Last week we had a poll on Twitter, asking people which model from the Saab Museum they would like to have photographed – the Saab EV-1 concept or the Saab 9-6 prototype. Guess which car won?
Here we are, then, with a photo study of the Saab 9-6. The car is now on display at the Saab Museum after spending several years in
hiding storage out the back.
The Saab 9-6 was a joint project with Subaru, based on their B9 Tribeca SUV. Saab, at the behest of General Motors (who owned 20% of Subaru’s parent company at the time), had already launched the Saab 9-2x based on the Subaru Impreza WRX. This vehicle was supposed to build on that relationship.
Even though the 9-2x was loved by those who owned it, the car was lampooned by the press for being a poorly executed mimic of a cult classic. The Saab was actually better equipped than the WRX of the time with several components from Subaru’s performance division (STi) added to the car, but it ended up selling for a lot less in an employee-pricing fire sale back in 2005.
Whilst it had nothing to do with the fire sale, GM ended up selling its 20% stake in Subaru later in 2005 and the Saab 9-6 project was cancelled. Prior to this cancellation, Saab had built two prototype vehicles – this five door model now on exhibition at the museum, as well as a three-door version.
Many will refer to the 9-6 as the 9-6x, which makes sense as it would have had a 4-wheel drive system on board, which is the usual trigger for the added ‘x’ (9-3x TTiD owners – your objection is noted). I used to call it the 9-6x as well in stories that I wrote about it back in 2005. The museum example, however, is referred to without the ‘x’ in the title so I’m going to stick to that protocol.
Click to enlarge the images.