According to Autocar, Saab is itching to go modular. The company is apparently walking away from plans to significantly update its plan to run a much-modified General Motors Epsilon I architecture in favor of a new strategy that includes a clean-sheet design. Autocar cites unnamed sources inside the company's headquarters who have indicated that engineers are currently whittling away on a versatile platform that will form the basis of everything form a diminutive 9-2 to a lengthy 9-7 and everything in between. That includes the confirmed-for-production 9-3, 9-5 and 9-4x. Autocar believes that the rumored 9-1 will use different bones.
That all sounds good, but the news runs completely against the grain of everything we've heard about the company's production plans so far. Victor Muller, the company's CEO, has previously told Autoblog that the 9-3 successor will be based on a much-modified version of the Epsilon I architecture that's so thoroughly altered that Saab will be able to claim the chassis as its own intellectual property. As the next 9-3 is part of Saab's fully funded business plan, we have trouble seeing the Swedish automaker going to the considerable added expense of developing an all-new, from-scratch platform – particularly when global sales of the firm's current range have been slow to take off.