More 9-4x mule shots

I wish I could get excited from a new vehicle point of view about these photos. But I can’t. Not to the degree I’d like to, at least.

I’m excited because theoretically I know that the 9-4x is coming. I know there’s a very good chance that it’s the 9-4x that’ll be shown at the NAIAS in Detroit, in January 2008.

But seeing these tells me nothing about what the 9-4x will look like, which is, of course, the first feel that we can get for the vehicle.

Regardless, it’s good to see this mule is still out and about. Djup Strupe snapped these photos with a mobile phone just yesterday in Uddevalla (about 30 mins from Trollhattan). A Saab guy came up to the vehicle shortly thereafter so our DS jetted and shot these off to me via email.

I’ve re-sized one to show here. Click on the thumbnails below to see bigger images.

Saab 9-4x mule

Saab 9-4x mule

Saab 9-4x mule

This vehicle was first spotted a few months ago after it’s initial arrival in Sweden and I’ve posted some thoughts about it in previous entries on this blog. It’s got a 9-7x front and Trailblazer rear, but these are all just panels fitted to cover what’s believed to be the 9-4x chassis and running gear underneath.

Chick the link to check out the full Saab 9-4x archive.

It’s believed the all-new SUV will make it’s first public appearance in early 2008 at the NAIAS. Whether that’ll be in final trim or in concept form isn’t known.

The consensus opinon of insider info coming to me that this vehicle will commence sales early in 2009, though Saab are really keen on getting this product to market and a late-2008 start, in line with the 2009 model year, mightn’t be out of the question.

It’s interesting though, in other 9-4x related news, that Jalopnik are showing spyshots of a camo’d Cadillac BRX, which is going to be the platform sibling of the 9-4x. They regard the Caddy version as being a 2010 vehicle.

Will Saab get this platform before Cadillac? I seem to recall one journo in Australia asking that of a Saab Oz employee and getting an answer in the negative.

So I guess we’ll have to look to Detroit in January to provide more of the answers we need.

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  1. Look for the “concept” version of the 9-4X at NAIAS. Rest assured this “mule” has ZERO resemblence to the actual vehicle. The wait will be worth it to see the “concept” in January!!

  2. I know this has probably been brought up before, but why didn’t they use a 9-7X as a mule? Why use a half 9-7X/half TrailBlazer? That way it would be harder for photographers to spot it as a mule, although if I remember correctly, there was something a bit odd with the centering of the wheel in the wheelarches…

  3. if saab doesnt get this vehicle until 2010 it will be a sore mistake as saab is already behind in many markets and they need to jump in the crossover market asap

  4. Again, dual pipes! Something that neither the 9-7x nor a Trailblazer have in common.

    Can someone lookup those plates?

    Also, I can say that the rear is not is not the same as the Trailblazer, at least in the USA. It is smaller, and resembles a cross between a Trailblazer and what we used to have, a Blazer. I know this needs to be looked into… but it is certainly smaller than the run of the mill Trailblazer.

  5. Nevitz, the guy who supplied the shots looked up the plates:

    The car belongs to Saab. First time in traffic 2007-03-14. Power kw : 224 = 305 hp.

  6. The engine remains a mystery. Certainly GM will share the drive train with another, but which will be mated? Or maybe not?

    [/ADHD on]

    The noted 305hp is more than the 290hp 4.2l I6 and the 300hp 5.3l V8 that are currently offered in the 9-7x. Sure, a bore out or slight tweak could put either at the 305hp mark. Even dual pipes may do that, but… nahh.

    The easy answer would be to assume it will share the same power with that of its stable mates, the Saturn Vue/Pontiac Torrent/Chevy Equinox. The new Saturn Vue has a 2.4l 169hp engine, a 3.5l VVT (Honda) at 222hp, and a 3.6l VVT at 257hp. The Torrent and Equinox share engines, the 3.4l with 185hp and the 3.6l with 264hp. Another to be shared, the Suzuki XL7, gets the same 3.6l tuned at only 252hp.

    The next assumption would be the next size up, the Lambda vehicles (GMC Acadia/Saturn Outlook/Buick Enclave). All of these share the 3.6l V6 which in it’s VVT form produce only 275hp, still shy of the mark.

    As reported in Wikipedia (what I found), it will feature a new varient of the “High Feature V6,” like the LLT version with direct injection. It is SAE certified to produce 302hp. This is the closet number so far!

    In fact, this engine has just made a silent debut in the 2008 Cadillac STS.

    So if this is the engine, it has debuted. And we know that it will carry an AWD, most likely the Haldex XWD, which debuted on the 9-3. So the likely fact that the mule has not yet been “sent out to pasture” yet is to try the two applications mated together.

    [/ADHD off]

    Ok, just speculation.

  7. registered as the saab 9-7x trailblazer. sweet. i must be dreaming.

    no, this must be, or better be, some cruel joke saab is playing on us. or, maybe it’s a trap to discover the identity of “djup strupe” (“deep throat”); please be careful, ds.

  8. Man, Saab is pretty good at keeping this one under cover, so far we have basically no information other than it’s a crossover, and at some point it will exist!

  9. In the Jalopnik photos, what car is the one running beside the zebra BRX ?

    (might help to judge the dimensions of the car)

  10. I talked to a SAAB salesrep on the showtour for the 2008 9-3. He told me that for 2009 SAAB was coming with the 9-4X and the new 9-5! The sad part is that the 9-1 isnt coming before 2010-2011. Which s the only SAAB I am waiting for. Because with petrol and diesel prices around 2,3$ US pr liter I want a little car with a low as possible fuel consumption. Not a 4×4 monster engine fuel gussler. I hope SAAB soon find back to its roots with some smart smaler vehicles

  11. I missed the Niklas P. sketches earlier in september. They are stunning and real whow-wheels.

    Altough i’m not suvminded at all and perpedal has a point concerning fuel consumption the only ‘suv-ish’ prototype which has my blessing will be the Lotus APX. Relatively big-sized car with low cx-drag and leightweight construction. If those aspects can be combined with good crashprotection, oh man, that’s the way to go then.
    So a good design will not be enough to stand out in the suv-crowd. Saab has to come up with something really new.

  12. Her’s some pictures of the 9-4X sister/brother car (Don’t know what you call it when it’s an SUV ๐Ÿ™‚ ) the Cadillac BRX. Ez izt inz z German.

    I hope the 9-4x get a better looking vindowline and a lover waist line. The BRX looks almost as i they have slapt a square front and rear on an Opel Antara. If you look at the second picture this to cars are driving side by side. And they look pretty similar to my eyes. Pleeeeese, lets hope the 9-4x does not end up looking anything like this, because the Antara looks like crap, to me.

  13. Tell them to take a picture under the mule! To see if it’ carries Haldex or not. The engine MUST have a turbo, so it’s likely a 2.8 V6 DI with turbo = 305 hk?

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