|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2008)|
|Assembly||Moraine, Ohio, USA|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door SUV|
|Layout||Front engine, all-wheel drive|
Oldsmobile Bravada (2002-04)
|Engine||4.2 L Vortec I6
5.3 L Vortec V8
6.0 L LS2 V8
|Wheelbase||113.0 in (2,870 mm)|
|Length||193.2 in (4,907 mm)|
|Width||75.5 in (1,918 mm)|
|Height||68.5 in (1,740 mm)|
The Saab 9-7X was a midsize luxury sport utility vehicle based on General Motors' GMT360 platform, which also included the GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Oldsmobile Bravada, Isuzu Ascender, and Chevrolet TrailBlazer (and for this the 9-7X had been given the nickname "Trollblazer", although it was not assembled in Trollhättan, Sweden, the traditional production site for Saabs).
The 9-7X was the first American-built Saab. It was assembled in the same United States Moraine, Ohio, production plant as the other GMT360 SUVs and shared many components with its platform mates. The Saab 9-7X succeeded the Oldsmobile Bravada as GM's flagship mid-size SUV, and was GM's highest priced mid-size SUV, as well as the most expensive Saab ever produced. Its bodyshell was shared with the previously discontinued Bravada, yet its exterior was distinguished by its front fascia, headlamps, hood, fenders, roof rack, tail lamps, rear wiper, wheels, tires, and rear bumper.
The Saab 9-7X was the last and widely considered to be the finest of the GMT360 SUVs. It was one of the first Saabs to feature standard all-wheel drive, along with the Saab 9-2X. It was the only GMT360 SUV not available with lower-model rear-wheel drive. The 9-7X was also the first production Saab with a V8 engine. It also featured substantial chassis revisions and improvements, including a 1-inch (25 mm) lower ride height, revised bushings and dampers, standard rear air suspension, and quicker steering to sharpen the handling. The interior design was inspired by the Saab 9-5 with features like the console-mounted ignition switch and swing-out cup holder retained. Missing were the "night panel" switch that extinguished all unnecessary dash lighting, as well as the Saab active head restraints.
The GMT360 platform and the 9-7X were not scheduled to be updated or continued after the 2009 model year. Its position in the Saab lineup was eventually to be occupied by the Subaru B9 Tribeca-based Saab 9-6X, however GM divested its Subaru stock, leading to the 9-6X development being cancelled, giving the Tribeca an early face-lift as the 9-6X exterior was less controversial. Instead, the position will be filled by the Theta-based 9-4X, a vehicle scheduled for production during the 2010 model year.
According to the GM Fleet website, the 9-7X, along with its platform mates, the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy were to remain in production for the entire 2009 model year. However GM closed the Moraine plant on December 23, 2008. The decision to close came early in the 2009 model year as sales continued to decline throughout the North American SUV segment. Sales of the 9-7X declined 30 percent in the first nine months of 2008. Envoy and Trailblazer sales declined 44 percent and 37 percent respectively.
All 9-7Xs featured automatic all-wheel drive with a rear limited-slip differential. In addition to the rear limited-slip differential, the Aero model is equipped with a Torsen3 center differential. All 9-7Xs include leather seats, 18-inch (460 mm) or 20-inch (510 mm) alloy wheels, and side-curtain airbags. Entertainment and convenience features included OnStar, XM Satellite Radio, a 6-CD 6-speaker 275 Watt Bose audio system, available DVD-based navigation system, and either a moonroof or a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. (From 2006 on, those two options could be combined) Like other Saab models, there were two named variants in 2005:
- Linear (later renamed 4.2i) - Featured the 285 horsepower (213 kW) Atlas LL8 straight-6 engine with 12-spoke wheels.
- Arc (later renamed 5.3i) - Featured the 300 horsepower (224 kW) Vortec LH6 V8 engine with six-spoke wheels and added xenon HID headlamps with high-pressure washers and adjustable pedals. The 5.3 litre V8 engine gained Displacement on Demand in 2006.
- Aero - For 2008 a new high-performance variant was added using the 390 horsepower (291 kW) 6.0L GM Small-Block LS2 V8 also found in the Chevrolet Corvette, Pontiac GTO, and Chevrolet Trailblazer SS. In addition to the LS2 V8, the Aero featured 20 inch wheels, improved suspension, a heavy-duty 4-speed automatic transmission and Aero-embroidered leather-appointed seats and floormats. Saab claimed that the 9-7X Aero could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. With very little modification, Aero owners are able to see 1/4 mile dragstrip times in the mid 12 second range.
All 9-7X Aero models were built in calendar year 2008. A very rare vehicle, only 500 of the Aero models were built in Carbon Flash Metallic and sold as 2008 models, with another 118 in Carbon Flash Metallic and 21 in Diamond Silver Metallic sold as 2009 models. The uniqueness, high horsepower, and astonishing performance of the few 9-7X Aero vehicles built has increased their value and is now turning them into prized and sought-after collectibles.
Although the Saab 9-7X was developed for the North American market, the model was also sold in many other countries: Bulgaria, Chile, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Netherlands, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates.
General Motors and Isuzu are recalling more than 258,000 SUVs in the U.S. and Canada to fix short-circuits in power window and door lock switches that can cause fires. The recall covers Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7X SUVs from the 2006 and 2007 model years. The SUVs were sold or registered in 20 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Canada, where salt and other chemicals are used to clear roads in the winter.
- The Detroit News: Saab hangs on by its fingernails
- "GM recalls SUVs for fire hazard". CNN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- Corbet, Brian (July 1, 2005). "Saab Gets Dirty With First SUV". Wards Auto World. Retrieved July 13, 2005.(subscription required)
- Saab 9-7X will be distributed in Switzerland and Italy via importers, and will be sold through selected Saab dealers, The Auto Channel
- "General Motors Presents More Than A Dozen Debuts at 8th Middle East International Motor Show" (Press release). GM Media Online GM Arabia. 11 December 2005.
- GM to close Ohio SUV factory December 23, The Detroit News
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