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9-2 Debuts in December


New Saab 9-2X to debut in Los Angeles in December

The Saab 9-2X - a new, all-wheel-drive, five-door model - opens up a new, fast-growing market segment for Saab and will be unveiled at a special event in Los Angeles in mid-December in conjunction with the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The new, sporty Saab 9-2X continues Saab's biggest-ever product offensive by taking the Swedish manufacturer into a new market segment with a fresh expression of Saab's traditional reputation for combining fun-to-drive enjoyment and smart versatility.

Positioned below the 9-3 Sport Sedan in size and price, the 9-2X is the first production Saab to have all-wheel drive and will offer excellent driving dynamics, in addition to turbo performance and hatchback practicality. Two versions will be available, both with five-door body styles and all-wheel-drive as standard. The entry level Saab 9-2X Linear will be powered by a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and the high-performance Aero model will feature a 227 bhp, 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.

The world debut of the new Saab 9-2X at the Los Angeles Auto Show in the U.S. was confirmed today at the Tokyo Motor Show by Peter Augustsson, President and CEO of Saab Automobile AB.

"We see a rapidly emerging segment in the United States for a premium, small car below the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan and we intend to be among the first in the segment," says Augustsson. "The 9-2X will help introduce Saab to younger customer group."

Leveraging the global resources of the GM Group, Saab Automobile AB is collaborating with Fuji Heavy Industries to create the Saab 9-2X model in cooperation with Subaru, Fuji's automotive division.

"The Saab 9-2X is the result of a collaboration between two like-minded companies. We both have a special aircraft heritage and a successful history in rallying, and our cars are known for being dynamic, safe and fun-to-drive. It makes a lot of sense to combine our strengths in creating a Saab that can be brought to market quickly."

The Saab 9-2X is scheduled to go on sale early next summer in the USA and Canada, with other markets still under consideration. It is the latest step in the most aggressive new product and concept development program in Saab's history. Within the last two years Saab has launched the all-new Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan and 9-3 Convertible models, as well as three concept cars: the 'four-dimensional' 9-X, the 9-3X 'Cross-over' Coupe and the 9-3 Sport-Hatch Concept, for which a production version is scheduled.

General Motors owns Saab Automobile AB and holds a 20 percent stake in Fuji Heavy Industries and the Saab 9-2X program allows both companies to reach their goals by jointly leveraging the global resources of the GM Group.

Bob Lutz, GM's Vice Chairman for Product Development, said: "The Saab and Subaru brands have a special flair. It is a natural fit for them to combine their talents and expertise in bringing the first all-wheel-drive performance car into the Saab family - a car with great dynamic qualities and exhilarating performance."

The new Saab 9-2X will be produced in Fuji Heavy Industries' facilities in Japan, beginning in the spring of 2004.

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