The 9-6x

I took a look last night in order to try and collate all the info floating around the web as to the up-coming Saab 9-6x.  As most know, the 9-6x is going to be based on a shared platform with the Suuby B9 Tribeca.  Given that Saab’s recent outing with Suuby, the 9-2x, has been widely panned by those that view it at a distance (yet widely appreciated by those that actually get to drive it or own it), it’s going to be pretty important that Saab get involved with the project and produce a vehicle that is widely seen as a Saab, and not another ‘Saaburu’.

(Picture now removed due to change in domain name) This is the first concept sketch I’ve been able to find.  Whilst it’s not overly pleasing to my eye (each to their own I guess), it’s a heck of a lot better than the dog-ugly B9 Tribeca.

So here are the known elements from various spots around the web, collated for your convenience.

It’s been widely reported on all the bulletin boards and news services etc that 30% of the people that leave Saab do so in order to buy an SUV.  In addition, 40% of Saab owners have an SUV of another make accompanying their Saab in the garage.  The 9-7x and 9-2x are short term solutions to try and address these statistics.

As mentioned above, the vehicle will be based on a shared platform with the B9 Tribeca, a model that gives seating for 7 and is powered by a 3 litre six-cylinder boxer engine.  There’s no mention of whether a turbo variant would be offered as yet but being a Saab, it’d have to be considered. 

The interior of the Tribeca is quite futuristic, though I wouldn’t necessarily expect Saab to retain much, if any of it.  That was perhaps the biggest mistake made with the rushed-release 9-2x.  Both the Tribeca and the 9-6x are expected to built in Suuby’s Lafayette plant in Indiana.  I’d also expect that they might build them in Japan for the Australasian and European markets, but that’s just my guess.

As to the timing of the 9-6x, that’s a matter of conjecture.  One web service has it making it’s debut at the New York Motor Show, which starts March 25.  I’m thinking that there’s way too little chatter on the wires for this to be the case.  And there’s nothing on the NY Auto Show website to this effect.  Even if Suuby managed to get the Tribeca out in Detroit a few weeks ago, ahead of expectations, I’d be surprised if Saab did the same (but pleased).

Release dates are generally centering around 2007 but with some mentioning the fall of 2006.  This confusion is probably based on Model Year and actual dates.  Given that it’s going to be a 2007 MY vehicle, expect to see it in showrooms at least in North America in late 2006. 

Finally, here’s a spyshot some of you may have seen that claims to be a 9-6x.  Given the grill and rear structure I don’t think this is the case.  It’s much more likely to be the Tribeca.

You can click on any of the photos here to enlarge them.

I’ll keep this 9-6x category updated as any news comes to hand on the model and would appreciate anyone’s additional tips about the vehicle in comments.  Cheers.

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  1. I really like the Tribeca…although the back of it is a little funny. It’s like the put all their engineering into the front and interior and realized they had no money left for the backend.

    I know if Saab gets their hands on this they will finish the job :).

  2. I guess that lends credence to my ‘each to their own’ theory!!

    I do hope Saab do something attractive with it. I certainly wouldn’t mind if they removed the last few seats. Saab and ‘people mover’ haven’t been a traditional fit.

  3. I read somewhere (Bob Lutz’s blog on GMInsidenews ?) that Saab stated they would NOT be putting in 3rd-row seats in the 9-6X due to concerns over occupant safety protection from rear impacts. Meanwhile the Subie B9X will have 3rd row seats. I’m glad at least Saab took the road “slightly less traveled” approach on platform-sharing the 9-6X.

  4. I seem to remember a rumour similar to that too Ken, though not sure where (hence I didn’t put it in the post). I think it’d be the smart play, myself.

  5. Good, I like the idea of losing the last two seats — and keeping the focus on safety. Plus, it might allow Saab engineers to play with body more.

  6. In addition to safety, like Swade said, I can’t swallow the idea of Saabs being mommy-mobiles with third-row seating. Might as well add an overhead DVD players showing Shrek 2 to lil’ Bobby and Suzie too :-O

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