A concept of the 9-1 is tipped to be unveiled at March’s Geneva Motor Show and the first production models are due by the end of the decade. Speaking with Sweden’s Auto Motor and Sport, Saab designer Anthony Lo revealed a new concept will be at Geneva and not London as previously thought, but he wasn't willing to confirm which model it will be. Expect to see styling influences taken from the Saab Aero-X concept car (pictured) used on the latest concept.
The production 9-1, meanwhile, will be available with Saab’s first hybrid system and is aimed directly at other premium hatches like the BMW 1-series and Audi A3. Earlier reports claim the hybrid version will feature a conventional two-mode hybrid system with an electric motor mated to a diesel, petrol or biofuel internal combustion depending on which market it’s heading to.
The system allows the electric motor to be used during stop-start driving and initial acceleration, with the internal combustion engine only kicking in during high load. The hybrid 9-1 will also feature new nano-based lithium battery technology, which last twice as long as conventional nickel metal hydride batteries and exhibit rapid charge and discharge characteristics as well as longer lifetimes.