Currently reading: Saab's 1-series is headed for London
Swedish firm to unveil a concept version of its new entry-level model

Saab is set to wow the crowds at next July’s London motor show by unveiling a concept version of its new 9-1 entry-level model.The new car will be made at Saab’s Swedish Trollhatten HQ and will be based on GM’s new Astra-sized Delta platform. The Saab is expected to go on sale at the tail end of 2009.So far, no news has leaked out of the exact form the new car will take. Early design studies looked at a high-roof upmarket utility vehicle, in the mould of the Mercedes A- and B-Class. However, a Saab company source in the US now say that the 9-1 will be "dramatically styled" and an "iconic" shape. The source added that the 9-1 would be "sporty enough to fit the Saab character," and have the "functionality to attract younger drivers".

Saab 9-1: a 99 Combi Coupe for the 21st century

Autocar understands that Saab has recently signed off the final form of the 9-1 and work is about to begin on the production car.Although a pure utility vehicle has probably been ruled out the company’s classic 99 Combi Coupe – a two-door coupe with a tailgate – could be the inspiration for the 9-1.Iconic styling in the mould of the Audi TT could also be on the menu. Both the Saab 9x and 9-3x concepts could give clues as to the final form of this vitally important model.There’s thought to be an outside chance that US-bound versions of the 9-1 could be built in a North American GM factory.Saab is also set to unveil a concept version of the upcoming 9-4x SUV at January’s Detroit motor show. The Freelander-rival will be built in Mexico, alongside its Cadillac BRX sister car.

Hilton Holloway

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