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I wish 9-6X won't get a boxer at all, as that's the hallmarks of Porsche and Subaru. One interesting point: "Saab's upmarket version will be individually styled inside and out ....". Let's hope the 9-2X debacle won't be repeated here.

But maybe the silver lining is Saab learning from Porsche its recovery from the dismal late '80s/early '90s in terms of profitability, brand management and maintaining its heritage while growing new markets.


Saab's New Diesel

by David Morgan (26 Sep 05)

Saab could be the first European manufacturer to hit the market with a "boxer" turbodiesel engine. The alliance between Saab and Subaru which created the Impreza-based Saab 9-2X for the US market is about to signal the return of the 96 badge in Europe - and it looks set to be their first 4x4 SUV with a horizontally-opposed diesel power plant.

By late 2007 British Saab drivers will be able to order the Swedish car maker's first crossover 4x4 - the Saab 9-6X. The all-wheel drive five-door will be closely related to the Subaru B9 Tribeca (pictured) which is built in Indiana and has been on sale throughout North and South America for the past few months.

Saab's upmarket version will be individually styled inside and out, but power and drivelines are strictly Subaru. The first Saab 9-6X models will be powered by the same three-litre flat-six petrol injection engine used in the current Subaru Legacy 3.0R. The 241bhp power plant will be linked to a five-speed automatic gearbox driving a Subaru 4x4 transmission system and mounted on a modified Legacy platform featuring a revised multilink rear suspension.

But the big news is that the three-litre petrol boxer engine will not be alone. Saab and Subaru have been working closely to develop a boxer turbodiesel which is likely to debut in the 9-6X as a flat-four or flat-six. Industry sources say Saab have been working with Porsche engineers in an effort to advance the design of a horizontally-opposed turbodiesel engine. The German firm's expertise in extracting high outputs from petrol-fuelled boxer layouts has apparently proved useful in creating an oil-burner with a sporting character.

The 9-6X is due to make its UK debut around the same time as Subaru introduce their Tribeca to Britain. But the SUVs will have individual styling and features, although both are expected to be available in five- and seven-seat guise.

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A few thoughts: first, the author of the blurb you posted is "David Morgan". Don't we have a member in these forums of the same name? Same guy, or coincidence?

Secondly, I don't think GM is interested at all in following Porsche's business model for profitability. I think they're way too arrogant to do that. I think it's a simple issue of finding a development partner for an engine to put in one of their many car models. Porsche is convenient because they don't compete with GM in any market and they're not owned by Ford or Daimler/Chrysler.

Third (and I posted this as a comment at so appologies if you're reading it twice):
This makes a lot of sense to me. There were previously rumors that SAAB was unhappy with the Tribeca they were handed from Subaru to create the 9-6X out of (much like they were handed the Chevy Trailblazer and asked to "SAABify" it) for several reasons, one of them being that they can't put a diesel engine in it.

50% of all new cars sold on the European continent are diesel.

Rather than scrap the project altogether, they figured if they can develop a diesel engine that'll fit in the Tribeca engine bay, that's one less problem. Subaru makes boxer (horizontally-opposed pistons in a "box" shape) engines, but I don't think they have any diesel expertise.

Who's the only other major manufacturer on the planet who makes boxer engines? Porsche. So Subaru has to "suck it up" and work with Porsche on developing a diesel boxer engine that'll fit in the Tribeca engine bay for SAAB.

I think this is why we keep anticipating the 9-6X to show up at car show after car show but it's always a "no-show". I think that there's a lot of work SAAB still needs to do before they can start touting it.

I wonder how long it'll take SAAB & Subaru to develop their own diesel boxer engine with Porsche? Can they just license or buy pre-assembled units from Porsche to drop into the 9-6X to rush it to market?
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