Some time ago, Ryan (anonymous) raised a question in the comments to this post, suggsting we may be getting a new 9L TECHNIC axle, coming soon with the new 1H2009 sets. Namely within the new 8261 (Monster Truck).
At that time it was no more than a possibility, but an unlikely one, as we wasn't able to get a definite conclusion from the images available. It could be also have been a combination of shorter gray axles (3L+3L).
Yesterday, Ryan came to me with a new and very good hint. As you can see from the image below, taken from 'Measurements sheet' on the B-model instructions for the 2H2008 sets, there is a reference to a 9L 'Light Bluish Gray' (LBG) axle.
What would it be doing there, if we weren't to get some in the near future?...
Unfortunately this topic came up again already after I have left LEGOWORLD, so again can't confirm it in front of the real models.
Nevertheless some investigation work on the pictures I took there, seems to bring important clues.
We already knew that the bent beam under the 8261 seat, is 9 wide at that point (as a trained eye can easily realize from the photo below, on the left). From the photos we still can't be sure there is a 9L axis in there, but we know there is a good chance for it.
However the most important evidence cames up, when you look in detail to the axle termination inside the bent beam. The axle termination is obviously not a production part, but one the was broken (bottom right image) from something larger.
The strange thing is that we don't have any LBG larger axle to be broken into a smaller 9L axle (maximum actually know available is 7L).
Either LEGO TECHNIC Designers have indeed access to such larger LBG axles, or they have used a combination between 3L, 5L or 7L axles and broken one to get the desired length.
A similar evidence seems to be found at the new 8262 (Quad-Bike). Again a trained eye, could also recognize a good chance for a 9L axis below the seat on the left image below. Once more the axle seems to be broken at its side (right image below).
This time the combination of smaller LBG gray axles doesn't seem to be the case, so it cames probably from a larger LBG axle. Could it mean an 11L axle is also on the way out...
One way or another, if there is really a new 9L axle to come, it was not yet available from the production line, at the time the displayed models at LEGOWORLD were built.