Alex Kersten profile picture Alex Kersten 4 years ago 92
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TIL: Saab's 9-2x Aero Is A 230hp Subaru Impreza WRX In Disguise

During my usual stalk for interesting content, I came across something that surprised me hugely: if you live in North America, you can buy a second-gen Impreza as an 'actual' Saab. Who knew?

Remind me later
Saab - TIL: Saab's 9-2x Aero Is A 230hp Subaru Impreza WRX In Disguise - Blog

I live on an island. It’s not very big, but it does have a massive obesity problem. I don’t know the Queen, I’m not a royalist, nor am I a fan of beer. What I am a fan of, are Subaru Imprezas and anything Swedish, especially Volvo (because tank) and those tasty meatballs you get at Ikea.

So imagine my delight when I spotted a Reddit thread in which a guy tells the community that he’s bought himself a WRX. Interesting, I think, so I open up the thread and notice that he’s now describing an ‘05 Saab that he’s the proud owner of.

Weird, I think, so I open up the pic link and see that the guy’s uploaded a set of WRX images; but wait, he’s only gone and bought himself a modded version with Saab lights and Saab badges on the wheels and steering wheel…

Saab - TIL: Saab's 9-2x Aero Is A 230hp Subaru Impreza WRX In Disguise - Blog

But wait, my petrolhead whiskers tell me to go back to the guy’s description; I’m missing something here. And would you believe it, I was right. This chap has indeed bought himself a Saab 9-2x Aero which, after a bit of research (cough Wikipedia cough) was a model introduced in North America for just two years in the noughties.

Affectionately known as the Saabaru, the 9-2x was as described above; a rebadged second-gen Impreza that was produced in Japan. Skin-deep changes made to the donor car included improved acoustic insulation, a faster steering rack (taken from the STI version of the WRX) and active head restraints for improved safety.

Saab - TIL: Saab's 9-2x Aero Is A 230hp Subaru Impreza WRX In Disguise - Blog

Underneath the Saabaru’s redesigned bonnet sat a choice of two Scooby engines - a naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre unit with up to 171bhp (in ‘Linear’ trim level) and a turbocharged 2.0-litre (warble, warble, warble) engine with a more entertaining 227bhp and 235lb ft of torque. These engines were fitted to the ‘Aero’ cars.

Despite sounding like a great idea on paper - it was a more refined, gentlemanly WRX - it didn’t sell particularly well. Under 10.5k cars were made in its two years of production because of poor demand, and so the Saab 9-2x unfortunately was no more.

The 9-2x could well be one of the coolest Saabs that I, and most of Europe, have never even heard about.