The 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo X was built to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Turbo Saabs. Offered with Saab’s new XWD system and a massaged engine, the Turbo X was the sportiest Saab offered at the time. Only 600 Turbo Xs were sold in 2008, which included a sedan and wagon version called the SportCombi. Originally built to compete with BMW’s 335XI, the Turbo X offers a compelling blend of performance and luxury. Its $42,000 price when new has dropped into the same range as used STIs and EVOs making it the prefect alternative for those who prefer a more mature car. With a powerful turbo V6 engine, all wheel drive, and low production numbers, the Turbo X is the perfect alternative to the STI or EVO.
The Saab Turbo X is powered by Saab’s 2.8 liter Turbo V6 engine, which was good for 280-horse power and 295lb-ft of torque. Instead of the Turbo four cylinders, which can be found in almost every car these days, the unique turbo V6 puts down respectable numbers and provides an incredible exhaust note. This engine’s linear power band means torque is always available for passing at high speeds, and when mated to Saab’s 6-speed manual transmission the Turbo X reaches 60 in 6.5 seconds.
Saab’s XWD system was sourced from Haldex and manages power between the front and rear wheels. It can even vector the torque to individual rear wheels with the ability to send 85% of the engines power to one rear wheel during hard cornering. This XWD system meant Saab’s performance sedan could finally counter the under steer prevalent in its front wheel drive chassis.
The limited production numbers of the Turbo X make it a coveted car among Saab enthusiast. There are literally dozens of people seeking out perfect examples of Saab’s last performance sedan. With production numbers of only 600, the Turbo X can be difficult to find in good condition but a special car like this is worth waiting for.
The reserved looks of the Turbo X means you have nothing to prove to the general public during your commute. Since the Turbo X doesn’t have a 5-foot tall spoiler or hood scoop, nobody expects you to drive aggressively. Other motorists aren’t going automatically categorizing you as a “hooligan” allowing you to stealthily pilot your Saab to your favorite back road.
The Saab Turbo X is a compelling alternative to the established AWD performance cars. Its mature styling and low production numbers mean you stand out from the crowd without being ostentatious. Its Turbo V6 engine and XWD system make this the first 9-3 to truly live up to its sport sedan claims.