Saab Unveils New 9-7X SUV At New York Auto Show | Part Two

Saab 9-7X SUV

Saab 9-7X

"The Saab 9-7X emphasizes the ‘sport’ aspect of the Sport Utility Vehicle nomenclature," says Peter Augustsson, Saab’s President and CEO. "It is a very dynamic vehicle that you want to drive."

Research conducted by Saab revealed that 39 per cent of Saab owners in the USA also have an SUV in the household. Furthermore, almost 30 per cent of American Saab customers who leave the Saab brand go on to purchase an SUV.

The 9-7X is designed to satisfy existing Saab owners, and attract new buyers to the marque. The Saab 9-7X will be positioned in the $37,000 to $45,000 (£23,200-£28,200) price bracket. The high-performance 5.3-litre V8, delivering around 300 bhp, is destined to be an attractive offer among mid-luxury SUVs. Product content will be comprehensive, including standard leather upholstery, 18" alloy wheels, all-wheel-drive and a state-of-the-art audio system.

The Design: Saab distinction at a glance

"The exterior and interior design of the 9-7X reflect the vehicle’s dynamic road behaviour, and convey the sporty feel of a Saab, rather than the ruggedness of a traditional SUV," comments Michael Mauer. "For example, the interior features such Saab icons at the air vents with their distinctive sliding plate design, the famed Saab cupholder, and our traditional central ignition in the centre console."

The 9-7X reflects Saab’s sporty and functional brand character throughout its design. Key exterior features, such as Saab’s signature three-port grille, rear quarter windows that visually appear to wrap around the D-pillars, and brand-distinctive wheels, telegraph the 9-7X’s heritage, even from a distance. Overall, the 9-7X presents a very smooth, aerodynamic, sporty appearance, with an excellent body-to-tyre relationship, derived from the car’s low stance, in combination with its standard 18" wheels.

The 9-7X’s profile is clean and uninterrupted, without the usual SUV big bumper offsets or protruding shapes and forms. The tail lamps are vertically stacked with clear acrylic lenses, reflector optics and precision-detailed bezels combining to create a three-dimensional, jewel-like effect.

The new Saab’s cockpit is highly refined and driver-orientated. The instrument panel’s center stack and controls are angled toward the driver. Like the exterior, the 9-7X features Saab-traditional strong, distinctive design cues.

continues... | Part Three
Published 7 April 2004 Melanie Carter

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