• Jul 23rd 2008 at 7:18PM
  • 18
The midsized sedan has been growing in all directions for decades, but soaring fuel prices have customers begging for something smaller. GM is heeding the call as it is preparing a smaller batch of next generation Saabs. The next 9-3 was originally slated to be underpinned by the Epsilon II, but in March GM decided to instead utilize the lower-medium Delta architecture. The Delta platform will also be used for the next-gen Chevy Cruze, which is slated to eventually replace the Cobalt. The end result will be a smaller, lighter, more efficient Swedish sedan.

With the 9-3 shrinking, Saab will also need to down-size its planned 9-1, which was originally scheduled to be Delta-based. Speculation has Saab reaching into GM's global architecture bin to use the Gamma platform that currently underpins the Opel Corsa. The idea has legs, too, as the Swedish automaker calls the idea "imaginable." Both vehicles are said to contain small, efficient turbocharged powertrains, which is in line with what Saab already uses. We're all for smaller, more agile Saabs, and killer fuel economy wouldn't hurt either.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      This could save Saab. If Saab could redefine themselves as the quirky, sporty, small, lightweight european sedan company they would be doing something that could really sell well in metropolitan areas. They could even compete with the mini as a more utilitarian alternative (4 doors)
      • 7 Years Ago
      The new 9-5 is *never* mentioned in any press releases from GM. I LOVE my 9-5 wagon.. it's a relatively light, fast economical ride.. I just wonder if they're e-v-e-r going to release a new version.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's far too late for GM to save it self from financial disaster with this 180 degree reversal on vehicle size.
      If they were really committed to change they would have announced a SOB version of the Volt too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM killed Saab some time ago. All Swedish character and charm was killed off the day the 9-3 was launched using the old old Vectra chassis. New models planned using Cadillac underpinnings and big bland 4x4s were just another nail in the Trolhattan coffin. It was only really a matter of time before the GM bean-counters and badge engineers made Saab just another badge in a dying empire.

      Another sad day for real car lovers everywhere.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I always thought SAAB had the formula for best fuel economy while keeping the car size large. (i.e. 9-5)
      • 7 Years Ago
      The best news I've heard from GM in quite some time.
      • 7 Years Ago
      For those who haven't noticed, just because a vehicle is smaller, doesn't mean it automatically gets better MPG.

      BMW 128: 19/28
      BMW 328: 19/28
      BMW 528: 18/28

      Cadillac CTS 3.6: 17/26
      Cadillac STS 3.6: 17/26

      Or even that much better (with a lot less power):
      Hyundai Tucson 2.7 2WD: 18/24
      Santa Fe 3.3 2WD: 17/23

      • 7 Years Ago
      I like this idea. There isn't very many small yet upmarket cars and saab could own that space. There is a lot of people like me who don't want an econobox but are still looking for a commuter car with the sweet spot balancing luxury and gas milage.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Great idea, though. Saab's heritage lies in the fabulous light-weight cars that were actually designed by aircraft engineers.

      This will allow them to reclaim that heritage, sorta.

      I think this may prove a good idea. Especially if they make 'em super-efficient - that 1.4 turbo, for instances. With BAS.

      And any other green accoutrements they can come up with. Cork floors anyone? Sisal seats? Get creative, and make Saab stand for something.

      Michael D.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is indeed poor and depressing news regarding Saab, sounds like a step down-market and a throw-back to the malaise 70s. This is especially poor since rival Volvo is reported to step upmarket and some of the small (bet well executed) Volvo S30s are going back to Sweden due to not selling as highly expected in the USDM. I personally don't want to see the 9-3 shrink, be decontented, and only be powered by buzzy, lumpy four-bangers, turbo or not, i.e., not be a sell-out.

      On the positive side, the 9-4 appears promising and I'm hoping the ancient 9-5's successor becomes significant, sizable, V6 powered and well executed.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Michael D.
        Do you realize that the first Saabs were moved by sub-1 litre two- stroke V2's? Volvo always was a "big car" company, so it goes more with its own personality to move upmarket. Saab always was a "quirky" company, with small, but well engineered cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      They better not kill the 9-1 or "there will be blood".
      I am totally looking forward to that car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I didnt know it takes a whole month for news to propagate to Autoblog.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yep: the story of the 9-3 moving to DeltaII has been on www.automotorsport.se (in Swedish) for ages!
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