9-4x Snippets

Jan-Ake Jonsson has been entertaining the press in Sweden this weekend and even showed them a picture of the coming 9-4x. Lucky sods.

The word out of the press gig is that it won’t be available for purchase until 2009, when we get a look at it at the Frankfurt Motor Show. What a shame it wont be shown in Frankfurt this year, though maybe there’ll be something in concept form*.

The writer, from Sweden’s Expressen newspaper went so far as to say that the 9-4x image he saw was the best looking Saab – ever.

That’s a mighty big call and I can think of a bunch of 900 Aero, 99TU2, Viggen and 96 owners (not to mention one deceased designer) who might disagree. Then again, it might really be that good.

Other news from the article includes Jan Ake talking about the 9-4x”

‘It’s good looking, isn’t it? This one will be perfect,’ says Jan-Åke who is in a really good mood the whole evening.

And Jan-Ake talking about the future for Saab:

“General Motors has positioned Saab exactly right on the map over it’s brands. Future Saab’s will be bought by well educated and relatively rich buyers. GM have used our model (i.e. analysis) of the market and we are definitely in the right position’, says Jan-Åke.


* I wonder what will be at Frankfurt in September this year, then?

The new 9-3 as we’ll see it in Sweden? Maybe a premiere of the Black Turbo, or 9-3 AWD SportWagon – or will they save all that for Geneva as it’s most likely going to be a MY08.5 release?

The mind boggles.

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  1. Interesting stuff.

    My guess is cross country and XWD in frankfurt. Given only 3-4 years left of the product cycle, can not wait too long to introduce those versions.

    Personaly, think a CC version will be much more important than just the AWD feature. Look at the subaru outback… Half of the one you see are outbacks and not legacys. Same for the V70. The potential buyer is predominately wommen. Want something smaller, safe etc. They do not want the xwd for sportyness, they want it for safety (which you can discuss if it provides) plus they want extra plastic on the bumpers.

    I would guess a 9-4 consept in detroit (the most important market) with the final product showed at detroit 2009.

    Geneva next year will get a consept for the 9-1 is my bet, given that the most important market for that is europe.

  2. 9-4X, 9-3SS & SC facelift, but where is the all-important 9-5? Nary a picture or news of the flagship range. Have they forgotten us, the pilots of the 9000 and the 9-5 jets. We need to whip the 5 series, the C and E class Mercedes, the S80, the A6 and dare I say the A8?

  3. …certainly high praise (by jan-ake). i hope it’s justified.

    if it turns out to be just the new 9-3 front end on something bigger than a combi but smaller than the 9-7x, i will be disappointed, for at least 2 reasons:

    1. it’s supposed to be saab’s new “look” (which won’t be new by then); and

    2. it won’t be “aero-x” enough. (a deeper grille doth not an aero-x “look” maketh!)

  4. “Future Saab’s will be bought by well educated and relatively rich buyers.”

    Too bad. Well educated, sure, it’s ok. But “relatively rich”? What called relatively rich in the US or in Sweden, it’s called “millionaire” in our Central-European region. :((
    I know many Saab owners in Hungary, no one is millionaire. It also means that todays Saab owners couldn’t afford future Saabs… :((

  5. I would say that the lineup will look something like this:

    2007: 9-3 facelift
    late 2007: 9-3 XWD
    early 2008: 9-3 Black turbo
    late 2008: all new 9-5
    2009: all new 9-4x
    late 2010: all new 9-3
    2011: all new 9-1

    Of course there will be more news in-between these launches with new engines and version on existing models.

  6. I would guess that they will just show the revised 9-3 at the show but a concept mockup of the 9-4x would make sense, as the design is frozen.

    If I am reading this correctly then SAAB will be losing its value tag and boosting prices and quailty. About time too.

    If AWD is going to be available then they are doing this right, drip feeding models over the next 2 years to keep their profile high.

