The Second Life of the Dame Edna

Carnewschina.com show some pics of the BAIC B70G, which is based on the old Saab 9-5. I am pretty happy that Pininfarina gave this car totally different looks than the Dame Edna but I have to admit the design (and even the name) reminds me a bit of another Swedish car company. Surely just a coincedence.

As the next photo shows these are obviously not even pre-production models as clearance is not exactly state of the art.

According to the article the white of the car shown on the pics is a C70GB, which is the electrical brother of the B70G which delivers 128 hp and 255 Nm. The petrol version of the car gets the Saab-based 2.0 turbo engine which is said to offer 206 hp and 300 Nm.

The interior is also completely different but it does not look homogenous at all, at least to me.

leriksso
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Hmmmm…..NO … this isn’t notthing for me ……. sad to say but it’s not even good looking..

Dejjo
Member
4 years 5 months ago

build quality seems to be way off, those gaps are huge….

Simply9-5
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Yeah and look at the fender near the wheel well in the top picture….almost looks like its going to fall off.

Analyst
Member
4 years 5 months ago

It’s a concept car, what did you expect?

I have seen a car in an auto show whose door handle literally fell off.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Simply9-5
Member
4 years 5 months ago

I don’t think its an ugly car, certainly have seen worse…its just….well……it looks like a warthog/pig with that logo on the front.

hans h
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Farewell, Dame Edna.

This is just a generic Car. Something GM could have built. And probably do, somewhere…

kochje
Member
4 years 5 months ago

LOL πŸ™‚

hilmar
Member
4 years 5 months ago

πŸ™‚

Toby K
Member
4 years 5 months ago

C? Well from the front it screams Merc C class, although the panel gap across the top of the grill gets markedly bigger from left to right, those seats are copies of Audi’s leather seats. its a real mish mash.

Carlo A
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Yap you are right either the bonnet or the grille is not straight …. overall not a bad looking car ….

Quixcube
Member
4 years 5 months ago

The seats look gorgeous to me. If they sit as good as they look I wouldn’t mind them in any car,

GerritN
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Yes, Mercedes wannabee, first thing that came to my mind.
Unfortunately it also looks very plasticky (sorry, couldn’t come up with another word that expresses my feeling any better). Definitely not in the premium segment.

Red J
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Well, it is a car with two faces. Merc in the front and Bimer in the back. πŸ˜‰

RS
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Sorry Red, M-B front B back = Hyundai Genesis. (a rip of beyond belief imo)
I think this one is definitely a mix of A4 and NG 9-3 with some Korean influence in a bad way.

Fredrik Zetterberg
Member
4 years 5 months ago

“The electric engine poops out 128hp..” I thought that electric cars were supposed to reduce the amount of crap released into nature…

pekko a
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Looks for me more NG9-3 based than dame edna. Look at roof line and C-pilar, those are definately from NG9-3…

hans h
Member
4 years 5 months ago

I think you are right. Still bastardized, though.

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 5 months ago
Maybe I’m seeing the glass half full here—but honestly, aside from the wide body panel gaps (which I assume would be closed up on a production car) I think it’s a strong effort. The front end design is no different / no worse than what Infiniti puts out (very high priced Infinitis I might add). The seating/console/dashboard look uncluttered and functional—-a refreshing departure from a lot of what GM puts out these days and what some other carmakers are doing. I think if this proves anything to me, it proves that starting off with an “old Saab” can be superior… Read more »
mallthus
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Actually, I was just thinking that it looks way more like an Infiniti than a V*lv*.

Looking at the gaps and alignment of the front bumper, it looks like it is, indeed, falling off. Perhaps the bumper itself, as a prototype piece, has a missing or failed screw or tape piece?

Quixcube
Member
4 years 5 months ago

It is what it is. Nothing wrong with it really in my opinion that a lot of refinement of the assembly process won’t cure. I personally think it looks more natural than the Dame Edna did. The Dame always looked to me like it was being forced into something it did not want to be and worse–that the effort to force it there was half-hearted. I just liked the original 9-5 better and think more work was needed than was available to get it to click with the new design direction in its 2nd refresh.

