Swedish automaker Saab unveiled its first SUV at the LA Auto Show November 18, as it continues to go from strength to strength following its near-collapse earlier this year.

The Saab 9-4X will go on sale in May 2011 and is aimed at the SUV crossover market, offering plenty of space but with "car-like driving qualities."

Going up against vehicles such as the Dodge Durango and Range Rover Evoque (also unveiled at the LA Show), the 9-4X is intended to broaden Saab's appeal to a younger demographic around the world as it continues its renaissance.

The vehicle offers a choice of 3.0 liter or 2.8 liter turbocharged V6 engines and includes a six-speed automatic transmission.

On the outside, Saab's designers have blended the company's aircraft heritage with a sporty body structure, including a wraparound roof above a muscular chassis with clean lines.

The vehicle will arrive in the US next May and Europe and the rest of the world from August 2011, with pricing to be confirmed closer to the launch.

Although the LA Auto Show places a strong emphasis on environmentally-friendly vehicles, this year has seen a series of crossover SUV launches from global automakers.

Chrysler won considerable praise for its new Dodge Durango, which debuted November 17, the same day that Land Rover introduced the 5-door version of its Evoque SUV, the smallest vehicle the brand has ever produced.

Nissan also gained plenty of attention for its futuristic Murano CrossCabriolet, although it wasn't all positive - technology blog CNET said the vehicle "is, umm, well, it's different."

The LA Auto Show is open to the public November 19 to 28.


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