Saab Turbo X Purchase advice 1 / 2

In the year 2007 the Turbo X celebrated its premiere at the IAA. It was the first high-performance all-wheel drive Saab, which was built in series, at the same time the world's first vehicle with Haldex 4 clutch. And for Saab, the 30-year Turbo anniversary model.

Saab Turbo X - only real with the boost pressure indicator. © 2014 saabblog.net
Saab Turbo X - only real with the boost pressure display. © 2014 saabblog.net

At the time, Trollhättan had excellent relationships with Haldex; the company has its origins in the factory and thus got exclusive access to the new Haldex 4 system. To celebrate the turbo anniversary and as a tribute to the unforgettable Saab 900 Turbo 16 S, the company donated a special edition of 2.000 to the fans. All in “jet black”, all with all-wheel drive.

A compact sports car

"The Saab 9 3 Turbo X is planned for a limited edition of 2.000 vehicles and, realistically speaking, will be the right choice for only a few."

For example, Saab wrote in 2008 in the internal sales documents about the Turbo X, which rolls to dealers during this time. And indeed - the new Saab is uncompromisingly tuned as an athlete, which is not understood by every journalist. In some publications of the car press, a hard, inharmonic vehicle is reported. The Turbo X philosophy - not every author got it!

Straight ahead, all vehicles are fast; on winding roads, the chaff separates from the wheat. Saab has programmed the Turbo X to take turns, with success. In the slalom test, the compact four-wheel drive clearly beat the Porsche 911 (997). The secret is the electronic limited slip differential, called Saab eLSD, which distributes the torque between the rear wheels. In order to bring the 280 PS and 400 Newton meters safely onto the road, springs and dampers were stiffened. Self-leveling shock absorbers found their way into the rear, the stiffness of the rear suspension was increased by 50%. The “super sports suspension” in the Turbo X is not comfortable, but safe, and could later be ordered for normal Saab 9-3.

Incidentally, Saab really seems to have scored something in the Porsche camp. If you start a Turbo X when cold, you can hear Porsche 997 sound. Or the other way around ! Nice, because both vehicles sound good!

Optical features

In terms of design, elements with a titanium look dominate the entire vehicle. Matching the black paint, the Turbo X has special rims in 18 ″ or 19 ″ size, behind which the improved brake system is hidden. The grille and air intakes are also in titanium gray, the Turbo X-specific exhaust system and a diffuser in titanium gray catch the eye at the rear.

In the cockpit surprised as a nice detail a boost gauge in Saab 900 Turbo Design, which is illuminated in darkness at the entrance and a turbo-charged vehicle signals. Also in the interior are deposits in carbon look. In some markets, the vehicles also carry badges with Turbo X imprint.

Motor & Tuning

Turbo technology is rightly regarded as Saab's core competency. With the charged V6 performance levels at V8 level are feasible. (Autofocus 6 / 2007)

The 2.8 liter V6 with its sequential turbocharger comes in the base from Australia from Holden, is a stable and just as drinkable power plant. “Old-school” through and through in a very positive sense, and no comparison with the inflated small engines that we are currently trying to make palatable. The start and the sound inspire again and again, the passage in the relatively compact Saab is splendid. The engine compartment is excruciatingly tight, the V6 just fits in.

A weak point is the relative heat sensitivity associated with power loss. One of the reasons for this is the absolute under-dimensioned LLK in series. The remedy is an alternative intercooler, Hirsch or Maptun Performance. Both offer sufficiently dimensioned components; the difference to the series is visible and also tangible from the material.

If you dream of tuning because 280 HP and 400 Newton meters do not seem sufficient, you must first replace the LLK hardware. Hirsch Performance every now and then offers a 300 PS kit with 430 Newton meters of torque. The kit is paired with a new intercooler and a modified air filter, for good reason.

Tuning only by software is simply forbidden with serial hardware. In some forums, the topic of simple software tuning is repeatedly discussed. Our Saab Turbo X purchase advice follows what was clear in Trollhättan. Tuning - only with changed hardware.

With tuned copies it can come to the elongation of the timing chains, especially if the Saab was very sporty way. Then an engine revision is due, overkill kits are available in Nyköping at the Orio AB. The 430 Newtonmeter, which allows Hirsch the TX as maximum torque, should also be considered as the limit for the transmission.

Gear & Haldex

It doesn't really matter which gearbox you choose on the TX. Because if you're honest, both are a compromise. The manual 6-speed gearbox is sufficiently precise, but not so that you would be completely enthusiastic. The last bit of precision is missing to let it pass as a sports gear. The translation could be better matched to the Saab and its engine.

The automatic only knows the difference between comfortable and super-fast. In normal mode, every bit of sportiness is missing, in sport mode the Saab is the gripenfighter. Then gears turn to the limit, when braking the Saab shifts down aggressively. Harmoniously coordinated is different ... how was it with the look at the Porsche warehouse? He's missing here. But other manufacturers are not doing better even in 2014, and the Turbo X guarantees a lot of fun. No matter which gearbox you choose.

In standard condition, with 400 Newtonmeter, the gearboxes are durable. Hirsch is already pushing the limits with 30 Newton meters, problems with performance-upgraded vehicles, which are very sporty moves, are known.

The Haldex clutch must receive all 30.000 kilometers, but at the latest every 2 years new oil according to Saab / Haldex specification. The lubricants are subject to aging, so there is always a shelf life on the containers.

The second part of the purchase advice on Thursday is about the following topics:

Sports trolley or limousine

Interior & equipment

Spare parts & availability

Prices & availability

Why buy?

Text & pictures: tom@saabblog.net

8 thoughts on "Saab Turbo X Purchase advice 1 / 2"

  • I still haven't had any “contact” with the TX…. 🙁 can still be! Obviously the TX seems to give me a “goose bumps feeling” or addictive potential… I stay excited and look forward to the second part of the report. The 2st is already CLASS! Thanks Tom! 🙂

  • I got then in April a TX in my desired equipment,
    important to me: circuit and sedan. Have been driving Saab for 30 years,
    I drove two 99 Turbo in the eighties because a final Saab fits. I have to say the implementation of the old Saab Turbo feeling in such a 9-3 of the last version has been impressively successful. Only drive the TX every 2 weeks, that's all there is to it ... after all, people live above the underground car park ... and not everyone loves the turbo sound in EURO 4
    Warm-up phase. The car is the absolute Hinkucker without the
    brutal aggressiveness of a “AdieuMeinGeld” star or “IchFressDich” Audi.
    The neighbor with her Polish accent: “Your car has one
    right sssexii back part ”Yes, but only the SportSedan …… .no, it can also be a station wagon, equipment doesn't really matter, the main thing
    TURBOX. The offer is very limited, but now you have to strike! Thanks Tom for the nice article!

  • Small requests I fulfill immediately. A small impression, taken with the Blackberry, is on ours Instagram Site.

  • A dream in black. Unfortunately even rarer than a 9-5 NG. But I know someone who has a Turbo X. Maybe he'll let me drive ...…

  • So when I read this, the desire for a Turbo X arises ;-)) even if I generally prefer beige in the interior ...
    What I would like to see how the “nice detail of a boost pressure indicator in Saab 900 Turbo design that is illuminated in the dark when entering” looks like ...

  • Power right on Turbo X

  • Wech 'wonderful blog, what a wonderful post !! Thank you thank you!

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