OK, enough of the happy wedding stuff….
I saw this on my feedreader earlier but I’m not a paid subscriber to Automotive News.
Thankfully, EduSaab is and he’s posted the article in comments. Earlier today I put together my own Saab Future Model Timeline based on Djup Strupe intel so the timing of this piece is quite fortuitous.
Automotive News are writing up the Saab model timeline as follows:
Saab’s plans for 2007 to 2010:
9-3: The 2008 9-3 is reskinned, adopting fascia, grille and surfacing themes first seen on the Aero X concept. This model also marks the return of Saab’s clamshell hood design, first seen on the 1967 Saab 99.
The 9-3 will be re-engineered and restyled for 2010, developed on General Motors’ front-drive Epsilon 2 vehicle architecture. Engineering and production will take place in Russelsheim, Germany, not Sweden.
9-5: The sedan and wagon will be redesigned, switching to the larger version Epsilon 2 architecture for 2009.
9-4X: Saab is developing a small crossover using a mix of the re-engineered Theta and Epsilon 2 architectures. The vehicle will debut in 2009.
Mid-sized crossover: GM tried to boost Saab sales by giving it the 9-7X, a mid-sized SUV based on the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, and the 9-2X, based on the Subaru Impreza. Both failed. But GM thinks a new crossover designed from the start as a Saab will help make the brand profitable. The vehicle is likely to join the lineup in 2009 or 2010.
9-7X: The 9-7X uses GM’s GMT360 SUV architecture, which shares a platform with the TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy. Both of those vehicles will be phased out; the 9-7X could be dropped next year
The 9-3 for 2010 is very encouraging. The 2008 facelift is brilliant but by then the car will be seven years old and whilst I’m sure it’ll still be a brilliant vehicle, the modern motoring world moves at a pace where 7 years is two or three too long.
The other interesting thing is that they mention the 9-4x and a mid-sized crossover as if they’re different vehicles. That would add an entirely new vehicle into the mix that no-one’s heard about so far. Makes me think they’ve got their wires crossed somewhere, unless there’s a second SUV planned, bigger than the 9-4x.
There were plans for a Tribeca-based 9-6x some time ago, but these were shelved when GM dumped their share of Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries.
Nope, wires crossed if you ask me.
Saab9X will be hoping for some hatch news amongst all this.
Automotive News’ coverage also includes some thoughts from Steve Shannon about the end-of-the-tunnel smaller Saab:
“It might be the most dramatically styled,” Steve Shannon, Saab’s general manager in the United States, said at a press event here. “The idea is to have an iconic shape. It wouldn’t be a toy.
“This is not a two-seat exotic roadster. It would have a level of functionality. It could be a hatchback. We don’t know yet.”
BRING BACK THE HATCH!