What will become of the 9-2x?

I don’t mind the 9-2x at all. Having said that, I do think it will go down as perhaps the unSaabiest Saab in history (My candidates for the Saabiest Saab are here), but having said even that, I wouldn’t mind checking it out if they ever cracked Suuby’s head and released it here in Oz.

On the GM Fastlane blog, Bob Lutz is crowing a massive sales pitch based on the fact that despite July 2005 being the best ever sales month for many models, and he wrongly includes the 9-2x in the field, he thinks the level of awareness is way under what it should be.

That’s definitely the case for Saab. I know there’s been a lot more ads in the US, but here in Australia it’s virtually been non-existant.

What interests me the most though, is the future of the 9-2x. It’s 2006 model release details are all available here. It has the bigger engine for the 2006 model and the Aero will return with a slightly higher power rating and an improved torque curve and rating. In line with GM’s new ‘value pricing’ model, the 9-2x will revert to it’s full price of $26,950 for the Aero and $22,990 for the 2.5i.

Sitting in here in Australia, where a Suuby WRX hatch costs A$40,440 base price (the cheaper non-turbo RS model is A$30,440), those US prices certainly do represent ‘value pricing’. What remains to be seen is whether or not the US dealers can move these value-priced 2006 9-2x’s off their lots without attaching monstrous incentives, like they had to do in order to move the 2005 models.

As good as the car is, even Hellen Keller could do a very quick and basic audit of the numbers and tell you that these cars didn’t move in what we’d call ‘acceptable numbers’ until the incentives and employee pricing deal moved the price of the Linear from an ideal $22,990 to a skint $16,900 (or thereabouts – I’m writing from memory here).

The car’s worth the money, it’s whether or not people realise it and for that, the ball is in Bob and Jay’s court.

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3 Comments

  1. At least the 9-2x is based on a good WRC car. To me, it’s the most SAAB-like car in their stable right now, except for looks. It was the early rally successes that got SAAB on the map.

  2. I agree with Ted about the 9-2x being ‘conceptually Saaby’ — great driver, great (and quirky) mechanicals. Plus, it’s turbocharged!

    However, the styling is a little busy and ricey for my tastes.

    The least Saaby car in history has to be the Saab 600, an attempt to sell the Lancia Delta in Sweden as a part of the cooperative agreement that brought us the 9000. Strictly badge engineering, those cars were actually sold with the Lancia nameplates still in place — the Saab nameplates were added once they got to Sweden. You may see one here:

    http://www.italiaspeed.com/2004/cars/lancia/12/delta/2512.html

    Mike

  3. Ted, whilst I can really appreciate where you’re coming from (I’ve written about my wishes for a return to reallying before), this is most definitely NOT the most Saablike car in the stable. That would be the 9-3 SportCombi or the 9-5 (pre-facelift).

    I also think it’s a great platform for where Saab should be headed (AWD turbo wagon) but I think that if Saab had’ve stayed with its model development program 5 years or so ago then we’d be looking at a much better vehicle with similar characteristics, developed and built in Trollhattan.

    Hopefully the 9-2x replacement mooted for 2008 or thereabouts will be that vehicle.

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