CAR Magazine cover the 9-4x/BRX twins

The name Saabilac is being bandied around again. First used for the BLS, it’s now been picked up by CAR Magazine in the UK for the Saab 9-4x and Cadillac BRX, which are both being developed on the same platform, a stretched version of the Theta platform.

CAR have used the same pictures that Jalopnik featured earlier today, which I covered in my own post about the recent sighting of the 9-7x-clad mule spotted in Sweden yesterday.

CAR also make the following claims about the Saab 9-4x, some of which are known and some of which are news:

    – the car will debut in concept form in Detroit at the NAIAS in January. CAR don’t mention it, but I’ll be there 🙂

    – production will start in 2009, in Mexico.

    – 3.6 and 2.8 litre V6s are mentioned, along with a diesel (for Europe?) and hybrid capability in the longer term

    – they say the Saab 9-4x will be XWD only, whereas the Cadillac will have 2WD and 4WD.

    – according to CAR, the Saab will positioned higher than the Caddy, with a loftier price to match

If that last part is true, then I really don’t know what’s going on at GM Europe. If they really want to run Cadillac and Saab in parallel in the European market then I’m pretty sure they want to run Cadillac as a distinctly American and very high spec marque. I’d have thought it’d be a sure thing to be the higher priced vehicle with all the options.

I guess that’s why I’m running a blog and not a car company.

Then again, the blog’s profitable…..

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  1. It seems he was inferring Cadillac when he said “helping to justify the loftier market position and higher prices planned for the 9-4X”, but I wonder if he only meant higher relative to previous Saabs. I can’t imagine them placing/pricing a Saab higher than a fully blinged Cadillac with the 20 inch wheels.

  2. Just guessing, but the 3,6 (non-turbo) sounds like a Cadillac engine option and the 2.8 turbo sounds like a Saab one. Hopefully they will be updated to DI , anyway.

    The 250 (or so) hp V6 diesel by VM should be the perfect engine to the European market.

    Also, I hope they do not put the diesel four from Antara/Captiva to this car unless it’s gone through a proper update.

  3. It’s just tough to get excited about the development of an SUV, even from Saab. I hate SUV’s! I’m sure Saab will do a great job with it, but really, the SUV is a ridiculous concept. I spend a couple of hours on the road each day, surrounded by an ocean of SUV’s, most with a driver only and no passengers. It’s wasteful and insane! Do you need huge brush guards for commuting into Boston each morning? I’ve been doing it for years and haven’t run into much under-growth! I’ve also seen 4-wheel drive SUV’s spin out of control in icy weather on many occasions, and my front wheel drive Saab just kept tracking straight while the SUV went off the road. I’ve also noticed that a Saab sport-combi has much more INTERIOR room than any of the mid-size SUV’s, like that BMW X-stupid or whatever it’s called. Is it fashionable to require a rope ladder to get into your vehicle? People look quite undignified to me as they climb in to the crows nest of their garbage barges. People in this country are long overdue for a collective DOPE SLAP! I don’t know what the answer is, but I wish automakers would offer more attractive, NON-SUV choices to the consumer rather than race to out-do each other in the production of these waste-mobiles!!

  4. SUV’s aren’t all that bad. They are the direct descendants of the Model T: slow, big wheels, go anywhere, dump your stuff in the back.
    I know a few people with arthritis who can’t even get in and out of regular cars comfortably, so SUV’s are their only option.

    The trick is to make an SUV that handles and is economical. That’s not so absurd if you consider that most “crossover” SUV’s are just cars with a higher roofline and more ground clearance.
    As long as Saab makes the 9-4x feel like a Saab (the same way that a Subaru Outback feels like a Legacy), it will be good.

  5. One thing that could help Saab here. A recent article at an online UK website stated that the quality of materials used in a Caddie CTS was very impressive so lets hope that his will filter down to Saab via the 9-4X. The 9-4X better have that 5star safety rating as well.

    Regarding SUVs, I tend to agree with MarkS.

  6. Well, it is what it is. SUV’s are here, and they’re not going away.

    Saab’s involvement with them I take issue with, but, to echo Swade, I don’t run a car company. They’ve studied the numbers, I’m sure.

    I am a bit surprised at the pricing structure, but if the Saab is better to Europeans, let it be. It will not be that way in the US, I’ll venture — the Caddy will be tricked out and priced high.

    Currency exchange being what it is, GM will make a boat load of cash with the Caddy if it’s imported from the US. On the other hand, I believe that the currency markets will be close to historic levels in a handful of months, so I don’t think that’s a long-term strategy.

    I guess the bottom line is this: All car companies make a variety of vehicles. Heck, even Bimmer, MB, Volvo and Audi make SUVs.

  7. I think the BRX should be markedet as more luxurious, and the Saab more sporty. When I think of Caddilacs, beige leather and wood comes to mind. Not so much in a Saab, where I more think of steel.

    After having read the CAR Magazine article a couple of times, I’m unsure if they mean that the 9-4X will be priced higher than the BRX, or just that it will be priced higher than previous Saabs. But why have a crossover with FWD anyway? Why not buy an estate/wagon instead?

  8. Jeff,

    it has been referred (somewhere) before that the BRX/9-4X will be based on ‘theta premium’ architecture – a mix of theta AND epsilon platforms (probably more theta and less epsilon).

    So, me thinks TE stands for ThetaEpsilon ?

    btw, isn’t the Vue a theta vehicle, too ?

  9. If Saab wants consumers to take the 9-4x seriously, it will need to be priced lower than the 9-7x is, seeing as how it will be smaller, under $39,995.

    I do understand that you can’t take away from the 9-5 sales, so it may have to be situated slightly above that, but even the 9-5 starting price of $37,295 seems too lofty.

    This may be tricky.

    I say give us a 5-passender 9-4x for $28,995 and a 7-passenger Lambda 9-6x for $39,995!

  10. I think a reasonable price for the 9-4X would be just a cut above the 9-3 SportCombi- $33,995 for the 2.8t and $36,995 for the Aero model. Factor in some incentives, and the thing will be a steal:)

    I am surprised that the Cadillac will be priced lower. Perhaps that just means the Cadillac will have a lower base price while the Saab will include most of the options as standard equipment.

  11. Maybe the Cadillac will be priced lower in an attempt to overcome the gag reflex Europeans will get when they see how it looks.

    Most Americans are vaccinated against Cadillacs, Europeans aren’t.

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