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Saab could have taken the easy way out and upgraded the vehicle architecture of the current 9-3. But instead, they have started work on an entirely new and versatile platform to underpin their 9-3, 9-5 and even larger future models, a move that is far more costly and time-consuming.

Then again, the current 9-3 chassis dates back to 2002, when the Epsilon platform was just a twinkle in GM's eye. And now that Saab has divulged themselves of that messy period, they are seeking to venture forth on their own with "Phoenix," the code name for their new architecture and named after their stunning Geneva concept.

The new Phoenix will be available with unique McPherson struts and "race-car style" five-link rear axle, made by Swedish supplier ZF. It will be flexible enough for the new 9-3 and the larger 9-5 when it's replaced in a few years (even though the current 9-5 was just introduced, it gives an indication to how far ahead Saab's planning this). It can also be stretched up to 18 feet for a range-topping "9-7″ if need be.

More: Saab To Create All-New Phoenix Platform on AutoGuide.com
 

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I read that BMW are very interested indeed in the Pheonix platform. Reading between the lines they already have one. I believe engine sharing with BMW is also on the cards. I suppose some sort of partnership with BMW may also follow?

Found it! Owners Club magazine March/April 2011. A contact at BMW believes they may take an equity stake in Saab as they are impressed with the new platform. Asked how they came to that conclusion - did they already have one? They answered "Can't answer that."
 
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