Saab may launch coupe and compact 4x4
- Concept coupe at Geneva Motor Show 2006
- New BMW X3-style compact 4x4 called 9-4X for 2007
- Current 9-3 and 9-5 models to be replaced in 2008
Saab could expand its family of cars with a sporty coupe, as well as a compact 4x4 over the next few years.
Although there's been no official announcement, the company will show a concept version of the coupe at the Geneva Motor Show next March to test the waters, according to industry newspaper Automotive News Europe.
The new coupe is likely to be powered by the new 2.8-litre 250bhp V6 petrol engine which the company has added to some of its current ranges in a bid to boost sales in the US market, as well as to the 9-3 Aero in the UK.
Saab also confirmed that its first 4x4, a BMW X3-sized car called the 9-4X, is still in development and will be launched in 2007. This vehicle is a completely independent development, and is not to be based on the new Vauxhall Antara off-roader.
Originally Saab had also hoped to launch a re-badged version of the Subaru B9 Tribeca, a larger seven-seater to be known as the 9-6X, but the tie-in was recently scrapped. The Subaru launches in the UK next summer, but Saab won’t be getting the chance to sell the car.
The 9-3 and recently face-lifted 9-5 will both be replaced by all-new models in 2008 at the earliest and could adopt four-wheel drive.
Saab admits that front-wheel-drive layouts are starting to struggle with the power outputs of its engines, but says it will never switch to rear-wheel drive.
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