It has long been a two horse race between Ford and Citroen, but the World Rally Championship could be looking at a revival. With MINI/Prodrive joining the fray next year, Saab could be joining the WRC by 2012, according to reports.
Autosport magazine says that Saab-Spyker CEO Victor Muller has met top officials from the WRC, quoting sources at the WRC claiming that the saved from death Swedish brand will make a partial entry into the 2012 season and full entry in 2013. “We could have four, possibly five manufacturers competing in the WRC in 2012. People are realising that they need to advertise their way out of the tough times we’ve been through,” WRC promoter Simon Long told Autosport. The mag’s insider added that “Saab is looking at the World Rally Championship as the perfect platform to launch a new product and to rebuild the brand.”
This could be the new small Saab that the company is finding a partner for, and BMW’s MINI platform and drivetrains are being eyed, according to the rumourmill.
Saab was active in rallying in the post-war era, with the 92 and 93 models regularly taking chequered flags. The company quit the sport in 1980.