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Saab 9-3X 'Cross-Over Coupe' Concept


NORCROSS, Ga., Nov. 28 -- Saab will make history-twice, when the company unveils its second innovative concept vehicle in just four months at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January. Called the Saab 9-3X, the concept vehicle has been designed to set the pace for a new style of all-terrain motoring. The Saab 9X concept, first shown at the 2001 Frankfurt Auto Show, will also make its North American debut in Detroit.

``The Saab 9-3X concept represents further expression of the sporty, multi- dynamic design philosophy already established by the Saab 9X performance concept at the Frankfurt auto show,'' said Saab Automobile's CEO Peter Augustsson. ``The 9-3X will also show aspects of the design language you can expect to see in future products.''

Setting the ground rules for a new take on the cross-over vehicle segment, the Saab 9-3X combines the sporty styling of a Coupe with versatile features to demonstrate that all-wheel drive vehicles with off-road capabilities can retain a strong, athletic on-road appeal. As Saab's first vehicle with off- road character, the Saab 9-3X could signal that the Swedish manufacturer is preparing to compete in the cross-over market segment-albeit with a uniquely Saab interpretation of form and function.

The Saab 9-3X concept debuts during Saab's press conference at the Detroit auto show, where Saab Automobile AB's chief designer Michael Mauer will be on hand to present complete details. The first official images clearly depict a car with distinctive Saab styling cues. The sweeping, wraparound windshield and sleek proportions, as well as the lack of the cavernous wheel openings traditionally associated with an off-road vehicle, effectively create a ``stealth mode'' sports vehicle, suitable for track or trail.

The 9-3X is the latest step in Saab's aggressive product offensive. Initiated with the 9X, Saab will introduce at least one new product or concept each year for the next six years.