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Saab at the Paris motor show 2008

Thu, 02 Oct 2008

By Guy Bird

Motor Shows

02 October 2008 23:02

On one level, the Saab 9-X Air is a re-work of the Geneva show’s 9-X BioHybrid with its roof chopped off. But get up close and you’ll find it’s one hell of a smart hatchet job.  

We admire the packaging. If you’ve ever had a soft-top you’ll know that most have very wide fabric C-pillars that impede vision and coupled with integrated rear glass windows can be tricky to fold away. They take up a lot of space too.

The Saab 9-X Air has a different system – akin in some ways to the BMW 6 Series Convertible's – with a separate rear glass panel that rises and falls almost vertically and independently of the fabric roof and allows the soft-top to stow away more easily. The design also cuts a slimmer dash in profile and creates more room and airflow comfort for rear passengers. There’s a neat pull-out chest of drawers-style luggage space at the rear of the car too.

Nothing at all. It's all about the 9-X Air.

The way the patented ‘Canopy Top’ works could inform the look of the next 9-3 convertible and a possible 9-1 drop-top too as GM Europe’s advanced design chief Anthony Lo alluded: 'Ideally it would be good to have more than one convertible. This concept shows that Saab is a brand that continues to innovate.' We love the innovation too but want to buy one sooner than 2012.     

CAR's Saab stand score: 4/5

By Guy Bird