  7. Re: “It also means that todays Saab owners couldn’t afford future Saabs… :((”
    Ivan, that’s one of the things that made me mad at Saab back in the 70s/80s. They had been well supported all along during the 2-cycle years by people who weren’t rich, and then they simply abandoned them. They could have continued a variation of the 96 but refused because it would hurt the “image” of the more upscale cars they were making. I really wish they would make one smaller model that the middle class could afford. If they don’t, then all their talk about safety and being environmentally benign is just pure bulls**t.

  8. Maybe we should not jump to conclusion with just one journalists interpretation of Saab’s future. Everyone seems to think that Saab need to be more premium, and that brnads like Audi and BMW are something to go after. Well, Audi are selling like 800.000 cars a year? BMW are even more premium and are selleing close to 1.000.000 a year if I remember correctly, There are obviously a market despit higher prices.

    I don’t know what all you people really want. They show a heavily face-lifted 9-3 and some say “is that all?”. We think they shoud be more premium, have higher quality, more technology – but complain when that obviously mean that the car will cost more?

  9. I’m not one of those asking for Saab to compete at the top of the market. Against the A8? No way!!

    I want to see them no more upscale then they are currently; if anything lower. All the regular readers know what I think: go against VW, Subie, Acura, (lower) Audi, not BMW, MB, (upper) Audi.

    I say less premium, higher quality, and only the amount of technology that can be used without compromising reliability.

  10. Re-reading my last comment, I think we need to be sure what we’re talking about with quality. There’s quality of materials inside, which in my opinion has to be nicer than the 9-3 SS but it doesn’t have to be like Audi. Then there’s quality mechanically in a reliability sense, which has to improve much more I think. Better less tech, most people won’t care if the electronics are not state of the art if they work fine.

    Or maybe I’m just sore about reliability, since my Viggen has been practically falling apart since 115,000 miles……

  11. ctm, My comment wasn’t so much about Saabs costing more than it was about the apparent focus on the rich. I don’t think many college professors will be among the highly educated they’re aiming at. I just think they should also provide a product for the middle income families. I think I basically agree with Adam’s comment. I myself would like high quality, but less high-tech stuff. From comments I’ve seen here, it seems that Saab sells basic models in Sweden (roll-up windows, etc.) that they don’t sell in the USA. I wish they would offer those here too.

  12. I’m with Adam. If Honda can do it SAAB can and should.

    BTW i think the quality of the current 9-3 is certainly acceptable. Could be better though.

    I would hate to see SAAB go down the BMW path of overloading their cars so full of unnecessary tech that it becomes a turkey.

  13. I think the c900 was relatively excellent quality. Parts, and interior. I am very fond of my c900, and want an SPG after all my 9000aero, then after my viggen aspirations…

    If Saab built a replica c900 today, I’d buy in a heartbeat, but they don’t. I want them to build cars like they used to. But GM is in the way, somewhat. So how much can they really change?

  14. Didn’t the c900 cost around $52,000 adjusted when it first came out? If you can’t buy new Saab, buy a used one. I don’t see price being a problem here as long as the product matches it.. theres more of a market above us than below us. I agree with ctm, too much complaining! 🙂

  15. Someone mentioned the lack of info about the nextgen 9-5, well it was shown at the same time as the 9-4x and 9-3…

    About nextgen 9-5 (swedish):
    “Saab vågade också visa de första bilderna på nästa generation 9-5. Sedanmodellen liknade ingen Saab du sett tidigare och kombiversionen var, ja, annorlunda.
    Det är tveksamt om Saab verkligen vågar gå vidare med 9-5 enligt de bilder de visade i Frankfurt. Kanske var det ett tecken att 9-5 i full skala drogs in från den viktiga visningen i sista stund.”

    (sort of) translated

    “Saab also showed us the first pictures of next gen 9-5. The sedan (SS) looks no Saab you’ve ever seen before and the hatchback (SC), well it was different. It’s not likely that Saab will proceed with the 9-5 according to the pictures they showed in Frankfurt. Maybe it was a sign that the 9-5 in full scale was withdrawn from this important viewing.”

    Source: http://www.expressen.se/motor/2.464/1.678032

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