Saab 9-2X


Saab 9-2X

Infobox Automobile


name = Saab 9-2x
manufacturer = Fuji Heavy Industries
production = 2005–2006
successor = Saab 9-1
class = Compact luxury car
body_style = 4-door station wagon
engine = 2.0 L "Subaru EJ20" H4
2.5 L "Subaru EJ25" turbocharged H4
transmission = 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
related = Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza WRX
Subaru Forester
wheelbase = Auto in|99.4|0
length = Auto in|175.6|0
width = Auto in|66.7|0
height = Auto in|57.7|0
assembly = Ota, Gunma, Japan
layout = Front engine, four-wheel drive
:"This article is about the Saab 9-2X from the 21st century. There is also the Saab 92 from the 1950s."

The Saab 9-2X is an automobile that was sold by Saab in the mid-2000s, but assembled in Japan at the Ota-Gunma plant by Fuji Heavy Industries and based on the Subaru Impreza with a modified body, suspension, and interior. Because of this, the 9-2X earned the nickname "Saabaru" before it was released. The Saab 9-1, a smaller car based on the next-generation Opel Astra, will come in 2009.

The 9-2X was built only as a four-door station wagon. The car's name is written as 92X on its badge, but as 9-2X in advertising and other text.

Saab planned to offer the 9-2X to a limited public, starting in July 2004, for the 2005 model year. It was sold only in North America. Initial sales were slower than expected, with only 410 sold within the first two months; however, incentives and promotions helped drive sales in May 2005 alone to beat the combined sales of the year up until that point. The dissolution of the GM/Subaru relationship in 2005 spelled the end of this model. Production ended with the 2006 model year, and there was no return of the 9-2X for 2007.

Characteristics

The 2006 model 9-2X was priced between US$23,710 and US$27,670. The new for 2006 DOHC turbocharged 2.5 L engine produced Convert|230|hp|kW|0|abbr=on at 5,600 rpm and Auto lbft|235 of torque @ 3,600 rpm.

For 2006, the powertrain consisted of the following:
* Either a 2.5 L, flat, four-cylinder engine shared with the Subaru Impreza in the formerly badged 'Linear' model, badged 2.5i, or a 2.5 L, turbocharged, flat, four-cylinder engine shared with the Impreza WRX in the 'Aero'-badged model.
* The naturally aspirated SOHC with variable valve timing 2.5 L engine produced Convert|173|hp|kW|0|abbr=on at 6000 RPM and Auto lbft|166 of torque at 4400 RPM.
* The DOHC turbocharged 2.5 L engine produced Convert|230|hp|kW|0|abbr=on at 6000 RPM and Auto lbft|235 of torque at 3600 RPM.For 2005, the powertrain consisted of the following:
* Either a 2.5 L, flat, four-cylinder engine shared with the Subaru Impreza in the 'Linear' model, badged 2.5i, or a 2.0 L, turbocharged, flat four-cylinder engine shared with the Subaru Impreza WRX in the 'Aero' badged model.
* The DOHC turbocharged 2.0 L engine produced Convert|227|hp|kW|0|abbr=on at 6000 RPM, as well as Auto lbft|217 of torque at 4000 rpm.
* The naturally aspirated SOHC 2.5 L engine produced Convert|165|hp|kW|0|abbr=on at 5600 RPM and Auto lbft|166 of torque at 4000 rpm.
* A five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission
* An all-wheel drive drivetrain, with very different characteristics depending on transmission choice.

The interior is reworked and has received extra acoustic insulation, with particular attention paid to the firewall, carpeting, roof, and rear window seals. The main piece of the dash is shared unchanged with the Subaru versions, while the door panels, lower dash, and seats are unique to the 9-2X. Saab's Active Head Restraints have been incorporated into the front seats, unlike the Recaro seats in the WRX. The rear suspension arms are in aluminum, with further reduction of unsprung weight achieved by using plastic in place of heavier components, bushings separate to the Saab, and the dampers recalibrated. The steering has been made more responsive and exact in the 'Aero' by using the steering rack shared by the STI version of the WRX, which features a quicker steering ratio, more rigidly mounted steering hardware and stiffer chassis bushings. While it may look similar to the Subaru WRX, the hood, front fascia, front and rear quarter panels, and tailgate are specific to the Saab 9-2x.

Background

Since 2000, Saab Automobile has been a fully-owned subsidiary of General Motors. GM was a 20% shareholder of Fuji Heavy Industries (parent company of Subaru) at the time the 9-2X was conceived. In October 2005, however, GM decided that it would sell 8.4% of the company to Toyota and will dispose of its remaining 11.4% share back to Fuji in a share buy-back deal. The 9-2X will thus be the only remaining joint effort between Fuji and GM.

The 9-2X is not particularly popular with brand loyalists although all 8,000 cars produced for the 2005 year were sold. From the perspective of Saab enthusiasts, whether founded or not, the idea has been criticized for the fact that the changes are mostly cosmetic; yet the 9-2X won the highest IIHS safety awards [ cite web|url=http://www.iihs.org/ratings/ratingsbyseries.aspx?id=571 |title=IIHS Crash Test Results |accessdate=2007-05-14 |work=Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ] . The suspension changes were such an improvement that Subaru 'demanded' to be able to place this suspension in their Impreza model. Subaru, meanwhile, is not happy about its image-building "halo car" being used to help prop up the sales of another brandFact|date=May 2007 – although officially both companies support the idea, and stress their common background in aviation and rallying. Many Subaru owners especially liked the idea since they hoped to be able to use Saab parts to style their Subarus – notably the Subaru interior, which is often described as spartan. Initial reviews praised the car for its more refined handling and higher-quality interior.Fact|date=May 2007

References

* Car Design News, Inc. (n.d.). Saab 9-2X. In "Los Angeles Auto Show 2004 - Highlights". Retrieved January 18, 2004 [http://www.cardesignnews.com/autoshows/2004/losangeles/highlights/index.html]

External links

* [http://saab92x.com/ Saab 9-2x Owners Forum]
* [http://www.saabusa.com/ Saab USA]


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