These pictures show the new Saab 9-3X ahead of its scheduled public debut at the Geneva motor show in March.
Based on the Saab 9-3 estate, the Saab 9-3X variant adds beefed-up ride height, tougher-looking front styling and a body kit to give the junior Saab a semi-SUV look.
The Saab 9-3X is a first for the compact executive segment. While Audi, Subaru and Volvo all have estates based on a similar concept, they use larger models as a base.
“The 9-3X is an efficient all-rounder for anyone who doesn’t want or need an SUV-type vehicle,” said Simon Padian, Saab design chief.
Audi is expected to follow Saab’s lead at Geneva with a similar concept for the A4. And Volvo is tipped to have an XC50 waiting in the wings.
The Saab 9-3X will be available with a choice of two engines, a 210bhp 2.0-litre petrol turbo and a 180bhp twin-turbo 1.9-litre diesel. Both will have the option of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
The petrol version of the Saab 9-3X will be available only with Saab’s impressive XWD four-wheel drive system, which includes an electronically controlled centre diff capable of shifting torque across axles as well as fore and aft.