My wife found one of my old Car & Drivermagazines while cleaning up the house the other day. It was the July 2002 edition commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Chevrolet Corvette. The articles about the Corvette and various prototypes were very interesting. On pages 50-54, Wallace A. Wyss covered the “Dead-End Vettes,” or in other words prototypes that never made it to production. That article was very interesting indeed as it covered the 1954 Corvair, 1954 Corvette Nomad, 1970 XP-882, and the 1973 Two-Rotor (based on a Porsche 914), and the 1989 Stingray III. Each of those models could have significantly changed the way the Corvette eventually turned out.
The same could be said of the SAAB 9x.
Dan Neil’s article in the same edition of Car & Driver made a production version of the 9x seem to be right around the corner. Here’s how he opened the article.
“It’s a sports coupe. It’s a station wagon. It’s a roadster. A pickup truck, a floor wax, a dessert topping. Saab uses the term “multidynamic” to describe its 9X concept vehicle, and sure enough, compared with this thing, a Swiss Army knife seems positively single-minded. But you know what’s really weird? It’s a done deal.”
In the rest of the article, Neil gives you the impression that the 9x would become a reality, but now some 7 years later, we know his prophecy didn’t come true. Why was that? I really wonder why because it had a lot to offer. The planned 300 hp V6 mated to an AWD system might have been a car to compete with the BMW M coupe. But for whatever reason, the promising concept was never produced and I say, “too bad.”