8 April 2005

The future for Saab is looking considerably brighter. According to inside sources, the next 9-3 and 9-5 models – both due in 2008 – could move exclusively to four-wheel drive, giving the brand a performance edge in the hard-fought premium car market.

Carl-Peter Forster, chairman of the Saab board and president of GM Europe, gave broad hints about the new plan. ‘Front-drive is no longer a core Saab value, but agile, predictable handling definitely is.’

The new Saabs will be based on GM’s Epsilon 2 platform. Sources say the structure will be offered in two widths, the wider of which would underpin larger cars such as the next Saab 9-5.

There is some confusion over the form the new 9-5 will take, however. Forster has promised that Saab will build a ‘global crossover vehicle’, but sources say this could also replace the 9-5 estate.

Saab’s plans for its own version of the Subaru Tribeca crossover vehicle look close to collapse, too. A concept version of the car scheduled for the New York Motor Show didn’t appear. However, sources have confirmed to Autocar that a Saab rival to the Audi A3 is likely to be launched later in the decade.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out