9X Breaks Cover


NORCROSS, Ga. - Saab's mold-breaking Saab 9X concept, unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) on September 11, challenges automotive tradition by revealing new dimensions in car design.

The stunning Saab 9X is a four-dimensional sports car that defies automotive convention. For the first time, features commonly associated with a coupe, roadster, wagon and pick-up are all combined within one vehicle.

Designed to combine the highest levels of driving satisfaction with great flexibility of use, the Saab 9X is impossible to pigeonhole. The compact Saab 9X may be best described as a sporty, multi-dynamic car that captures the essence of Saab's brand appeal.

The dramatic, wraparound windshield and high waistline are unmistakably Saab and, combined with an aggressive stance, create the expectation of exceptional performance. That promise is fulfilled by an all-new, 300-hp, turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, all-wheel drive and a very low curb weight, giving an outstanding power-to-weight ratio.

The Saab 9X breaks new ground in simultaneously offering the following four "dimensions" and advanced features:

* Coupe 2+2 - seating for four, fiber-optic headlamps, neon strip rear lights, keyless security and ignition system

* Roadster - two powered sliding/detachable/stowable glass roof panels, frame- less doors

* Wagon - fold-flat seating, flip-down tailgate, retracting rear window, flexible cargo securing system

* Pick-up - open rear deck, electro-hydraulic telescopic floor extension, detachable rear roof rail

The Saab 9X project is led by Saab's Advanced Design department in Sweden with technical support for the chassis and powertrain from teams within the Saab Advanced Concept Center (SACC).

"The Saab 9X shows that the traditional way of classifying products is dead," commented Saab Executive Director of Design, Michael Mauer. "It is no longer enough to have a vehicle that is good at satisfying just one role. Today's drivers want more. In this case, they want an exciting, sporty car that also has great functionality. The Saab 9X is the solution.

"It is first and foremost a real driver's car, but it also shows that the performance element can be combined successfully with true versatility.

"We have designed and built the show car as a fully working, entirely feasible prototype which could go into production with very little modification. I regard it very much as a statement of intent.

"It is also a signpost to the future - it shows where Saab is going. It is real, physical proof that we are embarked on an exciting journey," Mauer concluded.

That journey will see the announcement of "at least one new product or concept every year for the next six years," said Saab Automobile President and CEO, Peter Augustsson.

As a result, worldwide sales volumes are expected to almost double, reaching about 250,000 units a year by 2006. "It is a product and marketing offensive that is unprecedented in Saab's history," Augustsson added. "It will see us become an increasingly important worldwide player in the premium car sector."

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