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SNEAK PREVIEW: 2005 Saab 9-2X

General Motors is set to unveil Saab's Subaru-built sport wagon in December. Here's something to whet your appetite.

Saab corporate parent GM has announced that it will unveil the Swedish brand's 2005 9-2X sport wagon on Tuesday, December 9, fully three weeks ahead of the 2004 Los Angeles Auto Show. The car is to be built in Japan by Subaru, sharing its architecture with the Impreza Sport Wagon. It will offer either Subaru's normally aspirated 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine or the turbocharged 2.0-liter flat four from the Impreza WRX. Both engines will, of course, meet Subaru's all-wheel-drive system. In addition to the 9-2X's handsome front-end treatment, penned by design chief Michael Mauer, Saab promises the car will define itself by thoroughly revised suspension settings and Saab-specific interior touches. Don't look for the ignition between the front seats, however; time and budget contraints prohibited its move from the Impreza's steering-column position.

The 9-2X— the X designation denotes all-wheel drive—will be joined later in 2005 by the 9-7X, a mid-size, five-passenger, body-on-frame sport-utility vehicle derived from the GMT360 platform, which underpins the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, the GMC Envoy, and the Buick Rainier.

At the 9-2X's unveiling, GM also plans to introduce a new Hummer concept vehicle, which will presage the forthcoming H3 production model.

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