Saab is planning to launch a new compact car based on its recently-revealed 9-X BioHybrid concept vehicle in 2010 that will be aimed squarely at premium hatchbacks like the Mini Cooper and BMW 1-series. The model will likely be called the 9-1 and was originally thought to share the Delta II platform with the next-generation Opel Astra due next year.

Latest reports indicate Saab could use its own in-house platform for the 9-1. Speaking with Just-Auto, Saab boss Jan Ake Jonsson said engineers want to make the 9-1 similar in size to the next-generation 9-3 and build it on a brand new platform.

One option was to use General Motors' newly developed Gamma platform, which will be used for a range of new FWD compact cars being designed in South Korea. However, Jonsson points out that Gamma’s lack of an AWD option is unsuitable for Saab.

According to Jonsson, engineers at Saab’s headquarters in Trollhattan are instead designing a unique platform for the upcoming 9-1 that will borrow elements from both Gamma and Delta. However, the green light is yet to be given by the higher ups at GM.

At this week’s Paris Motor Show, Saab will unveil its new 9-X Air Concept, which despite being similar in size to the previous 9-1 BioHybrid is actually a preview for the next-generation 9-3 Convertible. This is because the new 9-3 will be significantly smaller than the current model. It is expected to measure 4.43m in length, versus the current model which measures 4.6m in length.