• Dec 5, 2007
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]



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  • 29 Comments
      Ben K.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks like a Saturn Sky will a Saab front fascia. I don't have a problem with that, the 9-1 looks great! Surely it won't take three years to launch.
      • 7 Years Ago
      woah...thats a Saab? thats pretty impressive...i want more pics!
      • 7 Years Ago
      There is no doubt in my mind that the luxury sub-compact market is growing rapidly. I think the turn around lies a couple of places.

      Cars are safer - even small cars can withstand some serious collisions and allow the passengers to walk away.

      Increase in engine power - with the growth of technology in turbos and direct injection smaller displacement cars, especially in small cars, are providing high performance and fun drives.

      Fuel is expensive - Those turbos and direct injection along with start/stop in the engine and smaller, lighter cars are making these cars very efficient.

      Cars are expensive - everyone wants a luxury car, for a myriad of reasons. The problem is they are getting ever more expensive. With all the other factors coming together, it creates a huge vacuum that needs to be filled with sub-compact luxury cars.

      I would love to see Saab do this. I'll have to seriously re-evalute my desire for the A1 if the 9-1 keeps to Saab's heritage.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As a previous owner I know the correct spelling is SOB.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Saab has a strong name and fan base. This is the right time to develop a strong in heritage Saab product to attract fresh blood to the brand. I hope they make it a hatch like in the old days with a strong and economical turbo. I can’t wait to see this new model.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Photos of the 9-1 concept are available here:
      http://www.gminsidenews.com/naias/revitalization/saabria/9-1.shtml

      I like it, but I'd prefer a new Sonett if I could have my way.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Those are photochops developed by GM-fan blogger nerds.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the reality is that the average consumer doesn't know that Saab is owned by GM and still associate it with mid-level european luxury. It is a great segment for them to expand into and I think it would find a lot of buyers if the price and the packaging is right. Although you Mini S prices can skyrocket past 30K easily with options, you can also option lightly and not lose much in terms of function and style and come in around 23K. I hope that Saab takes this line of marketing and pricing as well.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice look, but they'll never build it. Come on. A new model hasn't happened in 15 years of GM ownership, you think it's going to happen now?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Saab: Too little, Too Late.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I disagree.
        • 7 Years Ago
        they are a bit late, but their image isn't completely destroyed yet. they still have a fanbase. it's good that they're making a car designed for Saab loyals
        • 7 Years Ago
        Agreed.

        >> but Saab asserts the 9-1 will be sporty in that Saab way

        "In the Saab way"? So you mean, with a typical GM interior with crappy plastic (worse than current GMs), no sense of real identity in style, rebadged GMs, and ridiculous features, such as a reverse lockout to be able to take out a key? Hey, ever thought of how much smarter it'd be to let the driver CHOOSE what gear he wants to park in, or maybe just leave it in neutral once in a while?

        I personally would always leave it in first if I parked in reverse, my usual parking method. That way, if you forget to put into neutral and dump the clutch after cranking, you won't send your car into a hard wall or another parked car in a parking lot.

        Come on guys, use a little common sense. Oh wait, I forgot you're Saab. Nevermind.
        • 7 Years Ago
        That 'not' was a typo. I was referring to an old Saab marketing campaign that stated people with masters degrees and higher were more likely to buy a Saab than any other car. (something to that effect) Your college study reminded me of that.

        Your results are interesting since Saab doesn't really market to college students a lot, but I think you're correct because it's a Euro badge they perceived it as better than 'domestics'. It would be interesting to note if the students knew it was GM (domestic owned).
        • 7 Years Ago
        Paul, wouldn't common sense say "make sure you know where the gear shift is when you start the car"? I dunno, I've NEVER accidentally dropped the clutch in gear after starting. Then again, I use common sense.
        • 7 Years Ago
        For example, years ago in a marketing class, a campus-wide survey showed that college students between the age of 18 and 25 prefered, amongst other brands, the Saab over every single "domestic" brand. These are the people who will be making the money, these are the people who car makers should be catering to.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Andrew,
        How many years ago?

        I don't think that the old data about educated people buying Saabs is not relevant anymore.

        I know a lot of people who would fall into that demographic. While Saabs were great before GM, I don't know anyone who would take them seriously now. No amount of nostalgia inducing new offerings will trick anyone into thinking Saab is still unique or worth another look since the nineties.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Screw the 99. Go for the next Sonnett!

      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saab_Sonett)
      • 7 Years Ago
      cool love coupes.
      woudl like to see more pics, seems kind of saturn/pontiac solstice origin in that pic. agressive, probably no chance then of them bringing it to the USA then.?!?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Menice, that's the Saab Aero-X show car, not the 9-1 concept. The 9-1 will be revealed--future tense.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think is Saab brings that front end (unchanged) to the New 9'5 adn 9'3 in a few years they'll have a very nice looking car,, even if it still comes as FWD
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