July 26, 2007

Saab adds new all-wheel drive system to 9-3

Oshawa, Ontario – Saab has announced a new all-wheel drive system will be available on the 2008 9-3 Sport Sedan and SportCombi Aero models. The Saab XWD system – for “cross-wheel drive” – will be available beginning early in 2008. The line-up will also feature new design and styling inspired by the Aero X concept car.

The XWD is a full automatic, on-demand all-wheel drive system capable of sending up to 100 per cent of engine torque to the front or rear wheels, and variable torque transfer between the rear wheels. It also includes new developments in wheel slip management and, as an option, an electronically-controlled rear limited-slip differential. The system provides maximum traction immediately on take-off, and is capable of applying rear drive, as needed, to balance oversteer and understeer characteristics.

In highway cruising, when traction or optimum grip is not an issue, only 5 to 10 per cent of engine torque is typically transmitted to the rear wheels, providing greater stability and fuel efficiency. With the limited-slip rear differential, the system can transfer up to 40 per cent of torque between the drive shafts, to whichever wheel has more grip. In cornering or lane changing, it will momentarily apply more or less torque to either of the rear wheels, to help the rear of the car more closely follow the direction of the front wheels.

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