British The Telegraph has included Saab 9-2X in your choice of “10 surprisingly familar cars you’ve probably never heard of“.
So you’re a car manufacturer, and you’ve decided you need a new model. Problem is, times are tight, and you simply haven’t got the resources to develop the car you need.
The solution is simple: take the already existing car, perhaps from a brand with which you have a tie-up, or maybe even from your own back catalogue. Slap your logo onto it, perhaps spruce it up with a new set of bumpers and headlights, and hey presto – you’ve got your new model.
This kind of badge engineering has resulted in all sorts of alien combinations in overseas markets that might look rather strange to our eyes. The Saab 9-2X is a case in point.
Essentially a small crossover seen by Saab’s owner, General Motors, as crucial for the brand’s success in the USA, it was little more than a Saab front end bolted on to the body of a Subaru Impreza WRX estate.
It was certainly fast and capable – but Saab’s traditional clientele were put off by the blatant badge engineering, and Subaru buyers were, of course, quite happy just to buy the Subaru version. Consequently, the 9-2X only lasted two years.