Saab 9X concept
Saab says its 9X concept combines key features associated with four types of vehicle - a coupe, roadster, sedan and pickup truck.
``I regard this car as a statement of intent,'' Saab Chief Executive Officer Peter Augustsson said in a news release that was prematurely sent to some media. ``It is physical proof that Saab is embarking on an exciting journey,'' he added.
The concept is the first effort at a new look for the carmaker by head designer Michael Mauer, who joined Saab last year after 14 years with DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes and Smart units.
The Saab 9X project was led by Saabs Advanced Design department in Sweden with technical support for the chassis and powertrain from teams within the Saab Advanced Concept Center (SACC).
The Saab 9X shows that the traditional way of classifying products is dead, says Saab Executive Director of Design, Michael Mauer. It is no longer enough to have a vehicle that is good at satisfying just one role. Todays drivers want more. In this case, they want an exciting, sporty car which also has great functionality. The Saab 9X is the solution.
It is first and foremost a real drivers car, but it also shows that the performance element can be combined successfully with true versatility. We have designed and built the show car as a fully working, entirely feasible prototype which could go into production with very little modification.
Saab executives have hinted in the past that the automaker is considering bringing back the Sonett sports car, which ended production in 1974. Reviving the vehicle would help the Saab brand image as it tries to boost sales.
Saab plans to double its product lineup and sales over the next five years. Next year, Saab will introduce the successor to its 9-3 small car. A crossover vehicle is also among the new products being considered for Saab, sources said.
The last time Saab unveiled a concept vehicle at an auto show was the futuristic EV-1 sports coupe shown in 1985, which also had a small rear seat and an all-glass top.
Related site: www.saab9x.com