• Jul 19, 2011
Go back a few years ago to when Saab and Subaru were the quirky stepchildren in the General Motors family. That was before GM sold its stake in both, and when the beancounters in Detroit wanted to try something different. They took a Subaru Impreza wagon/hatchback, gave it some new bodywork and presto! the Saab 9-2x was born.

That wasn't the only tie-in between the two that was mooted, however. A second Saabaru was under consideration, based on the maligned Subaru Tribeca. The planned vehicle was scrapped before it had the chance to live, but following much demand from the Trollhättan faithful, Saab has taken the resulting 9-6 prototype out of hiding, put it on display at its own museum and published these photos through its Inside Saab blog for all to see. As you can see, the prototype (like the 9-2x) received an extensively reworked nose in line with the Saab look, but the interior would've been largely carried over had it reached production.

The emergence of the 9-6 prototype has some interesting timing, as Saab itself recently confirmed plans for an expanded lineup that includes a 9-6x – a model that we don't see sharing anything with the castoff crossover seen here. Scope it out in our high-res image gallery.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      That definitely looks better than the Tribeca. I actually think this wouldn't have been a terrible vehicle if the SAAB version got its own interior. Both would have been low-volume cars and at the time, the crossover craze was just heating up.
      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      Even less Saabness than the 9-2X had
        John S
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tenspeeder
        But as with the 9-2x, a definite improvement on Subaru ugliness. (former 9-2x owner).
      MyerShift
      • 3 Years Ago
      So glad this wasn't made. GM really had issues handling SAAB, it seems although the new 9-5 and 9-4X are very nice and appropriate.
      IBx27
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, I'm glad this didn't make it to production. It's the same exact thing as the Subaru save for a small part of the front clip.
      Ross
      • 3 Years Ago
      There's no denying that this is more the looker between it and the Tribeca. Stop and imagine if Saab had designed this originally with Subaru (making it more Saab-ish). I think it could've been a hit when the brand had more awareness. But, even the best nose jobs don't really fool many...
      jimmybobjon
      • 3 Years Ago
      Whats the silver car in the background?
      Delia Potter
      • 3 Years Ago
      I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, BidsOut. com
        Jon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Delia Potter
        Delia, check this site out... www.imaworthlessdouchenozzle.com
        J
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Delia Potter
        The previous announcement has been brought to you by Delia Potter's Midnight Electronics: "Where the prices are HOT and so is the merchandise..."
        J
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Delia Potter
        The previous announcement has been brought to you by Delia Potter's Midnight Electronics: "Where the prices are HOT and so is the merchandise..."
      Dvanos
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ha no wonder SAAB is going down all they do is sell rebadged GMs and Subies.
      TriShield
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is so much better looking than the Tribeca, I think it would have worked. A lot of people online bemoan the cross pollination of brands but in Saab and Subaru's case under GM I think it was a very shrewd and a very good fit that could have born fruit and expanded Saab's base had GM not sold their stake in Fuji so quickly. Both were small, niche, quirky carmakers and Saab needed (and still does need) affordable products. The pairing was very sensible, not unlike Holden and Pontiac or the upcoming Alfa Romeo-based Dodge compact car. Don't forget this is still going on with Saab and Cadillac even though GM gave Saab away to Spyker. The new 9-5 and 9-4X are no different than the 9-6 we see here. The 9-5 is based on the Buick LaCrosse/GM Epsilon cars and the 9-4X is a restyled Cadillac SRX, both cars look and feel like true Saabs. I don't care what anyone says the short-lived 9-2X Aero was a cool car and an absolute steal at their transaction prices. It looked so much better than the Subaru model it was made out of and somehow actually came off as something Saab would come up with themselves. I still regret not buying one new and would love to own a low mileage, stocker someday if I can find one.
        Jon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TriShield
        If they would have made it more different and improved the interior, i could sorta see how that could have worked out... sorta, but its not a real Saab, badge engineering that blatant isn't good for a brand looking to have a premium/near premium image. The problem with it is that both cars would be available in the same market in the US. With the whole Pontiac/Holden thing, the only one here was the Pontiac, you wouldn't see a Vauxhall vrx8 or w/e parked next to its Holden or Pontiac equivs in the states, however if you pull into the grocery store and see a Saab badged w/e sitting next to the Subaru that looks 90% the same, you'd be like "WTF Mate?"
        Darnell Robeson
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TriShield
        The 9-3, 9-5, and 9-4x are all based on gm platforms..true...but they dont look ANYTHING like the cars they share parts with...which I beleive is the way to do it...the way GM is doing it now...this 9-6 monstrosity looks just like the unloved, unpopular, do-they-still-make-those Tribeca LOL...bad idea from the jump
      Austin
      • 3 Years Ago
      So much better than the Tribeca's 'flying vag' front end. Had the Saab version improved on the terribly cheap Subie interior, this might just have worked out.
        Darnell Robeson
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Austin
        Not that I cared about it but he Tribeca had a very high quality interior
          Emil
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Darnell Robeson
          Agreed; the interior is both nice and hq. The problem is with exterior both with chryslerish version and the worst old porsche-like one.
      hlavco
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anything's better than that terrible original Tribeca front end.
      KAG
      • 3 Years Ago
      Saab should have gone with this SUV instead. But, redo the interior.
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