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Saab’s new crossover with 4WD

Saab's first foray into lifestyle motoring will be a crossover model with four-wheel drive. Due to be launched in two years’ time, the on and off-road car will be based on a new saloon platform being developed in collaboration with Subaru.

The vehicle is being designed to combine go-anywhere ability with the driving characteristics of an ordinary car, but it will feature a driving position that is higher than usual, according to Saab GB managing director Jonathan Nash.

To be built at the Japanese firm’s factory in North America, the new car will compete with the Volvo XC90 and will reach British showrooms two years before right-hand drive and diesel-powered versions of the revised 9-7X, the full-size Chevrolet-based sport utility vehicle introduced by Saab in the US a few months ago.

Nash says: "The car we are developing with Subaru will have petrol and diesel engines and should cost £25,000-£35,000. This is a concept that fits well with our work to promote Saab as a more interesting brand. We’re keen to expand and it’s clear that crossovers are the next big thing in the executive car market as more people choose them because they are distinctive, different and more versatile than the traditional saloon designs.

"But we intend to broaden our range further and are planning to put the next 9-2X – our version of the Subaru Impreza Estate that’s sold in the US – into our showrooms in 2008."

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