Positioned as an upgrade for Saab Viggen owners, the Turbo X offers a raft of driving pleasures. 280 horsepower leap from the turbocharged 2.8 liter V6 engine and are harnessed by a four wheel drive system that Saab is calling ‘cross drive’ or XWD.
With XWD, torque is split between the front and rear axles and also has an extra layer of management that controls the amount that is sent to each individual rear wheel. The concept is somewhat like an ‘active’ limited slip differential.
The system acts in concert with the anti-lock brakes and stability control in order to offer a complete car control package that promises to maintain a responsive, at the edge feel without sacrificing safety.
There are other fun touches to the Saab Turbo X, such as a personal message that can be programmed into the instrument display straight from the factory, and the chance to attend the Saab Aero Academy driving school at Road Atlanta race track if your vehicle is purchased prior to January 31, 2008.
The car is available only in a deep black color with 18 inch alloy wheels and carbon fiber inserts on the doors, seats and console. As an anchor back to Saab’s past, the boost gauge is designed as an exact replica of that which adorned the dash of the original Saab 900 turbo that helped the company build a following in North America.
Hopefully, should the Saab Turbo X find a following in the US, then import numbers will be increased and more drivers will be able to enjoy this European sport sedan. Will Saab be able to redefine buyer perceptions and steal customers away from more traditional offerings such as the BMW M3? Or will they continue to live in GM’s shadow?
The Turbo X will go a long way towards answering the questions that remain about Saab’s future.