Thursday, March 19, 2009
Base: 9-9x 4.0t
Up-level: 9-9x Aero
No luxury brand is complete without a range topping luxury flagship. It's a necessity to be taken seriously and to truly compete. The positive image of a luxury flagship rubs off on the whole lineup. Nothing less then an all out Cadillac style revitalization will be enough to truly bring Saab into contention for mainstream luxury buyers in the US. Saab needs a competitive, stunning Full-size luxury sedan. The 9-9x is that car.
The import makes (most specifically, German) guard the upper luxury segment that they control aggressively. Only Lexus's recent offering is a credible attempt at breaking into this market. The German automakers don't take this lightly, they're on their game, and all of GM needs to be focused on making sure that the 9-9x works. A standard complement of Saab features, such as driver’s oriented cockpit, NightPanel, SID, SAHR II and anti-submarining seats are included. Additional luxury features in the interior abound, and include reclining rear heated/cooled/massaging seats, 4-Zone Digital Climate Control System, Heads Up Display, Night Vision, Green LED Ambient Lighting, genuine dash wood, Alcantara leather and a lane change warning system. The 9-9x isn't something that can be done cheaply, or quickly. It has to be done right. Exclusivity, attention to detail and beautiful styling will be the 9-9x's selling points. Even in a high end market like this, there is no exclusivity. On America's populous and fashionable coasts, luxury makes are common place, and S-Classes and 7-Series sedans are seen everywhere. Buyers are starting to yearn for something different, and that is the beautiful opportunity that Saab should work to capture. By targeting the performance segment of the premium sedan market (7-series and XJR), Saab can effectively cohabitate with future high end Cadillacs, which would most likely target the sophisticated luxury segment (S-Class, 760Li). GM needs a piece of this profitable market, and the 9-9x is the way to get it.
Based on an premium version of the Zeta platform, the Saab 9-9x utilizes some engine and platform components that are rumored to be in development and or should be developed by the time we are proposing this car be introduced. For the engines, we start out with the excellent HF series. The HF has the capability to go to 4.0L in size. This would be the engine that would go into the base model 9-9x. The Aero sport model would utilize GM's Ultra V8, itself a variation of the HF series engines. A 4.6L Turbo Charged Ultra V8 powers the AWD system. Unique features abound, and the styling sets the car apart from the competition, along with Saab's excellent reputation for safety and innovation. The 9-9x utilizes all of Saab's technologies and is a safety showcase. It's hard to pinpoint a release date for a car like this, but expect more to be heard regarding this model. We expect it arrive sometime later in the decade, with an introduction in 2009 as a 2010, possibly even into the next decade. We haven't heard anything specific about this model, so it's future is uncertain.
Vehicle Type: 5 Passenger Full-size Premium Luxury Sedan
Size Comparison: BMW 7-Series Standard
Competitors: BMW 7-Series, Audi A8, Jaguar XJ, Quatttroporte
Size Comparison: BMW 7-Series
Base Platform: Premium Zeta
Drive Wheels: AWD; 50/50 split
9-9x 4.0t: 4.0L 380HP HF Mild Turbo V6
9-9x Aero: 4.6L 480HP Turbo Ultra V8
Transmissions: 6-speed Sentronic, 7 speed DSG