8 April 2004

The second half of Saab’s badge-engineered attack on the US market is revealed at this week’s New York Motor Show – and Autocar has got its hands on undisguised pictures of the 9-7X, sneaked out of the company’s HQ.

A reskinned version of fellow GM brand Chevy’s new Trailblazer, the 9-7X will go on sale in America early next year, although European sales plans have been scuppered by the absence of diesel engines.

US buyers can pick between two large-capacity petrols: a V8 of around 300bhp and a 275bhp in-line six. Saab claims the new 9-7X will have excellent on-road driving characteristics, with insiders claiming a better drive than Volvo’s excellent XC90, also a seven-seater. Prices will start at $37,000 (£20,000). The second-generation 9-7X will, however, be sold in Europe and will be a bespoke SUV with a full range of diesel engines, rather than a re-grilled American model. It is also developing a smaller crossover vehicle.

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