Saab places it's 9-X project on hold
1 August 2008

Saab's 9-X concept has been put on hold, a company course has revealed. Despite its claims to the contrary, GM Europe's senior management is reassessing the ecologically inspired concept.

Jan-Ake Jonsson, Managing Director of Saab, has admitted that the 9-X concept - which was expected to be badged 9-1 - now has to be "re-defined".

One highly placed GM source told Autocar that the case for the Saab 9-X, as it was shown at the recent British motor show, is currently being completely re-argued by Saab staff.

The debate now centres on the platform Saab uses to build the car.

Carl-Peter Forster, president of GM Europe and chairman of Saab, said that building the proposed 9-1 on the same platform as the new Corsa supermini was 'imaginable'.

However, company sources have said that the 9-X could not survive translation to a much smaller platform, and possible lower price tag, and could simply become a more conventional premium supermini in the mould of the upcoming Polo-based Audi A1.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Features such as the active aerodynamics package - which saw the 9-X's rear spoiler and rear undertray extend when the car was travelling at speed in order to improve economy - would probably be lost, as would the innovative interior design.

However, there is an outside chance that the 9-X concept could be incorporated into the new 9-3 line-up as a kind of three-door 'eco-coupe'.

The Saab 9-X was due to be built at Saab's Trollhattan HQ and would have been based on the next-generation Astra-sized 'Compact Global Premium' platform. The final production version of the car was expected to be revealed in 2011.

However, a recent decision to downsize the next-generation Saab 9-3 has derailed plans for the 9-X. The new 9-3 will now be built on the Global premium Platform and manufactured at Trollhattan.

Hilton Holloway

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week