The newest product of Saab's aggressive and unprecedented product development program, the 9-7X has its sights aimed squarely on the burgeoning midsize SUV market in North America. The U.S. mid-luxury SUV segment increased from approximately 50,000 units a year in 1997 to 401,000 units in 2003, and by the end of 2006, sales are projected to exceed 500,000 units.
The new 9-7X, with an automatic all-wheel-drive system, brings unique Saab characteristics to this growing segment, including: sophisticated exterior and interior styling, premium design features and quality, a chassis tuned to deliver sporty and fun-to-drive performance and the signature ignition cylinder in the center console behind the gear lever. It was developed from the award-winning General Motors GMT360 architecture and is scheduled to reach the market in early 2005.
"The Saab 9-7X emphasizes the 'sport' aspect of the sport utility vehicle nomenclature," said Peter Augustsson, Saab's president and CEO. "As with the 2005 Saab 9-2X, it is very dynamic and is a vehicle that you want to drive."
Market research conducted by Saab revealed that 39 percent of Saab customers in the U.S. currently have an SUV in their household. Furthermore, almost 30 percent of Saab customers who leave the Saab brand purchase a four-door SUV.
"The new Saab 9-7X will provide our retailers with a world-class SUV to satisfy existing customers and to attract new ones," said Debra Kelly-Ennis, president of Saab Cars USA. "In 2003, with an increase of 26.7 percent, Saab was the fastest growing European premium car brand in the United States. Our unprecedented model offensive will help continue this strong momentum."
The Saab 9-7X will be positioned in the $37,000 to $45,000 price bracket in the U.S., with the I-6-powered 9-7X Linear leading the lineup. The 9-7X Arc, with its 5.3L V-8 delivering 300 horsepower (224 kw), is aimed at mid-luxury SUV customers who demand uncompromising performance. Standard equipment for both models includes leather-trimmed seats, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, all-wheel-drive and a state-of-the-art sound system.
First ever Saab SUV targeting one of the fastest growing North American segments - midsize SUVs
Styling, performance and driving characteristics commensurate with Saab heritage
Well equipped including standard leather-trimmed seats, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels and AWD
Convenience and "infotainment" options include XM Satellite Radio (continental U.S. only), premium Bose speaker system and rear-seat DVD entertainment system
Available head side curtain air bag system with rollover protection sensing system
Two models - 9-7X Arc with 300 hp (224 kw) V-8 and 9-7X Linear with 275 hp (205 kw) I-6
9-7X design: Saab refinement for the exterior and interior at first glance
The 9-7X reflects Saab's sporty and functional brand character in its exterior design. Key features, such as Saab's front fascia three-port grille, rear quarter windows that visually appear to wrap around the D-pillars and brand-distinctive wheels, convey Saab's heritage at first sight. The 9-7X presents a very smooth, aerodynamic, sporty appearance, with an excellent body-to-tire relationship derived from the vehicle's low stance in combination with its standard 18-inch wheels.
The 9-7X's profile is clean and uninterrupted, without any large bumper offsets or protruding shapes and forms. The taillamps are vertically stacked, with clear acrylic lenses, reflector optics and precision-detailed bezels combining to create a three-dimensional, jewel-like effect. Inside, a cockpit-inspired interior is highly refined and driver-oriented. The instrument panel's center stack and controls are angled toward the driver. Like the exterior, it features Saab-traditional strong, brand-distinctive design elements and cues.
9-7X performance: sporty and focused on the driver
Like all Saabs, the 9-7X is designed for driving satisfaction. To help deliver a comfortable, well-controlled ride and responsive handling, the Saab 9-7X uses a uniquely tuned double A-arm front suspension with front coil springs and a five-link, electronically controlled rear air suspension. The 9-7X has been developed to deliver responsive, European-style driving characteristics through a low ride height, firm front and rear suspensions, a thick front stabilizer bar and stiff upper control arm bushings at the rear. All shock absorbers are valved to help provide firm body control for confident handling. P255/55R18 high-performance all-season radials were specially developed by Dunlop to provide enhanced road-gripping capability. A quick 18.5:1 steering gear ratio, together with stiff mounts, is designed to help improve steering responsiveness and precision. The steering gear is tuned for on-center feel and smooth operation. The front section of the frame is stiffened with braces to help make steering more responsive and precise.
Power for the 9-7X Linear is a 4.2L inline-six-cylinder that delivers 275 horsepower (205 kw) and 275 lb.-ft. of torque (372 Nm). For the 9-7X Arc, it's a 5.3L V-8 rated at 300 horsepower (224 kw) and 330 lb.-ft. of torque (447 Nm). Both engines are mated to a Hydra-Matic electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission.
Both the Linear and Arc models feature standard automatic all-wheel-drive. Traction and handling performance are further enhanced by a standard, preloaded-clutch limited-slip differential at the rear. Brakes are large, four-wheel vented discs, with front aluminum dual-piston calipers, and four-wheel ABS.
9-7X versatility: room for passengers and their luggage
With a wheelbase of 113 inches (2,870 mm) and an overall length of 193.4 inches (4,912 mm), the Saab 9-7X offers ample room for friends and family. It holds up to 41 cubic feet (1,161 L) of cargo with the rear seatback up, and 80.1 cubic feet (2,268 L) with the seatback folded down. A 60/40-split rear seat is standard in all 9-7X models, as is a trailer hitch receiver and hitch receiver cover. Maximum towing capacity when equipped with the V-8 engine is approximately 6,500 pounds (2,948 kg).
