The Saab 9X is the awesome concept you've forgotten about
It was in many ways the most complete car and could have changed Saab's fortunes
Is it a coupe? Yes. Is it a roadster? Yes. Is it a wagon? Yes. Is it a pickup? Yes. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Saab 9X.
The 9X shows us why people loved Saab. The Swedish bran's out-of-the-box approach was something people liked. With the 9X concept, Saab stunned the 2001 Frankfurt Motor Show with a car that could tackle whatever you threw at it. From being a hatchback to carrying stuff for the family picnic, the 9X could do it all.
The 9X had fibre-optic headlamps and 2+2 seating like a coupe. Furthermore, as shown in the images above, you could remove the two powered sliding/detachable/stowable glass roof panels of the 9X and convert it into a roadster. Then you could further open its flip-down tailgate and remove its retracting window to make it a wagon. By opening rear deck, electro-hydraulic telescopic floor extension and detachable rear roof rail, the 9X could be converted into a pickup truck.
Saab said that the 9X was a “four-dimensional car that defies convention” and it wasn't wrong
Underneath the rather long bonnet resided a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine which was mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and sent power to all four wheels. The car had 300 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque on offer and sat on 19-inch wheels.
The interior was pretty cool as well and it previewed keyless ignition. Back in 2001, that was a very big thing. The 9X was made under the supervision of German car designer Michael Mauer who said that this car showed that "the traditional way of classifying products is dead”. After the 9X, Micheal went on to work with Porsche and design the Panamera and Cayenne.
“It is also a signpost to the future – it shows where Saab is going”, said Michael. Well, it showed where Saab *could* have gone if it had all the resources. But nevertheless, the 9X is proof why people love Saab even after its sad demise.