I think it’s time that we discuss one of the rarest modern cars in existence. Turbocharged power. All-wheel drive. European heritage. Rarity that exceeds a Carrera GT.
That’s right, folks: I’m talking about the Saab 9-4X.
Most people aren’t aware of the 9-4X’s actual existence. A lot of folks think Saab developed it, but didn’t quite get it into production before the bankruptcy, meaning there’s a lot of center-mounted ignition switches left over at GM’s Cadillac SRX factory in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.
But that’s not the case. The 9-4X did go into production, if only for a few months before bankruptcy finally did it in.
The result is an orphaned car with a loose parts network. But the 9-4X is also a unique, handsome crossover with two engines: a General Motors V6, or a 2.8-liter turbocharged V6 also used on other Saab models like the 9-3 and 9-5. That engine made 300 horsepower in the 9-4X Aero, which means that version of Saab’s swan song is a reasonably enjoyable SUV.
Not that I’ve driven one. Because Saab capped production after producing less than 600 units, which means it’s about as common as a Ferrari 575M Superamerica. Fortunately, you can still find a few examples on the used market – provided that you’re willing to part with $25,000, willing to drive an orphaned car, and – most importantly – willing to spend your weekends searching eBay for parts.
It doesn’t sound fun. But it might be worth it, if only so you can roll up next to an F40 at a stoplight and laugh at the notion of such an everyday vehicle.