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I was getting my daily dose of auto news today and stumbled across this article in AutoWeek: Product in the pipeline: Saab set to add Subie-powered 9-2

Summary:

Tentatively scheduled as a 2006 model—but maybe as a 2005 entry—the 9-2 lineup will include a sportwagon plus three- and five-door hatchbacks similar in size to the Ford Focus and VW Golf...

Sources say Saab will sign a deal in March with Subaru holding company Fuji Heavy Industries to build a Subaru Impreza-like car with a boxer-four engine and tag it as the 9-2...

Another ramification is the long-awaited chance for Saab to return to the world rallying scene it abandoned in 1980—with a four-wheel-drive 9-2.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I know GM has a holding in Fuji Heavy Industries and OnStar is available in Outbacks, but Subaru has been left pretty autonomous up until now...not quite the same for SAAB (i.e. 9-3) but if GM is going to use SAAB to compete with VW Golf's and Ford Foci, Ford better make the '04 Focus an AWD version of the RS.
 

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you know, it WILL probably take Saab to make a Subaru-powered AWD compact in order for Ford to finally give us an AWD higher-performance version.

i mean hell, if Saab is getting in on the action, that's akin to hell freezing over. or pigs flying. etc... which is good, cuz Ford WILL probably wait until both hell freezes over and pigs fly before they give us the AWD beast we want. lol
 

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This will be sweet. Every time I get to drive the 9-3 and 9-5 demos my dad brings home I freakin melt! The Turbo is sweet and the car rides so smooth! But If I was to get a Saab I would have to go with a Viggen over any other models. The 4 cyl turbo 9-3's are already pretty fast...A turbo boxer engine would be a nice addition!
 

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rear end

Saab announces cooperation with Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (Fuji) to produce a new performance-oriented all-wheel-drive model - the Saab 9-2 - in spring 2004.
The new vehicle will provide Saab with a capable, dynamic entry below the new 9-3 Sport Sedan.

NEW YORK - Continuing with its biggest-ever product offensive, Saab Automobile AB expands its product line further with the introduction of the new Saab 9-2. The 9-2 will be Saab’s entry offer and will help attract new, younger customers to the brand. It is targeted at customers looking for a distinctive, fun-to-drive car with the versatility to support an active lifestyle. As customers would expect from Saab, the 9-2 will feature excellent driving dynamics with its sophisticated all-wheel-drive system and turbo performance as well as great versatility with its hatchback body style.

Leveraging the global resources of the GM Group, Saab Automobile AB is collaborating with Fuji of Japan to create the new Saab 9-2 model in cooperation with Subaru, Fuji’s automotive division.

"We see an emerging segment in the United States for a premium, small car below the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan," says Peter Augustsson, president and CEO of Saab Automobile AB.

"The Saab 9-2 is a result of collaboration between two like-minded brands. We both have a special aircraft heritage and a successful history in rallying, and our cars are known as dynamic, safe and fun-to-drive. It makes a lot of sense for us to combine our strengths in creating the next Saab and bring it to the market quickly," says Augustsson.

Saab will offer two versions of the new 9-2, both five-door, all-wheel-drive cars. The base Saab 9-2 will be equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, while the Aero version will feature a high performance, 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

"Both brands have this special flair," said Bob Lutz, GM’s vice chairman for product development. "It is such a natural fit for them to combine their talents and expertise to bring the first all-wheel-drive performance car into the Saab family - a car with great dynamic qualities and exhilarating performance."

The new Saab 9-2 will be produced in Fuji’s facilities in Japan, beginning in the spring of 2004.

Saab Automobile AB, based in Trollhättan, Sweden, is fully owned by GM, which has a 20 percent stake in Fuji.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Not just the engine, but the whole platform, it will even be built by FHI.
 

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Ford will have a Focus platform based AWD car but it will have the Volvo badge on it:
Dynamics of the next generation S40 will allow Volvo to enter the BMW 3-series class from two fronts; from below with the S40 and from above with the S60. The Ford Focus already has what is said to be the industry's best small car handling, so it would be expected that the future S40 would have the same. Engines will not be shared with the Focus, however, because Volvo wants to show some independence from Ford. The car will supposedly offer all 5-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, ranging for a 130 hp 1.5 liter to a 200 hp 2.5 liter. Transmissions to be offered will include a 6-speed manual and a 5-speed "geartronic" automatic/maunal. An "R" version is being considered for this car, with All Wheel Drive (also to be offered on other versions of the car) and a storming 250 hp engine. Excited yet?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">That is from http://www.volvocentral.net/future/sedans.html

Why would you expect Ford to compete with Saab using the Ford nameplate when it owns Volvo?
 
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