So confusing…..

UPDATE: There’s now a part 2 to this story. Click Here.

———————————–

Just a few days after Jay Spenchian comes out and tells Edmunds that there’s no Kappa-based two seater on Saab’s horizon, Automotive News Europe decides to post this headline:

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.

SUV planned

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……

Saab Sonett 2 small.jpg
click to enlarge

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16 Comments

  1. Here’s the article from AutomotivenewsEurope.

    Sports car could expand Saab’s lineup

    By Paulo Soares de Oliveira
    Automotive News Europe / November 14, 2005

    Advertisement

    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.

    SUV planned

    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.

  2. Very interesting…..

    Saab is making the presentation of the new 9-5 for the journalist in Marbella, Malaga province. At Saabcentral I wrote a thread about the test of the 9-5Aero I made the last week. This unit is one that will be tested in MAlaga and came directly from Sweden.

    Saab Sweden told to the dealer that they are afraid about its sales, because its incredible that they haven’t any catalog and in les than one month it sell more than 5 cars. Its a small dealer.

  3. Thanks Mats for the whole article. I’m especially glad that they said “sports car that we sold in the mid-’60s” because maybe it will be more reminiscent of the Sonett II rather than the Sonett III. I never thought the Italian DNA looked good on a Swedish sports car.

  4. You know, I have a hard time getting my hopes up either way.
    How many times have we heard of a new product only to have it cancelled midway through.
    I give you the Subaru based 9-4X, the Shared platform Alfa-SAAB 9-5, the 9-3X, the 9-1, the on again off again 9-2X replacement, etc.
    Now I read where GM wants SAAB to represent “Practical Utility” and not “Sporty”… and this change of direction comes during the “Born From Jets” campaign.
    I submit that someone at GM is SERIOUSLY BI-POLAR and is off their medication.

  5. Great news if true on the Sonett, but I’m getting mixed messages from Jay Spenchian. Is it on or off?

    Regarding the 9-4X, I have no desire for an SUV personally, but I find it hard to believe that it takes FOUR YEARS to come out with a new model? They’re hoping to introduce it in 2009? Will there even BE an SUV market left in 2009? Hopefully they’re holding out for the “right engine” in it: a SVC based on their recent patents!

  6. Moment when Jay said there wont be Kappa rebadge, I knew that 2-seater was in the pipeline. Why else would he said it that way.

    Best thing is that 60’s Sonett was HARDtop!
    It was also light so hopes on for some heavy use of carbon fibre and aluminium.

  7. TuuSaR is right. The 60’s Sonett (SAAB 97 or “Sonett II) WAS indeed a hard top. I was hoping for a small convertible like the 50’s Sonett (SAAB 94 or “Sonett I”) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saab_Sonett#Sonett_I

    The previous rumors that this would be on the Kappa platform would all but have guaranteed a convertible, I believe, like its cousins the Solstice and Sky.

    I know SAAB already sells a convertible (9-3 ‘vert), but I would like a SMALL roadster. My favorite car to drive was my first, a FIAT 124 Sport Spider, and I’d love a 250 bhp turbocharged FWD or AWD small SAAB roadster.

  8. What I was thinking for this Sonett is perhaps to make it a small hard-top hatchback. This model would satisfy the Sonett II/III fans. Then come out with a ‘vert version for those of us who want a roadster.

    Again, put SVC and SCC in it! Showcase these unique SAAB innovations! We know they’re still working and improving this from the recent patent applications.

  9. I second Jons point about the GM Bi-Polarity. or perhaps they just have a team of monkeys in their PR dept, banging out any old thing with random uses of the words saab, sonnet, 92, X -anything, platform etc………

    keep us guessing. Or is this a very lateral translation of the “move your mind” approach?

  10. Did anyone read Eduard…this is my point…Saab/GM has THE best 4 cylinder turbos, petrol AND diesel, and this blather about the V6T is pointless in anything smaller than a 9.5…the company is General MOTORS right!..so make those dammit gotta have kickass motors…Twin-turbo 300hp,350NM,30-50mpg ethanol,
    biodiesel…who fing cares…just bring it. If you don’t currently have the talent…you’ve got my CV.

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