They still build the 9-3? You betcha, bucko, and they still like the 9-3 enough to give it a few more last hurrahs. But as fans of the original 900 know, all good things must come to an end – and when the replacement for the 9-3 is launched, it will draw much of its development from Saab’s PhoeniX concept.
The next-generation 9-3 is expected to drop soon, in 2012, riding on a newly re-engineered platform that will be flexible enough to be shared with future models. Saab is already planning to use it for the second-generation 9-4X crossover, even while the current 9-4X is just going into production, as well as the next 9-5. And just as likely, the PhoeniX concept will indicate the direction of technology and styling for these future Saabs.
“I think this is an excellent solution for us as a small manufacturer,” said Jan Ake Jonsson, CEO of Saab. “We will be able to get as much as we can get out of one architecture. It will give us the ability to build all of our cars in one plant so you can reduce your investment in the plant.”
Like the concept car, the platform is internally dubbed “Phoenix,” after the mythical car company that escaped near death in the clutches of a multi-brand conglomerate and arose from the ashes of bankruptcy restructuring through a last-minute buyout from the Dutch.
[Source: Automotive News]