Saab has abandoned plans to adopt and update the existing 9-3 platform for its next generation of models, Autocar sources in Trollhattan have revealed.
Instead, Saab has embarked on a more costly plan which will see it create an entirely new architecture and components set that can be stretched from a 4.2m long ‘9-2’ to a 5.5m-long ‘9-7’.
Despite this ‘future-proof’ approach, concrete plans only currently exist for the new 9-3 and replacements for the 9-5 and 9-4x. Plans for a Mini-rivalling ‘9-1’ will require a different structure, say insiders.
The so-called ‘Phoenix’ architecture, first revealed by Autocar last summer, will use a unique McPherson strut design and a new ‘race-car style’ five-link rear axle which will be made by supplier ZF at a new factory in Sweden. The next 9-5, however, may also get a HiPer Strut front suspension.
Autocar can also reveal that the Phoenix architecture has been inspired by the philosophy of Swedish truck-maker Scania, which is also providing assistance to Saab. Scania’s approach sees ‘fixed’ interfaces between the platform’s various components, allowing individual parts and systems to be easily upgraded over future generations of car without the need for major re-engineering of the platform.