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Saab and Cadillac in Mexican 4x4 crossover

Date: 15 September 2007   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

Saab and Cadillac are joining forces to develop and build a pair of "very different and brand specific" 4x4s, which will enter UK fleet choice lists within two years.

Confirming the duo of Mexican built cars, Jan-Ake Jonsson, Saab's managing director, said: "This is a growing segment on both sides of the Atlantic and the Saab 9-4X will fit between BMW's X3 and X5. In the premium sector it has become important to have a 4x4, almost as an emblem, standard-bearer or qualifier for brand credibility."

For Saab and Cadillac the project has the added importance of involving a new 2.9-litre, twin-turbo V6 diesel engine, which will feature in Cadillac's new CTS from 2009 and the next generation Saab 9-5.

Jonsson stressed that while the 4x4 will share basic common technical architecture they will be: "very different vehicles in terms of aesthetics and driving characteristics so removing any chance of brand confusion".

He added: "We believe the 9-4X, which incorporates the X or cross all-wheel drive technology shown in the 9-3 Black Turbo Saab Frankfurt concept car, fits into an emerging sector with the X3 perhaps too small and the X5 too large."

He also confirmed that Saab's expanding portfolio will include a "sporty" rival for the Audi A3, BMW 1-series and Volvo C30 will be built in Sweden and harness the Vauxhall Astra (Delta) platform.