Black is back. 17 months Saab Turbo X.

How the time flies ! Actually, I wanted to write a report about the first 12 months with the Turbo X. Just over, because the Saab has been with us for 17 months now. And not a single kilometer was boring, every minute was fun. So everything in the green area with the all-wheel drive Saab?

17 months Turbo X. The sound still excites.
17 months Turbo X. The sound still excites.

In the meantime, almost 50.000 kilometers are on the clock, and the Saab is a diva. There were the ignition coils, which lost their grip after a hot Autobahn trip Frankfurt - Hamburg - Frankfurt and caused a startling moment. Cooled down, the Saab drove as usual, but confidence in Bosch products was gone. As a precaution, all 6 coils were replaced with the successor model with higher voltage. Since then it has been quiet, the problem is considered solved.

The button of the tailgate stopped his service, the boot lid then remained closed. We had already written about it. The Saab center Bamberg swapped for a used part, as a replacement from Saab was not available. Since then everything has been as it should be. The Saab runs and runs, has a good thirst, as you would expect from a turbo. Everything is possible between 7.xx in Sweden and 13.xx liters on the German Autobahn. It is only due to the traffic situation and the speed limits that appear far too often that it does not increase consumption. But…

Bloggers and their Saabs. Till from SU and Tom, in the background 9-3 from Till and our TX
Bloggers and their Saabs. Till from SU and Tom, in the background 9-3 from Till and our TX

He makes fun.

For consumption, the Turbo X delivers a fair value. The name: fun. CO2 fetishists should close the blog now horrified! The fun factor starts with the start. 30 second Turbo X warm-up sound at its best (yes, the eco-fraction should perhaps continue reading) - for environmental reasons - bring the engine up to temperature. Every tunnel becomes a sound festival, and the sunroof opens almost automatically. The Saab can do it, in Trollhättan they did a lot of work back then. The Turbo X is probably the last dinosaur to be able to conjure up a sound carpet.

The last of its kind.

Because the times are bad and the future looks bleak. The new Lexus IS has a sound generator that generates engine noises for the interior depending on the engine speed. Are you crazy, the Japanese? Not at all. The brand from Ingolstadt also shows what the coming years will bring. The new Audi S3 conjures up 300 hp in the compact class and - yes, really - canned engine sound. Audi S3 pilots are also provided with sound in the interior using a sound chip, and the sporty turbo sound is a simulation. You can save yourself an open sunroof or - even better - delete it from the surcharge list. Slices down is also unnecessary. The Audi driver's life, a computer simulation. Which is not only due to Ingolstadt, but also to the care of the European Union. Brussels is involved in every part of our lives with boundless concern.

Turbo X in front of the Saab factory
Turbo X in front of the Saab factory

Even worse, however, is a brand that a generation ago was considered a haven of style. Mercedes brings the AMG version of the A-Class, which tickles an enormous 360 hp from two liters of displacement. The Schwabenkiste causes electronically controlled misfires, which is out of place, because the sound does not come from a monoposto, but from a computer-controlled racing roll. It is not clear whether there will be a misfire-free downgrade kit for this embarrassing feature or whether the AMG customer will have to live with it. What times! People, take good care of your Saabs!

Strength 1: highway.

I've already noticed it several times: the Turbo X is the most active Saab of all time. Haldex coupling and eLSD tempt you to hunt curves, and the border area of ​​the Swedes is pushed to the limit with ingenious technology. Flying over the country road is fun and puts a smile on your face. The Saab arrows through the curves like on rails, as if all the trolls of Scandinavia were after it. To keep it this way, it is important to maintain the Haldex coupling accordingly. Saab spoke, if I remember correctly, of a 60.000 kilometer maintenance interval. We changed the oil at a good 45.000 at Saab Center Bamberg, and the result was a black broth. High time and the right decision! A change every 30.000 kilometers is recommended, and if you drive longer intervals, you risk your Haldex clutch and then unintentionally invest in a new, revised version that should be less susceptible.

Strength 2: long distance.

How good a car is or not, you can find out over a long distance. The last major trip led from Trollhättan to Northern Bavaria. 1.300 kilometers in a row - interrupted by two ferry trips and a meal break - speak for the Saab. So stress-free and with only two refueling stops, which is an achievement with the TX, you rarely get from A to B. Part of the good impression is also based on the right tires, which seems to be an issue with the Swede's chassis. We switched from Pirelli to Michelin, which has had a more than positive effect. More on this in the tire chapter.

Generations Meetings: TX and 900 16S
Generations Meetings: TX and 900 16S

Weakness: heat.

Is it because this car is from Sweden? Turbos like cool weather on principle. If it gets too warm, the performance drops. This tendency is particularly pronounced with the Turbo X. Everything is OK up to 25 degrees Celsius. Warmer is not good and is punished with refusal to perform. The 6-cylinder with its sequential turbocharger feels uncomfortable, and what feels like 50 of the 280 horsepower disappears into the Swedish wasteland. If you ignore this and still torment your TX, you should keep an eye on the display of the coolant liquid. It then moves up ...

