The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 March 2005

Tons of Saabs

I have now seen a print ad for the Saab 9-7X, which, as noted previously, is basically a Chevrolet TrailBlazer, more stock car than Stockholm. My prediction was this:

[T]here will be a fair number of buyers lined up at the Saab store who will have no idea that the sturdy Swedish steed before them was bred from purely American stock.

The General isn't inclined to tell them, either. From the ad:

With its clean, Scandinavian design, an available 300-hp, V8 engine and a taut, Saab-tuned sport suspension, this SUV refuses to blend in.

Unless you park it next to a Buick Rainier. (Come to think of it, why does Buick have a truck?)

Unique even in its approach to safety, the 9-7X features its ignition key between the seats to help reduce the risk of knee injury in a collision. After all, when a car company started by 16 aircraft engineers decides to design an SUV, status quo thinking doesn't stand a chance.

Of course, there's nothing remotely aircraft-like about this big rig, except for its Airbusoid mass. If this sort of thing actually catches on, we will know it is time for GM to stop all of its Saabing.

(Update, 9 March, 10:30 am: Saab CEO Peter Augustsson has resigned in the wake of a decision by GM to produce most of its European models at the Opel plant in Rüsselsheim, Germany instead of at Saab's Swedish facilities.)

Posted at 8:52 PM to Driver's Seat