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Turbo X ready for take-off

The high-performance model, which has already attracted deposit-paid orders in Australia, will introduce the AWD system which will appear on the Aero model later this year.

The Swedish carmaker says just 30 Turbo X vehicles (25 Sport Sedan and five SportCombi) will be released to customers in Australia and New Zealand from June, starting from $88,800 and rising to $93,800.

The Turbo X is the first model to offer the XWD AWD system, which can put 206kW of power and 400Nm of torque (between 2150rpm and 4500rpm) from the 24-valve 2.8-litre turbocharged V6 engine to the bitumen.

The Saab XWD system is an active AWD system that continuously distributes torque between the front and rear axles, and between the rear wheels.

To optimise traction at take off, Saab XWD incorporates an innovative pre-emptive engagement of the rear wheels, instead of waiting for slip.

Saab believes the system sets a new benchmark. It also allows the Turbo X to hit 100km/h in just 5.7 seconds.

There's also an active rear limited-slip differential as standard on the Turbo X, set to appear on the Aero's options list. This can transfer up to 50 per cent of torque between the rear wheels, depending on grip. The ultimate Saab performance machine, the Turbo X will start at $88,800 for the 2.8-litre turbocharged V6 manual Sport Sedan or $91,300 for the auto.

Stepping up to the SportCombi pumps the price to $91,300 for the manual and $93,800 for the auto.

Offered only in metallic black with some details in a grey titanium-like finish, the Turbo X gets the full aero body kit, making it the meanest-looking Saab in living memory. It sits on standard 18-inch alloy wheels, while optional 19-inch rims will add $2250 to the bottom line.

The cabin has black leather-trimmed sports seats (or there's an optional premium, natural leather interior for an extra $4000), as well as a carbon-fibre finish to the fascia, door trims, glovebox and gear shift console.

The driver gets a thick-rimmed, soft-grip leather steering wheel and an eyeful of a boost gauge that's a replica from the original 900 Turbo.

Owners can also have a personalised greeting when they get behind the wheel and switch on the ignition. As well as a “Ready for take-off” message flashed on the main instrument display, the owner's name and personalised greeting also can be programmed by the dealer.