This is the new Saab 9-4X, a model crucial to the firm’s continued recovery under new owner Spyker.
The 9-4X will give Saab a much-needed presence in the US’s booming crossover SUV segment. The new model is a sister car to the Cadillac SRX, sharing a platform and GM’s Mexican production facility, and has made its debut at today’s Los Angeles motor show.
Saab is pitching it as “a fresh, alternative choice for independently minded crossover buyers” and is the firm’s “next-step in its renaissance as an independent car manufacturer”.
Its design remains truthful to the concept car of the same name first seen at the 2008 Detroit motor show. Sitting between the 9-3X jacked-up estate and 9-5 saloon, the 9-4X gets several of Saab’s signature design cues including the firm’s front grille and headlight design, wraparound windscreen and gently-sloping roof line.
Two direct-injection V6 petrol engines are offered from launch, a 261bhp 3.0-litre or a 296bhp 2.8-litre. The latter gets twin-turbocharging, while both units are mated to six-speed automatic gearboxes. The 2.8 unit is the only one available to UK buyers from launch, however. A diesel engine is likely to follow, but hasn’t been confirmed.
Dynamic features include Saab’s advanced XWD all-wheel drive system and DriveSense adaptive chassis control. The 9-4X is based on a new platform called Theta Premium that mixes components from GM’s Theta and Epsilon 2 platforms.
Saab CEO Jan Ake Jonsson said the 9-4X “significantly broadened the appeal of the Saab brand”. He added that the new car would help “win new customers for the bramd”.
It will reach North American showrooms from May 2011, with UK sales starting from late 2011. Prices have yet to be revealed.