Saab 9-4x? Nah, but worth noting all the same

Vince Burlapp, the Hollywood Extra, has posted a picture sourced from Tekniken’s Varld that he’s stated is a Saab 9-4x illustration.

Saab concept

Interestingly, there’s a comment there that reads as follows:

That ain’t it…trust me, I know.

It’s an anonymous comment, and it wasn’t me. I don’t know exactly what the coming Saab 9-4x will look like, but there’s people who do. They all saw it in Sweden earlier this year as Saab Sweden hosted dealers from around the world.

Whilst I’m quite confident that this isn’t the coming Saab 9-4x, it’s still worth a quick look. There’s a lot of 9-3 SportCombi in that image, so I think if there’s something we can get from this image, it’s an impression of what the coming rumoured-to-be-called Saab 9-3x will look like. This vehicle is quite a bit taller than a 9-3 SportCombi, but the impression is still there.

Dealers have seen the 9-3x too, and it’s a definite model for introduction next year. The 9-3x will basically be a 9-3 SportCombi, fitted with the XWD system and raised several inches from the regualr model. This model was planned way back when the 9-3 was first designed, but canned in the big 2002 cost-cut. Photo here.

So whilst the 9-4x will keep it’s apparent anonymity, this picture’s still useful. I think the 9-3x is going to make for a pretty compelling car for the 20-somethings that don’t necessarily need heaps of rear seat accommodation. More of an action vehicle.


Note, this image is from Teknikens Varld magazine, and I covered the initial release of these images back in June.

There was a 9-4x image on the front cover of that issue, and several sources who have seen the car mentioned to me that they got the front of the vehicle about 95% correct. Note, they only said it about the front, not the side image, which we’ll have to wait and see about.

Saab 9-4x

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  1. I don’t know about your speculated target consumer for the 9³X, Swade. How many “20-somethings” can afford a vehicle in the price range that the 9³X will likely slot-into? I’m guessing it’ll be just slightly more expensive than a 9³ Combi with XWD, which would price it around USD38K+.

    This pic of the alleged 9⁴X looks familiar. Has it been released before? It looks to me like the rear end of a Lexus RX.

  2. I just hope that Saab is smart enough not to use black side view mirrors on anything but a black 9-4X. I love what I see on the magazine cover.

  3. You know what cracks me up? That the 9-3X was canned… then GM has to backtrack after the XC90 became so popular… What would’ve happened if the 9-3X went into production and Saab got to showrooms first with the “crossover” ideal (basically what the 9-3X is)?

  4. Ubermich: I still don’t think it would have had an effect on XC90 sales. ovloV has much greater brand name recognition, at least in the U.S. where the XC90 sells best.

    When the 9³X was originally planned to come out alongside the sedan and combi in ’03 was it going to be a FWD vehicle, or was it always planned to have some sort of AWD system fitted, all the while customers demanding all-wheel-drive were told Epsilon was incapable of accommodating AWD?

    How many customers has Saab lost over the years due to not having an AWD solution all their competition has offered for years? They were stubbornly insisting FWD is better and safer in inclimate weather while ignoring potential customers’ desires. Then they came out with the 9⁷X to supposedly satisfy these Saab customers as a “stopgap” measure until they could get their own AWD vehicle out. How do these people get their jobs?!?!

  5. If it gets the Haldex AWD, decent engines and good , flexible seating ( see Mitsubishi Outlander – 5 + 2in the floor) it’ll be a winner. Surely this will be the case?

    I’ll buy one.

  6. Swade, I’m confused. In the more recent post re: Steve Shannon, you said:

    “As our journo buddy points out in the article, the hatch/versatility thing that he’s tld to “stay tuned” for is most likely a reference to the 9-4x. I don’t think there’s any optomism to be held for a 9-3 hatch variant here.”

    While in this thread it sounds as if the 9-3X is just around the corner.

    Clarify ?

  7. Ken, the 9-3x I’m referring to is the XWD and raised up version of the 9-3 SportCombi.

    I guess I’m referring to the SportCombi as a wagon, wheras the expectation for a Saab hatch would be more likely a three door, or something more in the tradition of the 900 and 9000 hatches. I know the current 9-3SC also has a sloping back screen, but it’s more wagon like than hatch-like IMHO.

  8. 1. whatever the 9-4x is going to be, it better represent the next-generation “saab.” so even though i couldn’t care less for cuv’s and/or suv’s, i’ll be interested in the design language and details, like side turn signals in the side mirrors, a new grille area and lighting, etc. if it’s just going to be a 9-3’s face on a cuv, i’ll be disappointed. let’s get that aero-x look going. the cover photo isn’t what i’m hoping for; and

    2. i agree with Gunnar Heinrich, re the sport combi.

  9. Gripen, I agree that the 9-3X wouldn’t have had much effect on XC90 sales, but it clearly *would* have had an effect on Saab sales near the same time period. Unlike most, I don’t believe in this ideal of “keeping up with the Jones’.” The whole, “We’re going to out-BMW BMW” thing, or the competition with Volvo, Mercedes, et al. IMHO, if you build a great car, and put your car in the spotlight from time to time, you won’t have to worry about how you *compare*. The less you compare yourself with your big brother, the more you can focus on yourself – or in this case, your cars.
    That’s why I love the ’08 9-3s. Unlike the previous generation, people actually *feel* something toward it! Now people actually *like* and (maybe even more importantly) *dislike* it! With the last, it was just another car with the key stuck in the center console. You could easily take any cadillac customer over and show them a 9-3 and hear just about the same thing, “eh, it looks ok…” Where’s the passion?! I’d much rather hear, “eww. Why!?” than “eh.” Apathy is the greatest form of hatred. Whatever the 9-4X ends up looking like, I hope it inspires SOMETHING in everyone. That’s what I like about the magazine cover above. Even if you hate it, at least you’re not apathetic about it.

  10. No use to cry over spilt milk and lost sales. The 9-3X will be, like swade says, a 9-3SC with XWD, raised 1-2 inches and some aluminum/plastic add-ons (look at Volvo XC70, or better Alfa 156 Crosswagon Q4 to get an idea of what it will be like). This will be a cracker. As far as I can see, there are no direct competitors in this segment (apart from the Alfa). The Volvo is bigger, so is the Audi A6 Allroad and the VW Golf Plus is smaller. At the moment there are no such cars from Audi, BMW, Volvo, Ford, VW, Peugeot, Renault, Toyota, Honda, Opel or Mitsubishi in this segment. Perhaps the quite popular Subaru Outlander could be considered a competitor, but again that car is slightly bigger than the 9-3X will be. Bring it on asap, it will sell very well in areas with snow and icy conditions in the winter.

  11. I’m sick of all the Swedish reviews of new concept cars or new Saabs that are going to save Trollhättan, “bilen som ska rädda Trollhättan”. What a bunch of idiot most Swedish car reporters are!
    By the way, Saab shouldn’t be building ugly suvs.

  12. Progolf,

    I think the Subaru Outback wagon is prolly the closest competitor to the 9-3X wagon (btw, thanks for clarifying, Swade).

    Interestingly, here in Canada a basic Outback wagon starts at C$31K but can stretch up to C$46K depending on trim.

    The 9-3SC is priced at C$38K and C$46K (Aero), so there’s a lot of overlap. But I’d imagine the 9-3X SC will be at least C$2-3K more than the Aero (unless it’ll also come in 2.0T but I doubt it), putting it around C$50K.

    As a sidenote, an XC70 starts at C$47.5K and can add to C$61K with all the trimmings. So a 9-3X SC around the C$50K range should prove to be an appealing and popular alternative midway between the Subie and the Volvo.

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