Now that Volvo had launched their small car in the model pallette, the C30, the second car brand from Sweden, Saab, is preparing an answer. The 9-1. The design direction Saab will be heading in, was presented with the Aero X concept. The 9-1 features many of those design clues.
The 2010 9-1 will come to replace the current 9-2X and will be built on the same Delta platform with the Opel Astra. It will be offered in both three and five-doors version.
It will be powered by a range of engine used in Opel Astra, starting from the new 180 hp 1.6 Turbo to OPC’s 240 hp 2.0 Turbo.
The 9-1 will also use a hybrid engine. It will be a conventional two-mode hybrid system with an electric motor mated to either a diesel, petrol or biofuel internal combustion depending on which market it’s heading to. The hybrid system’s operating parameters include full engine stop at idle and full electric propulsion at launch. The electric motors are also used for deceleration, recuperating kinetic energy during braking and coasting thus charging the battery pack.
The L-shaped headlights are integrated in the 3-part-splitted classic Saab style grille. The rear lights are triangular, inspired by the classic Saab 900.
Another feature of Saabs modern design direction is the windshield that curves completely around the pillars and forms the side windows with the small downward curve in the bottom line.
The overall fresh looking design attracts the main public target of his car: young, trendy people that don’t want to be just another Golf driver. A good competitor to the Volvo C30, BMW 1-Series and Audi A3!
A Concept version will be unveiled in 2008 at the London Motor Show. Saab is also considering a sedan and station wagon version. A Convertible might also be possible, but, if built, it will come under the "Saab Sonett IV" name. The 9-1 will be built at the factory of Trollhattan, Sweeden.
The Saab 9-2X was a Saab-branded automobile assembled in Japan at the Ota-Gunma plant by Fuji Heavy Industries and based on the Subaru Impreza, but with a modified body, suspension, and interior.
The Saab 9-2X Aero pays tribute to Saab’s signature torque heritage with a new 2.5L turbo 4-cylinder boxer engine that makes 230 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm and 235 lb. ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm (up from 227-hp/217 lb. ft. last year).
Seventeen-inch all-season tires will be available on the Aero. Sixteen-inch all-season rubber continues to be standard on both 2.5i and Aero models.
The former Linear model will now be called the 2.5i, reflecting the 2.5L 4-cylinder engine. This naturally aspirated engine is now rated at 173-hp @ 6,000 rpm, up eight horsepower from last year. Peak torque is slightly adjusted to 166 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm.
The 9-2X is part of the most aggressive product development offensive in Saab’s 58-year history as an automaker. Also in 2005, Saab introduced its first-ever SUV, the 9-7X, and will launch the five-door 9-3 SportCombi and a refreshed 9-5 Sedan and SportCombi. All 2006 9-3 Aero models will feature a new 2.8L Turbo V6 that generates 250-hp and 258 lb. ft. of torque as standard equipment.
The Saab Aero X concept harnesses the power of Saab’s aviation and Scandinavian roots to make a unique statement in performance car design. Conceived as a study to explore future design directions, its innovative features preview the development of an enhanced design language that will inspire future Saab products.
Thrust for the all-wheel-drive Saab Aero X also comes from a powerplant with a difference. The 400-hp, twin-turbo, BioPower V6 engine is fueled entirely by ethanol, a sustainable energy source that is kinder to the environment by cutting fossil CO2 emissions. The "green power" of this advanced engine gives new meaning to the phrase "performance with responsibility."
All exterior and interior lighting is by LED (light-emitting diode), which has given the design team new freedom to exploit the compact packaging benefits of a technology that will be featured increasingly in future Saab products.
The new Volvo C30 was unveiled for the public at the Paris Motor Show in September 2006, and production begun at the end of 2006. The design of the production-ready model is in tune with the Volvo C30 Design Concept, which was presented at the Detroit Motor Show at the beginning of the year.
The new Volvo C30 has a wide selection of engines, ranging from a 100 hp, four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol engine, a clean and efficient four-cylinder, 1.6-litre diesel with 109 hp to the five-cylinder D5 and T5 turbo engines, providing 180 and 220 hp respectively.
At 425 centimetres (167 inches), the C30 is the smallest member of Volvo’s model range - 22 centimetres (8,5 inches) shorter than the Volvo S40.
"A car that exudes muscular manoeuvrability must live up to the promise of its looks when you are behind the wheel. Therefore, the C30 has a chassis that offers sporty driving characteristics, regardless of whether you choose the 1.6-litre diesel or the T5 engine," says Hakan Abrahamsson.
A brand new generation of Audi’s premium compact, the A3 will be offered at the end of 2010. This car is intended to become the most attractive vehicle in the segment and will be offered in at least three different body types.
LEDs will be included in the front lights for daytime use, in the side mirrors and also in the rear as braking lights. The lateral protection strips will be eliminated for a cleaner design. The wheelbase will be slightly increased and the car will also be widened.
New petrol FSI and diesel TDI engines will be offered matched with brand-new gearboxes including a 7-gears dual clutch DSG transmission. A future S3 top model equipped with a turbo engine is expected to offer up to 300 bhp. Also not confirmed, an RS3 might also be possible.
The new BMW 1 Series went on sale in Spring 2007 and features a model line up that includes the most fuel efficient production vehicle BMW has ever produced. The introduction of a three-door model and a revised five-door come as a raft of new fuel-saving innovations are rolled out across the range.
The BMW 118d, BMW’s most economical car, manages its record 60.1mpg figure courtesy of these features in conjunction with the use of further lightweight engineering. The car now has an aluminium crankcase to save weight. Aside from the BMW Hydrogen 7, the BMW 118d also posts the lowest ever CO2 emissions of any BMW recording 123g/km (putting it into the Band C category for Vehicle Excise Duty).
Other engines in the new 1 Series range record economy improvements of up to 24 per cent compared to the previous model, while emissions have also been cut by up to 21 per cent. These improvements have not been to the detriment of driving pleasure. The new 1 Series is powered by a range of engines whose outputs have increased by up to 20hp with a consequential improvement in performance figures.