The Saab Turbo X is the last “high performance car” from Trollhättan. Built in the tradition of Saab 99 Turbo, Saab 900 Turbo 16S and Saab Viggen, it embodies the contemporary brand ideal of a relatively small, compact car with a lot of power on demand. At the same time, the Turbo X is Saab's first all-wheel drive vehicle. Unfortunately, in their inexplicable wisdom, the Swedes decided to give the world only 2000 of these special specimens.
Although the color is not a selection criterion for any Turbo X, because there is only "jet black", many other variants are possible. Regular leather, premium leather, electric seats, cornering lights, it's not easy. Depending on the country of destination, there are small variations that are not expected.
If you are looking for a Turbo X, you need patience. But we do not do everything for our passion. A friend of mine has been looking for a Turbo X for some time, and since he has clear ideas and the choice is naturally limited, the journey took us to Flanders. In the vicinity of Brussels, a Turbo X with seductive few kilometers should be the first owner. So in the Flemish speaking part of the kingdom!
On the way to Belgium we drive in Germany unfortunately no Saab, but the new Mercedes CLS Shootingbreak in front of the camera. I'm a fan of this car shape, and of course Mercedes is looking for the gap in the niche. Is the Shooting Brake a nice car? Definitely an interesting one!
In Flanders we stand, some 100 kilometers later, in front of a garage, behind which the Saab is supposed to be hiding. The electric gate opens and we see a dusty, deregistered Turbo X. The owner, who was often on the road for professional reasons, had deregistered and parked the Swede after a few kilometers. Under the layer of dust we discover a beautiful all-wheel drive turbo with minimal signs of wear and noble equipment. Sunroof, Bose sound system and an exclusive leather interior. In addition, the iconic Turbo X rims in 19 ″ format.
So red number plates on and off - the wild turbo animal comes to life - roars with joy, only to fall into the bubbling idle after 30 seconds. Turbo X fans know what I'm talking about, the warm-up phase turns every start of the day into an event. Now he can get out and we roll over small Belgian streets. Sometimes we come to sections with the legendary cobblestones, where every kilometer completed counts ten times. The automobile soul hurts me with every meter that we cover on Belgian cobblestones. But these sections are short.
If you want to buy a Turbo X, should check the four-wheel drive system of fast Sweden. Because replacing the Haldex clutch is not cheap, but the TX has never been a car for the small budget. A courageously driven, tight curve provides information. If the Saab keeps its course on what it should do with eLSD, and there are no conspicuous noises from the axle area, then everything is fine. With loud noises while cornering the alarm bells should ring. Then there is need for action! Everything was fine with our test Saab.
Why does the owner want to sell such a beautiful, rare car? In Belgium, he explains, there is a leftist government that has tightened environmental legislation. The Turbo X is not an environmental car, we all know that, and to get the Saab back on the road would cost a good 10.000 € in taxes. Too much money for a barely used car. I can not control that statement, and I am aware of the environmental issues and the finiteness of fossil fuels. But in this case, I'm glad to live in a country with a strong auto industry.
Belgian environmental laws do not affect us, and so it's clear we have to have this car. We put on our poker face, do it unimpressed, and look for the hair in the soup. The owner does the same, but eventually we agree, the red numbers stay tuned. After a good Flemish lunch we go to Holland and then on to the good old Federal Republic.
In Belgium and the Netherlands we meet a lot of current Saab, that's good. In Germany we are on our own, and apart from an old Saab 9000, which cruises comfortably on the motorway, there is no sign of our brand on the way to the south. Time for little philosophical reflections. My friend drives the Turbo X, I drive his 9-3 Diesel. The diesel has 150 horsepower, is four years old and is celebrating with me its round 150.000 kilometer birthday somewhere just before Cologne.
And while we're on the go, he only consumes 6 liters on 100 kilometers. If one ignores the mileage, one would believe to sit in a car with 50.000 kilometers mileage. Nothing rattles, wobbles or is worn. The soft premium leather looks like the factory, the Bose sound system sounds good. The 9-3 is a long-term car like any other Saab before.
For the next few miles on the drive to the south I always have the Turbo X in front of me. The basic shape of the body is now 10 years old. Can you see it? Hardly, the Saab is a little edgier than current models, but he is not old. He will never grow old due to the exclusivity of the brand. Driving Saab is fun. The pilot and the car. Every kilometer from Flanders to Bavaria has done the Saab good. He breathes freely after a long time, and in highway tunnels he lets everyone hear his joy.
The Turbo X on the way to becoming a cult? Absolutely. Saab collectors now secure one for the local garage and many Saab partners have one for private use in the hall. If someday in the distant future in Trollhättan again cars with the Saab sign off the line, then it will be hybrid or electric cars. Tubo-driven passion, combined with unreasonableness and fun is not there (for the time being) on the program.
After 460 kilometers we make a stop on the way south, and the Turbo X stays at my home. Hood to hood, he stands with my Turbo X on an enclosed area. It crackles and cracks. Does a car have a soul? A Saab for sure! Two Saab Turbo X guests on Bloggers Homebase. This is called species-appropriate keeping 🙂
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