An article published yesterday on spanish website as.com claims that Saab will be joining the WRC for the 2013 season. Now before you all attack me for posting silly conjecture from around the internet tubes, I thought I’d at least diffuse this story before it got around. A rough English translation:
“A good time for poetry. After crossing the desert in the World Rally Championship, we can glimpse light at the end of the tunnel [and it looks like brighter times are ahead]. Even now there are only two brands, Citroen and Ford, Mini is one step of his debut in May in Sardinia and Volkswagen will announce its entry into the next week in Portugal. To complete the party, Saab will also be involved in the spectacular sport with its future compact model, to be called 9-2 or 9-1.
The Swedish brand has been acquired by Dutch sports car maker Spyker, in turn owned by Russian tycoon Vladimir Antonov, a lover of rallies to just buy the company that owns the television rights of the championship, North One’s next step is the introduction of Saab in the World Cup, scheduled for 2013, but could even get ahead of the next season.
The Swedish firm is not new in the sections, and with four wins in the Rally of Sweden, in 1973, 1977 and 1979 by Stig Blomqvist and Per Eklund in 1976. For the moment and have started their bids to different specialty engineers, and have fellow Russian Evgeny Novikov to be ready to pilot the car for the challenge.”
Now before you start salivating (“but Jeff, they even know the driver’s name, it must be true!”) remember the 9-1 isn’t even in the business plan yet. For it to even come to fruition by 2013, when the new 9-3 launches, would be a minor miracle. Undoubtedly work and plans are being hatched behind the scenes in Trollhättan while they decide what partners would make sense for such a model, but until there is an official indication that Saab is closer to a deal, this report is pie in the sky conjecture. I’m not saying I necessarily don’t believe it could happen, just that I’m weary of the source and certainly wondering about their own sources. Hopefully they prove right.
That said this is as good a time as ever to throw the idea out there, if a small Saab is green lighted, do you think it’s a good idea for Saab to immediately get involved with the World Rally Championship? What priority would you place on it, and why? Sound off in comments.
Thanks for the tip Marco!