter high performance DOHC engine delivering 227 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 217 lb.-ft. (294 Nm) of torque @ 4,000 rpm. Beyond the permanent AWD, traction and handling performance of the Aero is further improved by a viscous limited-slip differential at the rear. Both engines come with a standard 5-speed manual transmission; a 4-speed automatic transmission with lockup torque converter is available as an option.

With its outstanding performance, leaping for example through the standard sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just over six seconds, the 9-2X Aero will find its customers among car enthusiasts. Young at heart, they will appreciate the Aero’s outstanding dynamic capabilities wrapped in a premium package that offers excellent versatility. The 9-2X Linear, with its highly accessible price, is an appealing proposition for first time premium buyers.

Unique boxer layout is ideal for permanent all-wheel-drive
The base for the 9-2X’s sharp handling response and smooth ride is provided by a very stiff body structure incorporating a hydroformed front subframe and tailored blank-welded side sills and B-pillars.

The boxer engine layout is ideal for an all-wheel-drive application because it allows the transmission to be mounted directly behind it. Power travels in a straight, near-horizontal line to the rear differential, minimizing frictional loss. This symmetrical, uniform layout also provides excellent left-right balance. In contrast, an all-wheel-drive system in a vehicle with a transverse (sideways) mounted engine requires additional components to reroute the power from transverse to longitudinal orientation. Such a system adds friction (power loss) and weight.

The boxer layout also concentrates the engine’s mass in a small area and helps provide a lower center of gravity, contributing to quick handling and steering response. The horizontally opposed layout results in an inherently smooth-running engine, as well, because the motions of the pistons from one cylinder bank (and the vibration the motion creates) cancel the vibrations of the opposing bank. Furthermore, aluminum-alloy construction of the engine and transmission results in a lightweight drivetrain.

Chassis tuned to give dynamic responses, a subtle ride and high level of stability
“The 9-2X has all the ingredients to fulfill our brand promise of delivering sporty, driver focused performance,” says Kjell-Åke Eriksson, the Executive Director responsible for the Saab 9-2X model line. “Even though it is tuned much different than other Saab’s, as it is defined to have a bit more aggressive driving characteristics, it is still completely in line with our unique Saab philosophy.” This philosophy is defined by high straight-line stability for relaxed long-distance driving, outstanding on-limit stability and predictability even when the car is fully laden, and a subtle ride, minimizing harshness and impact of rough roads.

In tuning the chassis, Saab’s engineering team under the direction of Platform-Manager Peter Dörrich started from the ground up: “We commissioned Bridgestone with the development of new tires. To reduce unsprung weight, we decided to only specify light alloy wheels in a 16 inch format with 205/55 R16 tires for all models.” Aero models are also available with 17-inch wheels, using 215/45 R 17 tires. To further minimize mass in the suspension system, front wheel wishbones are manufactured from aluminium instead of steel.

Intensive work went into tuning the shock absorbers. Per Jansson, Chassis Vehicle Integration Engineer, explains: “Our main concern was to combine very good body control for sporty performance with low harshness for comfortable everyday driving.” The wheel angle settings and chassis geometry are defined to provide excellent predictability and stability in critical situations, as well as a high level of straight line stability. The same objectives determined the configuration of the rear bump stops and the rubber bushings of the wishbone joints.

For the 9-2X Aero, additional attention was paid to the steering system. The steering gear mounting is designed to provide superior steering precision and response, as is the gear ratio.

Peter Dörrich sums it up: “Overall, the Saab 9-2X is an outstanding performer on the road. With crisp handling, more than adequate ride comfort and a high safety margin in critical situations, it is a delight to drive.”

Information in this release is based on specifications which were valid at the time of final editing (November 2003). Technical specifications and equipment may be altered without prior notice.