A spiritual successor to the legendary Saab 900 Turbo is on the way. The car will be a replacement for the 9-2X, the Subaru Impreza-based estate that Saab currently sells in America.
The Swedish firm has told Auto Express the new car will be a hatchback, not a load-lugger, and that it will slot in beneath the 9-3 in the range, taking on rivals such as Audi’s A3 and the BMW 1-Series. Set for launch in 2008, it will also form the basis of the next Impreza. That car will mark the arrival of diesel engines for the Japanese firm.
Meanwhile, we’ve learned Saab is to unveil a new model in 2007, which will compete with the Volvo XC90. Saab GB boss Jonathan Nash said: "We’ve designed a crossover model that will drive like an ordinary car on the road, but will also be a capable performer in the rough. It will cost between �25,000 and �35,000, and be a cheaper alternative to the Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport."
Over on Saab Central (link above), Jezzadee posted the following rant in return:
It’s not going to have any connection to the C900 except for some
intellectually famished advertising man’s utterly lame attempt to scrape
a bit of credibility out of Saab’s heritage to make up for a total lack
of quality ideas.
I couldn’t resist that one.
I’ll leave the crossover vehicle part of that first story alone for a bit. Suffice to say anyone looking forward to placing a deposit on a 9-6x ought to get down to the Suuby showrooms.
Whilst Jezzadee’s rant doesn’t quite echo my feelings on the announcement, it should be said that the recall of the C900 ‘aura’ would be a fanciful attempt at tugging on the heartstrings of a bunch of model-sick old Saabists. It’s a bit like George Lucas trying to do these last 3 Star Wars movies. You’re glad to see the franchise still going, but you KNOW it ain’t a patch on the original.
So would it be with a deliberate 900 remake.
Bottom Line: If they do replace the 9-2x in coming years with a Saab designed vehicle, let’s not bother pretending it’s the 900 reincarnated and just hope that it’s a damn good quality car.
Replacement for the current 9-2X small family model offered in the US
(and possibly Europe from 2006) – this is now seen as being an interim
model. Next time around, the 9-2’s thought to be a version of the
Vauxhall/Opel Astra, to be built in Europe, rather than a reworked
Subaru Impreza wagon.
An Astra sized model would seem to be the ideal platform for launching an Audi A3 or Bimmer 1-series competitor. Maybe they could mould this body shell over the chassis. I could just imagine an AWD 2.2L turbocharged Swedish beasty getting the 4-ringed hun shaking in it’s shoes!! How sweet it would be.