Saab 9-1 May Hint at Next Saturn Astra

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Next-Generation Saturn Astra?

General Motors' Saab unit is set to unveil a subcompact hatchback concept that some insiders say may also provide a preview of the next-generation Saturn Astra. The Saab 9-1, an "entirely new concept car," Edmunds.com's Inside Line reported the folks from General Motors Europe as saying earlier this month, will make its debut at the Geneva Auto Show on March 3rd.

Rumors suggest that the new Saab will ride on GM's global front-wheel-drive Delta platform, but others believe GM may opt to use their even smaller, rear-wheel-drive Alpha architecture that's currently under development instead. According to stories recently published by AutoBlog, German car magazine 'Auto Motor und Sport,' and Top Speed, the Saab 9-1 will feature an available hybrid system and a cabriolet model. When translated into English, the German magazine says its purported Saturn version would also offer "a removable part of the roof between B- and C-column."

Not much else is known about either car at this time, as Saab has been keeping details of the 9-1 – beyond a couple of teaser photos – under wraps. Saturn is in the midst of launching the current generation Saturn Astra and has not talked about future models. That being said, an artist at Auto Motor und Sport has created a few sketches illustrating what they think the new Saab and Saturn may look like.

Sources: AutoBlog, Auto Motor und Sport, Inside Line, Top Speed

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Rescue Bid for Detroit Collapses in Senate, GM May Put Saturn Into Bankruptcy Protection

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From the Wall Street Journal: A frantic, last-ditch attempt to forge a relief package for the auto industry collapsed in the U.S. Senate, dealing a giant blow to the immediate hopes of the Big Three. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada suggested the $14 billion wouldn't be revisited until January.