Could premium small cars be the next hot segment? Things appear to be heating up with the MINI being joined by the Volvo C30 and word of another Swede stepping into the fray. Saab will unveil its Delta platform-based 9-1 at the 2008 London Motor Show and it will be available for purchase in late 2009. Nondefinitive descriptors provided by Saab assure us that the 9-1 will be dramatically styled with an iconic shape. There had been some attention paid to a high-roof small CUV idea, but Saab asserts the 9-1 will be sporty in that Saab way, though it will have the functionality younger buyers are looking for.

Rather than pile on to the CUV segment, Saab could cash in some retro love and still make a very Saaby and useful car that doesn't put on truck airs. The Saab 99 of the 1970s could provide some inspiration for the 9-1, resulting in a car that doesn't occupy a lot of space, but can swallow a refrigerator. Look to the 9-3X and 9X for hints about what the car might actually look like.

[Source: Autocar]