Another Saab 9-1 Design Concept

March 12, 2012 in SAAB Automobile AB

Saab 9-X Biohybrid Concept

About a week ago we revealed a design concept for a sporty version of the 9-1. It was a design concept made in 2009 and prior to the Spyker take-over.

However there were more of those versions made of course and today we’re happy to be able to show you, thanx to a newly found friend, another 9-1 design concept.

This car didn’t make it past a computer model either but you can clearly see the similarities from the 9-X Biohybrid Concept car that Saab presented shortly after they launched the Aero  X.

The car features the wrap-around windshield with the top part of the rearview mirrors in black. The front logo in the grill is the version that we find on the concept cars and later on in reality on the new 9-5, 9-4x and 9-3 Griffin. The turbine wheels are of course another thing we find on the new cars.

These sketches were made in March-April of 2009 as part of the design concept study.

The later sketches and proportions made as you have seen, were pushing beyond this language and proportion. But these sketches clearly shows how serious Saab was in developing a smaller car for the market. I truly think that hadn’t it been for the financial situation of the world at the time, Saab would have launched a series of really impressive cars that would have given the competitors a run for the their money!

9-1 concept April 2009

9-1 concept April 2009

38 responses to Another Saab 9-1 Design Concept

  1. I like it! But still, the 9-X still looks more refined, obviously since it’s a ready concept. Gorgeous!

  2. I don´t like this. 9-X BHC is beautiful and cool looking. This one looks bulky, boxy and really like a very quick scetch to see how some ideas (boxy rear end) would fit. But thanks for sharing!


    take a look at this car. The new SsangYong from Mahindra & Mahindra. Looks familiar…

    • Yes, it looks very familiar ……

    • it looks absolutely horrible (to me)

      • Agree. If this is what the next generation of Saab will look like count me out. I don’t understand why these new designers are chosen to disconnect current designs from the definitive 99 design. It is that design that everyone craves, only updated. Do that and see how quickly people flock back to Saab. Everything else is just another “automobubble”.

    • Yeah it looks good, but nothing like the concept 9-1.

  4. I agree Saab was definitley on the rise. Only problem is sharing anything GM means people assume it is the same thing as its platform mate. Only because rebadging is all GM knows how to do when they have more than one brand.

  5. A hybrid? $120,000 Fisker Hybrid shut down during Consumer Reports test last week. The deaf are complaining they don’t hear battery operated cars when crossing the street.

    • Reality is that we don’t need and most of us don’t want electric cars at this time. The other reality is that at least in the U.S., taxpayers (many of whom have lost thousands of dollars of their retirement nesteggs and many of whom are wondering how they are going to pay for their children to go to college, afford insurance, etc., are being asked to pay taxes for development of electric cars—-and are watching huge tax rebates go to wealthy people who buy boutique electric cars or failures like the Chevy Volt.

  6. The first one is really nice. Griffin up Padian!

  7. I like the angular one below. It is pithy.

  8. In some ways the sketches are better than the 9-X BH which was never very original anyway (way too much Skoda Joyster for it’s own good). But I’m afraid nothing like that would ever have happened with Saab in GM’s hands. Saab might have wanted to release a small car but GM would’ve straight away said no, and a small Saab was way down the list of priorities when Saab was sold.

    • Markac, that car was not that far away from being build, it was just Saab not willing to agree with GM to build that car on the Gamma II platform (Chevy Sonic). 😎

      • I now remember reading that Saab considered Gamma II to be sub standard for a premium small car. I guess Saab had some bitter experience with below standard GM platforms (NG900/OG9-3)? That being the case, I think Saab was wise not to proceed. If it had, it would be looking at another damned GM license.

        • And how many people would play Mini price for a “Sonic on steroids”?
          The GM system makes sense if you don’t pretend to have a premium European brand based on “sub-premium” platforms. But it is interesting that the trick works in the US, at least the press is playing the GM ball telling everyone that the Cady XTS platform is a new one Eps II platform, not related to the current Eps II platform.

  9. Huge wheels, small trunk. Don’t like the philosophy.
    Often younger people need just the opposite. Anyone ever been in a band or into sports?
    18-19″ tires also cost a lot.

    • RS, designers always draw oversized wheels, and at the end of the day the platform decides over the size of the tyres and the volume of the trunk 😉

  10. If it’s true that these designs were made during GM’s reign, one can see how they misunderstood the brand. Simply ultra-modern shapes, nothing to do with the famous Saab originality and heritage. We all know, it’s what made all the difference that got even respect from non Saab-owners.
    I sincerely hope that a new owner will better understand….

    • a lot of people don’t like the pre J.C. things.. on the other hand.. a lot of people don’t like the phoeniX concept…

      i would love to see what you think should a saab look like?

      i see on both saabish design…showed in a different way…

      • Don’t know about you but I like the scaled down version of the NG 9-5 very much. Especially if GM is to rob us of the design.
        Other would probably want to turn the page completely, but this photoshop has gotten excellent reviews amongst the young adults in our family. It’s sporty and not too ‘Mini quirky’.

        • I like the vehicle of the photoshop. But I must say that the front of the car reminds me the helmet of a Star Wars’ Storm Trooper.

  11. I like the design and could see myself in one for city trips, but essentially I am a Saab convertible fan. Probably, it is a smaller part that shares my passion for the convertible maybe because it is considered having poorer drive characteristics than a sedan. As long as it is not about racing or rally I think that the drive characteristics are more than enough and most who likes a convertible sees it more as a beautiful slider car. In the 9-3 NG Saab has however forced itself and added an additional framework under the car in order to reach better properties that are near a sedan. Other brands have convertible models in size as 9-1, but I believe that Saab should stand at just the 9-3.

  12. Hi Lars,

    I am a convertible guy, too! And I love love love my 9.3 lynx yellow beauty!
    But as the 9.3 is quite big in daily (2 person) use, and assuming the next 9.3 will be even bigger,
    a smaller Saab vert would definitely be on the list of cars considered as my next choice…
    Just my 2 cents


  13. Nice to see there are more convertible guys than me. I have a 900 NG convertible too as I use for daily customs since it is more narrow than the 9-3 but of course let´s see how a 9-1 or 9-2 looks.

  14. To me, the design from March 1st looked a lot better in that it wasn’t as boring (i.e. on the safe side) as these two.

  15. The CGI sketch looks like any South Korean (KIA Sportage). Thanks good that one did not make it.
    Why was there really a need to push the Phoenix since the Simon Padian car/ s that sits in the museum looks so good in both sport hatch and convertible?
    That would have been a very wise way to save money.

  16. Is there any way that you can show the 9-2 sketch that VM was showing to members of the automotive press on his phone?

  17. I don’t like this design-concept that does mind me in some suspects of the Renault Aventime. Don’t ask me why i must think about that renault, it was the first thinking when i saw it.

  18. Couldn’t agree more with DUTCH900C! I had forgotten the name, but anyway it is NOT the direction that our dear brand should go. Bedankt, de Avantime rijdt hier in Frankrijk nog vrolijk rond. Gr.

    • This is direction Saab must go in order to sell cars. Plain and simple.
      Just look around you.

  19. I like it. Takes Saab into the 21st century. And that is where Saab needs to be.
    Just look at the first A-Class, 1 series, A3 they never looked as good as this does, even for their time. Saabs first small hatch needs to be edgy, and seductive to appeal to the younger market. This car does that 10 fold.