Saab Concept Makes Something Out of Nothing

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
saab concept makes something out of nothing

Saab is releasing teaser pictures of a new car. But it's not a production model. They're teasing you about a concept car skedded for Geneva. The images have drummed-up a fair bit of attention and press (ahem, Blog about Autos). Considering Saab's lack of credibility on concepts, that's amazing. Do you remember the 9-4X crossover? How about the Aero X sports car? What about the 9-3X concept? And earlier there was the 9X crossover coupe. Now Saab is trumpeting another all new concept car, a new model, a new direction, and a new change of socks. "Insider sources" tell some auto pubs that the concept previews an upcoming Saab 9-1X model (a VW Golf sized car). I'll believe it when I see it. In the interim, maybe Saab wouldn't be in so much trouble today if they had actually built all three of the aforementioned beautiful concepts (and made them AWD) rather than just grafting the grille onto Ye Olde 9-3.

[Pixamo slide show of past Saab concepts here.]

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4 of 8 comments
  • Justin Berkowitz Justin Berkowitz on Feb 19, 2008
    Trollhattan Saab: I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you say “Saab’s lack of credibility on concepts”. What I mean is that they've shown 4 concept cars in the past 7 years, and zero have gone into production. What are the key elements of these concept cars? -All wheel drive. It was available on the rebadges, the 9-7x and 9-2x, and on 600 $42,000 9-3 Turbo X models. But not on the mainstream 9-3 models and not on the 9-5. -Sports coupes (i.e. Aero X) At present there is no sports car for Saab, and my understanding is that they will not be building a Kappa-platformed vehicle either. -Raised 3 door vehicles - the closest is the SportCombi, which is a beautiful wagon but still a 5 door wagon, not a 3 door crossover. I don't blame Saab for GM cutting their funding, but the outcome is that the only thing in production from these stunning concept cars is a new nose for the 5-year old 9-3 and the even older 9-5. You say (and rightly so, of course) that the 9-4x is going into production, as will the 9-1. But future plans don't make for credibility - products on the market do. Otherwise GM's Volt dreams would be much different.

  • Kansei Kansei on Feb 19, 2008

    I was excited about the 9-1 until I learned it was on the Chevy Cobalt / Saturn Ion platform. GARBAGE. They don't even have independent rear suspension. If I was going to pay good money for a dolled up American economy car.. wait nevermind, I'd just buy a Japanese car.

  • Trollhattan Saab Trollhattan Saab on Feb 20, 2008

    I take your point Justin. It's been a frustrating time for all Saab enthusiasts, but the light at the end of the tunnel hasn't been switched off just yet. XWD will come to the 9-3 range as soon as the Turbo X sells out. Production is starting in the next week or so according to my contact in Trollhattan. The Kappa vehicle was never in the pipeline. Regarding the SportCombi, there will be a raised XWD version later this year a-la Subaru's, Volvo's and Audi's (former) offerings that's expected to wear the 9-3x badge. The regular SportCombi that you can buy now will continue to be offered as well, of course. The next three years will be very exciting for Saab fans and the transition they're making, whilst significant, won't require anywhere near the revolution that the Volt will. Cheers.

  • Andy D Andy D on Feb 20, 2008

    born from jets?