The solution was, now no longer available, from Hirsch Performance. The increase in performance with 300 PS had a larger intercooler and changed software with an eye on thermal safety in the program. A new edition is part of bloggers wishful thinking and is far from reality.

Roll now on Michelin tires. Result - top!
Now rolls on Michelin tires. Result - great!

Turbos new tires.

For spring, the Turbo X changed from a Pirelli tires Michelin Primacy 3. The French rubbers are not cheap at a good 200 euros each, but inexpensive. Because the behavior not only when wet, but also in general is far superior to the Pirellis. The Saab drives more smoothly, lies better, no longer rubs over the asphalt. The difference in quality is particularly noticeable after a few days of standing. The Pirelli tires wanted to be “warmed up” and ran noticeably out of round for the first few kilometers. The Michelins don't know this disease. Quality pays off!

After 17 months Turbo X.

Originally, you were spoiled for choice. Turbo X or Saab 9-5 II Aero XWD… The choice was not easy and fell in favor of the smaller Saab model. Which wasn't a question of money because the price was about the same. The Turbo X seemed more iconic, more active to drive, and the smaller dimensions were the decisive factor. The TX is now a collector's item, and many Saab partners have a copy in their own garage. With fewer than 100 copies in Germany, it is the most exclusive way of moving a modern Saab. I haven't regretted the purchase for a second! The heart of an automobile opens up early in the morning at the start. The fun potential is just right. Sure, if I see a 9-5 II, my eyes get big. But that's the world! You can not have everything…




14 thoughts on "Black is back. 17 months Saab Turbo X."

  • as someone who was involved in the development of the XWD and the Turbo X from the beginning of 2007 to the middle of 2008, I am pleased about such a report.

    Yes, the Turbo X and the XWD are a lot of fun. The time at Saab was actually the coolest time of my professional life. It was stressful and politics was the order of the day, but I've never had so many colleagues who develop cars with so much passion and “gas sickness” as at Saab.

    Too bad that only 100 pieces of the Black Turbo (that was the development code of the Turbo X) have made it to Germany. That's why I wish you much fun with him. And: please treat him well!

  • That's why I have a TX and my father a 9-5 II Aero V6 XWD ... you can swap it. 😀

  • Hello Tom, your statements on the increased comfort concern 18 "or 19" bikes on the TX? I recently bought a TX and can only confirm the disadvantages of the Pirelli.

    • My TX “only” has 18 ″ on it and the difference to the Pirellis is considerable. The whole driving behavior is somehow more harmonious. Congratulations on the TX and a lot of fun!

  • I made the other choice… Saab 9-5 Aero III 2,8 V6… .Also great!

  • The sound of the Turbo X is really great. I still remember the first encounter in the wild. I took a break near Garmisch-Partenkirchen. I heard a good-sounding car, turned to the road, and a black Turbo X sedan drove past me, the next moment hissing loudly around the next corner.

  • To the tires: was the choice intentionally on the Primacy3? I drive the predecessor model Primacy HP, which is a real comfort tire on my 9-5 LPT. For your PS race cars, I would now rather have taken the pilot Sport3, which will probably soon replace the CSC2 on my AERO.

    • The decision to use the more comfortable tire came more from the gut. The Sport3 would certainly have been sportier, but the Primacy harmonises nicely with the rather tight chassis.

  • What a sick world, electronic sw… extensions. Not even a side cutter will help, because the cart then stops with an error message.

    Tom, you still have real sound in a great car - dying breed.

    Greetings from Kiel

  • I can confirm the heat problems. In the humid 35 ° two weeks ago, the engine reacted like its owner: quite listless

    I recently read about electronic sound generators. However, it was about the Maserati Ghibli Diesel (!!!). So that it doesn't sound so much like diesel, speakers have been installed in the rear that make it sound like V8 petrol. The driver can adjust how much. Then it really stops with me ... if it is Diesel, then you can also stand by it.

    Maybe AMG offers a “repair” of the computer-simulated misfire. That costs at least as much as a repair of the injection system 😉

  • Great report. I'm a bit jealous of the all-wheel drive. Not on the engine (I have the same one) and it's a pleasure. 🙂 Two TXs were recently for sale in the Mobilforum Dresden. I have no idea if they are still there but if you are looking for one you should stop by.

  • Now in this post I hear again about the great sound that it should have - at some point I will definitely hear it live again! That's the only thing I miss about my TTiD - it really doesn't sound like anything ...

    How I would like a little sound from the two tailpipes….

  • Congratulations Tom, you did everything right! Have fun until the next gas station! It's ok like that. I envy you the sound, but you say it: “You can't have everything…”! That's why I'm sticking to the stingy TTiD with pleasing qualities in acceleration. I've already had the positive experience of changing tires! Good week!

  • Great report on a great SAAB. Result -> want to have! 🙂

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