In an attempt to conquer the all-wheel-drive market from other premium car-makers, General Motors cut a deal with Subaru, to build a Saab version of the Impreza WRX station-wagon.
For a while, General Motors owned 20% of the Subaru stakes. It persuaded the other stake-holders to obtain the deal, which was very good for the Japanese car-maker, who was in financial troubles. The result was a Swedish car, built in Japan, for the North-American market.
The Saab 92x had a front fascia that resembled the 9-3 model. The angled headlights and the specific Saab grille with an airplane in the middle could have been mistaken as a genuine Saab. The scoop on the hood raised some eyebrows. From the side, the Impreza station-wagon was unmistakable, especially due to its frameless door windows.
Inside, there was a lot of Subaru and the badge on the steering wheel was the only Saab part. Unlike an original Swedish car, the starter key was placed on the column instead of between the seats. The air-vents and the instrument cluster were carried over from Subaru. The car was built in Japan and exported to the U.S. market in an attempt to oppose against Audi A4 quattro.
For the engine, there was the same flat-four unit from the Impreza WRX. Maybe it would have won more customers but, unlike the A4, the Saab 92x was not available with an automatic gearbox. And that, on the American premium segment, was unacceptable. The car was withdrawn from the market two years later.