Saab 9-4X: It Exists

Saab 9-4X: It Exists

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.

13 Responses to “ “Saab 9-4X: It Exists”

  1. Atum says:

    I think I’ve seen a few of these before. They don’t seem that incredibly rare.

  2. Ltd783 says:

    According to wikipedia it looks like they only made 639 9-7X Aero’s (the Ls2 equipped ones, fancy Trailblazer SS’s basically.)

    Which would you prefer? I’ve always had a soft spot for the Trollblazers, and the SS version would be unstoppable. These 9-4X’s, while cool because they’re rare too, just have awkward, CUV proportions. I’d take a one of 21 ever made silver 9-7X Aeros myself.

    • Doug DeMuro says:

      There are only 21 silver 9-7X Aeros?!?!? That’s such a shame!!!

      I’d definitely rather have the 9-7X Aero than the 9-4X. I know people say 9-4X parts are easy to come by, but I worry that won’t always be the case. Admittedly 9-7X Aero body parts may be hard to come by if you have an accident.

  3. Darren says:

    Wow, I honestly didn’t know they actually made these. I remember seeing the pictures pre-bankruptcy and thinking they were pretty nice. But I’ve never seen one. I’ve seen a few 9-7Xs, and thought they were handsome too. But this I like. I saw a new(ish) 9-5 the other day. I really liked where they were going with the styling…

  4. HEADLAU5 says:

    I was with Saab when they went under. The New 9-4 and 9-5 were beautiful cars inside and out. I thought they may have had a chance but after driving the 9-5 Aero X I knew they were doomed.

  5. Jean valjean Raymond says:

    I didn’t think they made any until I saw one driving around Travis AFB a few months back. I should find the owner and convince them to put it in the next car show on base.

  6. Timothy In Boston says:

    There is one parked in the vicinity of Tremont St. and West Canton in Boston most evenings, usually the left side of the street. Not nearly as exciting as an F40.

  7. Tommyb says:

    Doug, thank you for highlighting this unsung hero of automotive history. I live in Washington, DC, and actually saw one of these drive by a few months ago. I did the most dramatic double take of my life when I realized what it was, and after finding out how rare they were, began bragging to all my friends!

    No one cared…

  8. Jeff Simmons says:

    Er…..European heritage might be a stretch considering it’s a GM rebadging of a Cadillac built in Mexico.

  9. guy davidson says:

    great car – I have one. The biggest problem would be what to buy next as I have to say I dislike BMW, AUDI, Mercedes for being made for small people.. can’t even get my head into some of them..

  10. Marko says:

    I saw one of these on I-95 in Philly. The Saab looked silver to me, though it was dark and snowing at the time. The only other one I have ever seen was in Boston (Chestnut Hill, by Boston College).

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