UPDATE: There’s now a part 2 to this story. Click Here.
Saab Considers Sports Car, Plans SUV – Saab may extend its product range by adding a two-seat sports car and small SUV. The sports car is being considered….
I can’t tell you any more than that as my RSS reader only picks up that much, and Automotive News is strictly subscription only (read: paid subscription).
I guess Jay left open the option of a non-Kappa based two seater…….
Anyone with AutoNews Europe access is welcome to cut ‘n’ past the story into comments.
UPDATE: Thanks to Ted for the link and Mats for leaving the text in comments while I was sleeping (damn time zones!!).
The 1967 Sonett II could inspire a new Saab sports car.
MADRID – Saab may add a two-seat sports car to its lineup as part of its product expansion.
A sports car is being considered as part of the Swedish carmaker’s “diversification strategy to offer a wider range of models,” said Svante Kinell, Saab’s European product marketing business manager for the 9-3 and 9-5.
Saab will show a front-wheel-drive, 250hp V-6-powered concept for the potential new model at the Geneva auto show in March.
“We will show an interesting concept in Geneva that will have the DNA of our Sonett sports car that we sold in the mid-’60s,” Kinell told Automotive News Europe at the launch of the face-lifted 9-5 medium-premium car in Spain.
Whether the concept is built will depend on public reaction when the vehicle is shown at auto shows.
Kinell also confirmed that Saab is developing a small SUV similar in size to the BMW X3. The SUV will be called the 9-4X and will be developed on a vehicle architecture that will be shared with a small Cadillac SUV.
“It will be a worldwide car, but we have to have the right engines for it” such as a diesel, Kinell said.
While the timetable for the 9-4X was not disclosed, industry sources expect sales to begin in 2009.
The 9-4X project follows the canceling of plans for a Saab-badged Subaru B9 Tribeca after Saab parent General Motors sold its 20 percent stake in Fuji Heavy Industries, parent company of Subaru.
The product expansion is part of Saab’s goal to boost worldwide sales nearly 50 percent by 2011.
“We want to reach a level of 200,000 unit sales per year within the next six years,” said Kinell.
Saab’s global sales should reach 135,000 vehicles this year, an increase of about 7,500 vehicles, he said.
Worldwide, Saab sold 96,633 vehicles through the end of October, 1.4 percent more than the previous year, according to the Automotive News Data Center. US sales through October were 32,146, 11.4 percent up on the previous year.
Well! It seems Saab may come up with a two seater sporting vehicle after all. Consider my lamentations from yeaterday to be on hold for the time being. Geneva should be one heck of an interesting show next March with the possibility of this vehicle and the 9-4x making an appearance.
I’m not sure which Ben Harper song to listen to: ‘A touch of your lust’ or ‘Forgiven’. Thankfully, ‘Faded’ seems to be out of rotation……