A folding, self-storing second-row seat assembly not only extends the rear cargo area, it provides convenient storage for both tire jack and tools in the same compartment. The tools and jack are stowed side-by-side underneath the seat and can be accessed easily from the rear side door, without the need to remove cargo in the rear compartment. The rear seats feature articulating headrests, which flip backward out of the way when the seat is lowered, eliminating the need to remove and re-stow them. When the seat is raised, the headrest simply flips back in to place. The rear cargo compartment also includes: a scroll-type stowage shade for privacy and added security, auxiliary power outlet, sidewall storage compartments and a hidden stowage well under the rear floor for storing valuables.
The 9-7X's standard rear air suspension makes the vehicle self-leveling, regardless of the load in the cargo area - including when a trailer is hitched. The trailer hitch receiver is standard on all models.
9-7X amenities: personalization at the fingertips
Standard equipment on Saab 9-7X Linear and Arc models includes:
18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with Dunlop all-season tires P255/55R18
Anti-theft system with remote
Automatic climate control
Daytime running lights
No-charge scheduled maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles
Power door locks with remote keyless entry
Rear limited-slip differential
Tilt-adjustable steering column.
All of the 9-7X's seats are trimmed with high-quality leather. The front row seats feature standard power six-way adjustment, and independently heated seat cushion and back with three temperature levels. A four-way power lumbar control system and power recline adjustment also are standard, as well as a driver's seat memory package for both seat and mirrors.
9-7X Arc models are distinguished with:
300 hp (224 kw) V-8 engine
Unique 18-inch wheel design
Integrated roof rails.
A multi-language 22-character information center acts as an interface to the driver for systems information, personalization and memory programming. It is positioned directly under the speedometer on the instrument cluster. Buttons to control the driver information center are located in the instrument panel center stack. Features include the following:
Low-level notification and/or status is provided for oil life (based on engine speed, heat and distance traveled), washer fluid, door ajar, and liftgate ajar
Other messages include "key FOB battery is low," "ice possible" or "tighten fuel cap"
Computer calculations are available for fuel data, estimated range, average fuel economy, instantaneous fuel economy, dual trip odometers and elapsed time
Memory settings can be created for seat position, mirror position, radio station selection, radio presets, climate control and personalization.
Personalization features set through the driver information center include the following:
Configurable to perform in English, Spanish or French
Automatic door locks can be set to lock when the vehicle speed exceeds 8 mph (approximately 13 km/h) for 3 seconds
Automatic door unlock can be configured for all doors when the key is withdrawn from the ignition; all doors when the vehicle is shifted into "park;" driver door only when the vehicle is shifted into "park;" or turned off completely
Key remote feedback can be customized for the horn shortly sounding, the lights flashing, both, or turned off completely
Headlamp delay at exit can be customized for times up to 220 seconds
Perimeter lighting can be programmed on or off
Automatic mirror curb view when the vehicle is shifted into reverse can be set on or off.
The advanced electronics of the Saab 9-7X also include battery rundown protection. If the interior lights, headlamps and park lamps, or both, are inadvertently left on, the central electronic controller unit will automatically turn them off after 20 minutes, eliminating battery drain.
9-7X options include adjustable pedals, headlamp washers, Premium Bose speaker system, six-disc CD changer, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, navigation system, high intensity discharge (HID) lights, metallic paint and sunroof.
9-7X entertainment: a feast for the ears
The 9-7X's radios, all with Radio Data System (RDS), were selected for their high-quality performance. Special attention paid to contours that permit flush mounting between the radio face and the trim surrounding it. The standard AM/FM stereo with single-play CD, as well as the optional AM/FM stereo with integral six-disc CD changer, is aesthetically designed and ergonomically easy to operate. Standard equipment for all Saab 9-7X models includes controls for rear-seat occupants and earphone jacks.
XM Satellite Radio (continental U.S. only) is standard with all 9-7X models and provides more than 120 coast-to-coast, digital-quality channels of original commercial-free music and premier news, sports and talk as well as advanced traffic and weather information for select major metropolitan areas nationwide. Consumers can subscribe to the basic service for $9.99 a month. In addition, GM customers with GMAC financing can choose to include the XM subscription in their car payments.
The 9-7X also includes OnStar, with 12 months of Safe & Sound service featuring automatic notification to the OnStarCenter when air bags are deployed and optional hands-free calling and information services. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada. Using the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Personal Calling that allows drivers to make and receive hands-free, voice-activated phone calls using a powerful three-watt digital system and external antenna for greater reception.
9-7X safety: a comprehensive package
The 9-7X's seating positions offer excellent visibility and a commanding view of the road. Its safety package includes standard four-wheel vented disc anti-lock brakes (ABS) as well as dual-stage air bags for front seating positions and three-point restraint systems for all seating positions (including the middle rear). Other safety features include:
Passenger sensing system
Front seatbelt pretensioners with load limiters
Front seatbelt buckle-up reminder.
Available head curtain side air bags act like a protective curtain when deployed, unfolding from the roof rail between the A-pillar and side window header. When the bag deploys in a moderate to severe side impact, it is angled somewhat toward the window to help provide protection for front- and second-row outboard passengers. In vehicles equipped with head curtain side air bags, a new rollover protection sensing system helps protect occupants in a rollover event by triggering both the side curtain air bags and safety belt pretensioners. The rollover-sensing module, located on the center tunnel under the rear seat, uses a complex algorithm based on lateral and vertical accelerations, roll rate and vehicle speed to determine whether to deploy the safety systems.
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