Cars Coming Soon->Will Saab Be Saved by a Dollar?

2011 BMW 335is

Saab could be sold for a buck, Chrysler will merge with Lancia, and the Dodge Durango may become a Magnum…

Needless to say, the happenings in the auto world are getting more and more unpredictable! Here’s the scoop on what’s going on that could impact what cars are coming soon:

There was a time when seeing a new Saab on the Cars Coming Soon report would have meant a car produced by Koenigsegg or Spyker. Then all hope was gone for a while when GM decided to liquidate the brand instead of selling it. Then Spyker made a final offer, which could still result in a sale. Now, to make matters even more confusing, Leftlane reports that:

A consortium backed by both businessman Lars Carlstrom and Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone says that it plans to make a new offer for Saab that shows its ability to support the brand for an extended-range period.

The offer? One dollar.

The argument is that the sale would save GM the estimated $145 million it would cost to shut down Saab. Makes sense, I suppose, but I hardly see General Motors giving Saab away for nothing. I think it would rather spend the money out of spite than sell for a buck. Regardless, there is still hope for Saabies (my new word for Saab fanatics) to see new versions of their beloved cars.

In other weird news, Autoblog made a discovery (through a mysterious sneaky source) that the Dodge Durango will be reborn for 2012, but be called a Magnum and ride on a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee chassis. If today were April 1, that might make make sense. I guess Chrysler sees logic in dropping a successful nameplate in favor of a failed one and hoping people buy it. Maybe. Weirder things could happen I suppose.

Chrysler Lancia Delta

Chrysler Lancia Delta

One of those things is the probable merger of Chrysler and Lancia, a European brand that has struggled in recent years. A mocked up Chrysler/Lancia Delta appeared at the Detroit Auto Show (and actually looked pretty good, to me) and could signal the coming look of Chrysler. Of this potential merger, Leftlane says,

Chrysler is well versed in the production of large cars while Lancia specializes in smaller vehicle offerings. Marchionne envisions the combination of those two varying lineups, thereby creating a more full-line automaker.

The merger could happen as early as this year, possibly bringing Chrysler-badged Lancias to the U.S. as 2011 or 2012 models.

2011 MAZDA5

2011 Mazda5

Mazda’s obscure (in this country anyway) MAZDA5 will be refreshed for 2011 with all-new exterior styling and a direct-injection engine. The new mini minivan will officially debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, and we’ll bring you more details then. In the meantime, check out the picture and let us know what you think!

And, just to leave a nice aftertaste, I saved this bit of juicy news for last: We’re getting wind of the 2011 BMW 335is (pictured on top), which will slot in above the 335i and right below the firebreathing V8-powered M3. Top speed of the 335is: 140 mph. Horsepower: 340. Zero to 60 time: Around 5 seconds. Price: Looks like we’ll all have to wait for that until the Geneva show in March.

So, what do you say? What’s more unusual, the $1 offer for Saab or the demise of the Durango?

-tgriffith

1 Comment

  1. On the surface it sounds crazy to change the name of the Durango to Magnum but they’ve pretty much killed the Durango’s good name with the latest big on the outside, small on the inside, isn’t a mid-size isn’t a large SUV pile-o-metal. People liked the old Durango, people don’t even think about the new one enough to dislike it. I think a curvy Grand Cherokee with a Hemi and a mean name might sell.

    And… Saab for a dollar? I don’t think Bernie is really that serious about buying Saab. Saving Saab would be a long, long, long road. I can’t believe a Chinese company wouldn’t buy Saab just for the technology they could get and use to build cars that would be able to pass US safety and emissions regulations.

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