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Saab is trying desperately to remake itself as a premium player in a market rife with competitors offering sharp styling and competent handling. The Swedish automaker has been in a marketing and design rut, which it intends to rectify by offering a new compact model that takes aim at the MINI and other small-sized competitors like the Volvo C30.

The new compact vehicle will be accompanied by a new small crossover and a redesigned 9-5, both of which will take styling cues from the Aero-X concept that has already infused the new 9-3. A new 9-5 will be based on the Theta and Epsilon 2 platforms, and is likely to debut in 2009. The CUV is expected near the close of the decade, while the 9-7X may meet its maker by the end of 2008.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I love that pic.
      Looks great.

      Did I hear that my most hated vehicle ever the 9-7x abortion is going to get cut next year?
      THANK GOD!

      Looking forward to the compact Saab.
      80's 900 type car maybe?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I can see how someone would think of the Subaru aviation grill theme here, but the Aero X is way cooler.

      The Tribeca was bad, the 06-07 WRX slightly less bad, but not great. MOSTLY because of the center grille that is tapered narrower at the top. The side wing thing isn't the problem. But overall, Subaru has found that their design is almost universally panned.

      The Alfa 8C also has a three-grille wing motif, that also looks hot, and like the saab, the grille tapers narrower toward the bottom. The Alfa and the Saab Aero X are both very good looking, so what does that say about Subaru's three grille effort, which they are working to get rid of...

      I didn't really think of the 300M center grille -> aero X center grille, but I can see the resemblence.

      Over-all, though, The Aero X front end, and most of the car, is hot. The C-pillar region is a bit chunky, but it is a concept, and doesn't even have real A-pillars.

      The front end of the Aero X is well done, though, and was nicely adapted into the new 9^3. It looks as agressive, or possibly moreso than my 05 Subaru Legacy with a modified grille (only one grille to modify, thankfully), and blacked out headlights.

      There are certainly a lot of worse looking cars than the new saabs, and it will be interesting to see how the new 9^5 looks. Good design helps competition. Maybe Subaru will take some lessons, who knows.
      • 8 Years Ago
      id deff take a look at a sporting small saab
        • 8 Years Ago
        I hope they get around to adding the X-wheel drive they are putting in the 9-3's. They are really hurting without a AWD car... Then they should also rally the thing.. Look what it did for Subaru WRX's...

        They do have the fastest Pikes Peak racer (800hp, AWD 9-3).. So why not let the masses have something...
      • 8 Years Ago

      Well at least GM is trying to do something about SAAB. Contrast that with Ford and its plan to axe Mercury.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Yeah, but Mercury IS Ford.

        Saab isn't necessarily GM - well, it wasn't.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I owned a '05 9-5 and I loved the car. Too bad a flood killed it. I said I loved that car but wouldn't buy another SAAB until they do something with the interior.

      Sorry, but the center console key has gotta go. Because that damn key is there, they have no place for any cup holders. It drove us nuts only having one cup holder. The over head light styled like a light on a commerical airliner also has to go. Replace it with an overhead sunglasses compartment.

      The engine wasn't as refined as a Lexus, Infiniti or even a Honda but it had plenty of power when you needed it while giving you great gas mileage!

      I loved the '05 but I certainly wouldn't pay over $30k. I bought the '05 when GM was offering employee pricing. Got it for $10k off sticker. Sorry GM/SAAB, the 9-5 isn't worth the nearly $40k sticker price. For that kinda money, there are a ton of other options on the market.

      Why price in the same market as the Infiniti's and Lexus's? Keep the price closer to $30k and I promise you, you'll sell'em. It's either you get an Accord V6 for $25k or Acura/Infiniti/Lexus for nearly $40k.

      The market is wide open for an "almost luxury" line of cars.

        • 8 Years Ago
        "The market is wide open for an "almost luxury" line of cars. "

        Which is exactly why Hyundai is introducing the Genesis vehicles.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have owned two 9-5 Saabs. It's a subtly brilliant car with attributes seldom found in cars of newer vintage. It is a relatively light, small engined, super fast, narrow vehicle with an exceptional ride and excessive capacity for people or things.

      As the redesign nears, no doupt necessary to seem relevant in the marketplace , I hope it won't become another vehicle that brags about..
      -being 6" wider and 7" longer (unparkable in any normal space- like an Audi A6)
      -New, more powerful, less effecient 6cyl engines (is the current 250hp NOT enough? Honestly, with 33mpg, fwy it's pretty crackin)
      -More safety features (and more weight- to a car that's already considered amongst the very safest available, even without head curtains).
      -AWD. Yeah, the market demands it (for the burbs? Where are they all going?) but again up goes the weight. Down the mpg

      What Saab needs to do is grab the green-with-power niche by the horns. People are ready for chic Swedish style with eco materials, diesel, bio-fuels and hybrid tech. I'm not so sure that's where the focus has been directed. If it becomes another fat, American-market-driven design it will need to play the value card agressively. Or just be bloody beautiful. The teaser shots I've seen lean that direction. Fingers are crossed.

      As for a smaller car.. bring it on. Just looked at the 1st C30 at the dealer and it's just about the same price as a V50. Nutty. Neat but WAY too spendy. Saab can keep it concise and cool.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Looks good. If only it would have made to a production stage.
      • 8 Years Ago
      As long as it gets plenty of its own character, the Astra architecture should work plenty well. If Volvo can make a C30 out of the Focus/Mazda3, Saab can do the same.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Could that thing be any closer to the ground?
      • 8 Years Ago
      SAAB doesn't need a CUV, they need to bring back the Sonnett (search Google images if you don't know) A small, light FWD platform is something GM could use in the US anyways.
        • 8 Years Ago
        This is a good argument. I am not sure that GM sees the divergence between the metropolitan market that wants small cars and the suburban and rural markets. For better or worse, it's the urban market that spins out the fashion to the country.
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