How about we take a peek into the crystal ball and speculate/wish/hope a little on what the Saab lineup will look like in 2010? There’s been some of this already on BB’s around the place so inspired by this (and drawing on the wisdom of others), let’s play a little.
Recent news has pointed towards a line being drawn in the sand. The reorganisation and instability of the last 12 months with the partial move to Russelsheim is over with and there is now a refocused effort on recreating Saab design. So what could we hope for?
This is the North American lineup as it currently stands (pic removed due to domain change). Europe and Asia get this minus the two black cars. As it’s well and truly acknowledged, the 9-2x and 9-7x are shorter-term bridges to get into the AWD marketplace. While there’s scepticism about them (and plenty of it here on this blog even), reports from those that have experienced the vehicles indicate they’re capable of making a contribution that doesn’t do tangible harm to the brand (although we’ll wait a little until the 9-7x gets into consumers’ hands rather than just test-drive pre-release experiences).
So what has been said and what can we dream about for the future?
A replacement for the 9-5: This is an underappreciated car IMHO (except amongst those that have one). Well proportioned and in Aero mode it’s got heaps of grunt. Replacement of this model has stalled for the moment but by 2010 it would have to be finalised. Biopower, SVC? It’ll have to be powered by a bigger plant than the current 2.3. Bigger bodied and well appointed. A true flagship vehicle.
Lineup: 9-5, 9-5 Aero, 9-5 Aero Wagon, 9-5 Griffin (tuned spec model)
A new 9-3: Saab get Michael Mauer back from Porsche in order to flesh out the new 9-3. It retains it’s sedan base but gains AWD as a standard. Although the 9-3 Sport Combi is a rip roaring success, it’s dropped by 2010 in order to allow for product differentiation (see below).
Lineup: 9-3, 9-3 Aero, 9-3 Convertible, 9-3 Viggen (tuned Spec Model)
The 9-2x: In order to broaden it’s customer base, Saab introduce a new, entry level, sports based vehicle of total Saab design to replace the Suuby based 9-2x. A smaller, sporty, 4 seater, 3-door sports-hatch with a 1.8 litre turbocharged engine and standard AWD. The 9-2x proves to be a hero rally vehicle with the bigger 2.2 litre turbo option fitted.
9-2x lineup: 9-2x, 9-2x Aero, 9-2x Carlsson (tuned spec 2.2 litre model)
The 9-6x: After much speculation back in the 2005, the Tribeca-based 9-6x crossover vehicle arrived in late 2006. This is now the last of the rebadged Saab vehicles and is due for replacement in 2011 with a totally Saab-based, larger crossover. The base design of the new 9-6x will follow the tradition set by the 9-3 Sport Combi and the new model will provide a larger hatch/wagon than the 9-2x above, but with similar driving characteristics. Powered by the new generation 2.8 litre Biopower turbo and noted for it’s multiple configuration floorplan.
9-6x lineup: 9-6x, 9-6x Aero, 9-6x Sason.
The Sonett (9-1): A ripper of a suggestion by Raven and Ken. My thoughts: Saab make a smaller convertible than the 9-3, with a folding electric hardtop (don’t ask me how, that’s for the engineers to figure out). The car looks as good with or without the roof. It’s a 2-seater, FWD, mid-engined racer with superb handling characteristics and balance that gets the most out of the 1.8 litre HOT engine.
As I said, it’s all speculation and wishful thinking, but it’d make for a nice future. The reintroduction of moniker top-level models and the coverage of the brand would be fantastic. Got any thoughts? Go back to where you came from and add them, or chuck some in comments here if you wish.