Before 10 years, in the spring 2008, Saab introduced the Turbo X of the press on the racetrack Paul Ricard. The start in four-wheel drive Age at the small, Swedish brand! And Saab was late. But actually everything had started much earlier.
Saab and four-wheel, that could have been a symbiosis like Audi and Quattro. There was Saab-Sigge. Bourgeois Sigvard Johansson, who worked at Stallbacka to give rally cars more traction. Johansson, his father-in-law Days Flodén As a toolmaker in the 92 era, the brand remained loyal to 1984. Then he founded the IPU AB, which is the root of the all-wheel specialist Haldex.
Four-wheel as a family thing
Regardless, Saab continued to work on four-wheel drive, based on the ideas of Saab-Sigge. 1987 was at least a prototype based on the Saab 9000 CC and an all-wheel system based on Torsen differentials. 1992 became another Prototyp on the wheels, now based on the 9000 CS. He is still in the magazine of the Saab Museum in Trollhattan.
Also in the following years, GM had entered and eventually took over Saab completely, the work on four-wheel drive vehicles continued. The projects always failed due to the opposition of the Americans. Until sometime, probably around 2005, GM directors visited the Norrland proving ground and drove an all-wheel drive Saab. The direct comparison between front and 4 wheel drive must have been so emphatic that Saab got the complete four-wheel drive development for the group.
Lead developer: Peter Johansson, son of Saab-Sigge and grandson of Days Flodén, Like so much at Saab, the four-wheel drive family matter was just as much. Due to the traditional relationships Trollhättan got exclusive access to the brand new Haldex IV system.
Together with the optional, electronic limited slip differential eLSD, Saab put the best four-wheel drive system on the market at the time. 20 sensors provide the system 100 parameters per second, which is normally designed as a good-natured front-wheel drive. Only 5 - 10% of the drive power flows to the rear axle. With heavy acceleration and dry road conditions, the brave front-wheel drive Saab becomes a dynamic rear-wheel drive. Up to 100% can be applied to the rear axle, the vehicle changes its character fundamentally for a short moment.
Dynamics and traction are the strengths of the Saab XWD system. From the Turbo X, which always has eLSD on board, it makes a Kurvenräuber that finds traction even in the most unfavorable conditions. A single wheel with a little grip is enough to move the Saab.
Saab XWD. Indispensable for the premium league.
The Saab XWD, which was introduced to 10 years ago, fitted well into the strategy of Carl Peter Forster, who wanted to place Saab in the premium league. Powerful front-wheel drive vehicles had their limits, but he wanted more performance for Saab. The 280 PS strong Turbo X was 2008 the strongest series Saab of all time, followed by the 9-5 II, which provided 2010 300 PS and all-wheel drive. And surely there would have been more.
The innovative Haldex IV system had its weaknesses at its premiere and the following early years. Among other things, there were problems with the seals, the aging and the mixing of the oils in the system. This led, in the worst case, to failure and destruction. After some time, the causes had been identified and the problems had been eliminated. Saab XWD riders should nevertheless be on a regular maintenance, the oils used are subject to aging.
Huge fun makes the system today. Especially if the electronic limited slip differential is on board. On dry, winding roads it makes the Saab a dynamic. And an 9-3 or 9-5 XWD is hard to beat on snow and ice. You drive away, sure with a big smile on your face, all the SUVs that pretend that they have four-wheel drive, but are in reality high-backed blenders. The story, which started many years ago with Saab-Sigge, finally came to an all-wheel-driven end.