AWD guessing game? Naaaah.

Royal Ford of the Boston Globe writes the following:

We’ve put our 2006 favorite drives in the rearview mirror, so let’s look at 10 cars we can’t wait to drive this year……

…..A Saab yet to be revealed
All I know is that sometime this summer, I’m going to Sweden to drive a Saab with a new all-wheel-drive system. Saab has long held a place in the hearts of New Englanders, and General Motors let the brand drift in the wind for too long. Coming back to these shores with a new and advanced all-wheel-drive system could turn things around, just in time.

That’s #6 on his list.

SaabKen is taking wagers over at SaabCentral as to whether Royal’s talking about the 9-4x or the MY2008 9-3 with AWD fitted.

I have read on one site that the author believes that the 9-4x, or a prototype thereof, will be shown at the Saab Owner’s Convention in August this year. Well, I’m not buying a ticket on that train of thought.

I’d be happy to be wrong if it means we do see the 9-4x, but I’m 99.9% sure that what Royal Ford will be driving, and what US and Swedish Saabists will be seeing at their respective festivali this year, will be the MY2008 Saab 9-3. I’d bet my grandmother on it if she were alive.

As an aside, I received this from Rick (thanks!). It’s from Wards Autos, however I don”t have a link for the actual article.

General Motors Corp. has created an all-new platform to support a cross/utility vehicle for Saab and Cadillac, entries that could be slated for the ’10 model year.

The new platform, dubbed TE, is a combination of the Global Compact Crossover Architecture (Theta) and Global Midsize Vehicle Architecture (Epsilon).

The new TE will underpin the planned Saab 9-4X and Cadillac BRX CUVs, Ward’s learns.

A strong candidate to build the new CUVs is the Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, plant. However, GM is not confirming any production location.

The CUVs likely will share line space with the Chevrolet HHR already in production at Ramos Arizpe, as well as the new Saturn Vue, slated to begin assembly in Mexico in April, says Global Insight analyst Rebecca Lindland.

“The accommodation of larger tires and a wider track was what drove (GM) toward combining (for) the larger platform,” Lindland says of the Vue. “They utilized componentry from Epsilon, but it still does remain a Theta platform.”

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4 Comments

  1. Swade,

    If no one can dispute the rumor of the following, perhaps it may be safe to say that they could have some truth to them.

    9-4x unveiling at 2007 Saab Owners Convention, Detroit, USA

    9-3SS AWD unveiling at 2007 Saab Festival in Trollhättan, Sweden

  2. That would be great if the above happened.

    Regarding were the 9-4x is to be built –

    Isn’t Trollhattan supposed to have 150K units after 2010? I seem to recall reading CP forster saying this about a year ago. No way the new 9-2 and 9-3 convertible (moving there from Austria) will be produced up to that amount. Plus, wasn’t there a recent article about no further plant closures in Europe? (i.e. Trollhattan producing Opel astras prob not in the cards)

    I’m still hoping the 9-4 and Caddy will be produced in Sweden. The profit margin is higher, offsetting some of the cost. mexico would certainly be cheaper though. I feel this will dilute the brand even further, if it were to happen

  3. I’d dispute it based on the fact that I’d heard nothing to base it on. It’s got to be based on some sort of information. If there’s any source for that rumor, I’m yet to hear it.

    The information I’ve received is that the 9-4x is still some time away and that the 9-3 will be unveiled in Sweden in June and then in the US in August. Given that the US press release indicated that they’d be displaying an important new model for 2008, there’s no way I can see that being the 9-4x. We might see the 9-4x in 2008 as a 2009 model, but I’ve seen no information from anyone inside the company that would indicate a MY08 9-4x.

    Ryan, if you have such information then email me and put me in touch with your source.

    As I said, if we can see a 9-4x that early and buy it as an 08 model, then I’ll be at the front of the line to take a look at it. Yeah, it would indeed be great. But I’ve had no information to that effect.

    And every indication so far is that the 9-4x will be built in Mexico. That’s been pretty consistent.

  4. It’s strange if 9-4X is some time away since Saab said less than a year ago that the 9-4X was the first model to have the new Aero-X design laguage. And since the 9-3 face lift seems to be a big one…

    Also, I find it hard to believe that an all new model (how often do that happen for Saab?) sould be presented at an owners convention. Don’t think so.

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