25 February 2009

X box

It’s another plastic-bumpered pretend off-roader in the shape of Saab’s 9-3X

Saab 9-3X

Told you it was the season for jacked-up, plastic-bumpered pseudo offroaders. Last week we saw the Audi A4 Allroad and the Skoda Fabia Scout, and today brings the Saab 9-3X: a slightly taller version of the 9-3 XWD estate.

So it has the same two-litre petrol engine putting out 207bhp, and the same four-wheel drive system (which makes it only the second Saab to ever get all-wheel drive – the 9-3 XWD estate was the first, unbelievably).

Predictably, the 9-3X gets a lovely set of wipe-clean plastic bumpers and wheelarches, along with a shiny new skid pan. Saab has raised the ride height by a heady 3.5 centimetres, too. Vertigo is a very real risk.

“The 9-3X is an efficient all-rounder for anyone who doesn't want or need an SUV- type vehicle,” says Saab designer Simon Padian. “Simply put, we are offering a trekking shoe that will do what's required in more comfort and style than a heavier mountaineering boot.”

The 9-3X goes on sale this summer, but if you can’t wait that long, we’ll see it in the metal in Geneva next week.

Paul Horrell's written about it on the Foreman blog here and here.

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