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Norcross, GA -- The innovative Saab 9X has been named the Best Concept Car in the 2002 European Automotive Design Awards. The honor was announced at the Geneva Motor Show and is based on an annual poll of member designers from car manufacturers, design studios and suppliers throughout Europe.

First seen at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show, the multi-dynamic Saab 9X has earned praise for combining features usually associated with a coupe, roadster, wagon and pick-up within one unique vehicle. Powered by a 300-hp, 3.0-liter V6 turbo with all-wheel drive and conceived as a hint of the future of Saab design, the 9X is the work of a team led by Saab Design Director Michael Mauer. The 9X showcases Saab‰s philosophy that a high-performance sports car can also provide versatility and practical utility.

The official commendation praises the Saab 9X for its "refreshing individuality" and the Saab brand for its ability to "maintain its designer DNA." It adds: "A Saab should remain a Saab and not be compromised by component sharing and the product planning of sister brands."

Comments from designers' voting returns included: "The 9X couldn't be more Saab. It has presence, a sporty stance and a distinguished look."

Another designer observed: "Original and sporty, the 9X is also functional -- as a Saab should be. The 9X preserves the exclusivity of Saab and of Swedish design. It is a car that would have a strong appeal in international markets if produced."

"I am pleased to accept this award on behalf of the design team at Saab," said Mauer. "We have tried to break down traditional design conventions with the 9X and it is gratifying to know our efforts have been so well received."

The success of the Saab 9X was also reflected in further recognition for the work of Michael Mauer, who was chosen as the runner-up in the Designer of the Year category.

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