GM's Raymond J Chess and Saab CEO Jan Åke Jonsson w/Saab 9-4X No. 1 – Click above for high-res image gallery
It's been little over a year since Saab unveiled the 9-4X at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, and now the first production example has left the assembly line.
Envisioned when Saab was still under the General Motors umbrella, the 9-4X is based on the same Theta platform as the Cadillac SRX. As such, it's being built not in Trollhättan, Sweden, like other Saabs, but in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.
This first example – an Aero model in Ice Pearl metallic with the 2.8-liter turbo V6 and XWD – carries the chassis number 00001, and will be displayed at Saab's museum in Sweden – after it makes the media rounds, of course. While you're waiting for the 9-4X to hit U.S. dealers in May, check out our galleries below along with the official production announcement after the jump.
FIRST SAAB 9-4X ROLLS OFF PRODUCTION LINE
The first Saab 9-4X crossover to be commercially produced has now rolled off the assembly line at the Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico.
Saab Automobile President & CEO Jan Åke Jonsson was on hand to see regular production begin, just three months after the 9-4X was unveiled last November at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. Jonsson was joined by Executive Director Vehicle Lines, Anders Svensson, and 9-4X Product Manager, Mikael Jacobsson.
The first vehicle - chassis number 00001 - an Ice Pearl metallic Aero model with a 2.8V6 turbo engine, is bound for a media test drive event in the United States before being shipped to Sweden for display at the Saab car museum.
"This is a great day for Saab," said Jonsson. "The arrival of the 9-4X is another important step in the fulfillment of our business plan. This sporty and distinctive product will significantly broaden the appeal of our brand and give us access to an important new vehicle segment that is still growing, particularly in the United States."
Featuring Saab's advanced XWD all-wheel-drive system and adaptive chassis control, the 9-4X goes on sale in the United States in May, UK sales start late 2011 and Europe and other world markets are scheduled to begin from August.