Saab is to unveil its 9-4X crossover at the Los Angeles motor show in mid-November.
The second all-new model to be launched under Spyker ownership, the 9-4X is of particular importance to Saab in the United States, where the crossover market is booming.
Saab has long been hampered by its lack of a mid-size 4x4 in one of the world’s largest markets. The 9-4X is the sister car to Cadillac’s new SRX and will be built in the same General Motors factory in Mexico. It’s based on a new platform called Theta Premium that mixes components from GM’s Theta and Epsilon 2 platforms.
Despite the chassis’ GM origins, Saab engineers have apparently been heavily involved in the car’s final tuning. Saab sources say that as well as getting its own exterior styling, the 9-4X also has a unique interior, with a dashboard design that’s very close to the new 9-5’s.
It’s expected to go on sale in the US in the spring and in the UK late next year. However, the 9-4X will be of less importance to Saab’s European sales, since the car will probably be available only with the 2.8-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine.
Saab insiders say the company is “working on a diesel solution”, but the hunt for an oil-burner may not prove straightforward.
Diesel engines will have to be sourced for the Mexican factory, and Saab engineers will probably have to execute the conversion because Cadillac is unlikely to want the powerplant in the SRX.