Saab has been in dire need of product for years and is finally getting it. But the company's upcoming compact sportwagon and midsize sport/utility are hardly homegrown.
We've told you how Subaru will soon help spawn Saab's new entry model and shown you illustrations of it as well. Above is a shot of the real thing, and it looks exactly like what it is: an Impreza wagon with a Saabified front clip.
The 9-2X Linear will be offered in 165-horsepower, naturally aspirated form, stemming from the Impreza 2.5 RS. Subaru's wildly popular WRX begets the turbocharged, 227-horsepower 9-2X Aero. Both will offer the choice of a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Revised taillights and wheel treatments complement the new sheetmetal, and the interior gets the alumalook treatment and other materials upgrades. The 9-2X will be served in all-wheel-drive wagon form only.
Unabashed badge engineering though it is, it works. This car allows Saab entry into price points it hasn't been able to compete in for years and gives the brand something to replace the hatchback body style lost with the redesign of the 93. It even looks right. No, the ignition key isn't on the console, but who cares? The best news is that there's a tankerload of aftermarket performance hardware already available for this platform--doesn't a 400-horse Saab sportwagon sound cool?