Once the Saab brand is re-established, Managing Director Jan Ake Jonsson wants to add a smaller car to compete against the Audi A3 and BMW 1 series entry-premium cars.
His boss, Spyker CEO Victor Muller, feels the same way. Muller told Automotive News Europe that Saab had “better than average chance” of building what many refer to as the 9-1.
That car would be needed to help achieve Saab's stated goal of closing the gap with BMW and Audi. Saab debuted a concept for an entry-premium car at the 2008 Geneva auto show. ANE sister publication AutoWeek named the 9-X BioHybrid the best concept at that year's event.
At the time, Saab said the car was: “a vivid vision of what a future compact car from Saab could look like. It is designed to reflect the priorities of youthful customers who seek progressive looks, responsible performance and high-tech communications, all in a sporty, fun-to-drive package.”
Saab's lineup will be completely renewed by 2012, which is when the company has promised it will be profitable and will be producing up to 120,000 cars a year, up from just 20,791 cars in 2009.
The 9-5, which will compete against the BMW 5 series and Audi A6, launches this year. The 9-4X crossover debuts in 2011 and a year later comes an all-new 9-3, a rival to the BMW 3 series and Audi A4.