Quixcube
Member
4 years 5 months ago
I have to say though, it’s made me rethink the potential of the 9-3 platform. I wonder if they could do a big redesign and make it work for a while again. I am talking much bigger than the griffin update was meant to be. New dash, new seats, new bodywork. The core of the thing is still pretty solid. They were planning new powertrain anyway. I wonder how far they could take it? It would be fantastic if they cancelled the sedan and remade it as a hatch. I wonder if that is even possible. If some thought was… Read more »
JasonVT
Member
4 years 5 months ago

I think that the 9-3 has potential for a re-design left in it. The major issues that I see with the 9-3 involve the cheap and creaky plastics inside, the rest of the car is pretty nice. We love our SC, the interior is just a huge letdown when we go from the 9-4 to the 9-3.

3cyl
Member
4 years 5 months ago

The OG 9-5 was considered dated by the end of its run. but it still had a distinctive look – something that this one lacks.

Yang Chi
Member
4 years 5 months ago

This pic should make the design philosophy much more clear:

Analyst
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Take it to Pininfarina then, they designed this car.

zippy
Member
4 years 5 months ago

These people clearly have no idea what coherent design looks like. Its a dogs breafast!!!

Katsura
Member
4 years 5 months ago

You mean Pininfarina right? Cause they penned this.

ryanonsrc
Member
4 years 5 months ago
My first thought when looking at the exterior is: Infiniti. The interior, on the other hand is a rather haphazard mashing of conflicting styling elements. And that name “Dame Edna” makes “OIdsmobile” sound hip. But with all the bashing of this poor car: I should say there are two redeeming qualities of the design. Firstly, the overall body shape is actually pretty good. After fixing the fit and finish, taking the Infiniti-look out of the car, and coming up with their own design language, I can see some potential. The headlights actually look pretty cool. But seriously … that interior… Read more »
xelav
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Could be an infinity from the front. Pressconference tomorrow?

peppie
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Looks like an ugly GM product. Glad I will never have to buy this.

SaabKen
Member
4 years 5 months ago

I dunno. While this thingamajig doesn’t get my blood going, it goes to show that appearance and perception of exterior/interior may be done with little investment and design creativity ….. something GM failed Saab with allowing Saab to better distinguish its products from its GM relatives during the ’00s (and how had GM given Saab more resources, Saab would have been better nourished and positioned to be a stronger contender to Euro counterparts).

I think THIS interior is about as “inhomogeneous” (I think till72 meant to say “incongruous”) as modern cars go …… the current Honda Insight and Civic:

phermansson
Member
4 years 5 months ago

What I find interesting is that they managed to take an old design and make something really brand new… I’m wondering what the Saab engineers could have done with this if they would have had the chance… I love driving the 9-5 and think its one of the best cars ever made, with a new facelift and some performance upgrades this car could probably still give most other newer cars a good fight!

spacy
Guest
4 years 5 months ago

Looks like this Saab became a Merc…at the front end, and maybe BM/Audi at the back.

But neither have the Saab 2.0 & 2.3 engines, will be interesting to see what they have done to them..

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 5 months ago

I completely agree. As for those who are saying “ugly” I wonder what they are comparing it to? The body panel gaps not withstanding, I don’t see anything about this car’s design, inside or out, that offends me. I think it’s understated and I really like that. To call it ugly? I just don’t get it.

bpsorrel
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Couldn’t agree more! To be honest I was not a fan of the “Dame Edna” facelift anyway and this car is certainly no worse than that..

David-SAAB
Member
4 years 5 months ago

I see traces of BMW 5 series? Ahh the Chinese, masters of imitation.

Katsura
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Again, Pininfarina….

Italians, Masters of imitation?

davidgmills
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Ugly. I am afraid that is what a Youngman Saab might look like.

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 5 months ago

I’m much more afraid of another Saab never being produced. Is this what a Youngman Saab would look like? By all means, bring it on.

Over9000
Member
4 years 5 months ago

To me it looks like the new Infiniti M, inside and out.

Katsura
Member
4 years 5 months ago

No distinctive features and indeed, lots of visual cues from all sorts of makers.
“Non” offensive, I guess, another Asian car then. (Despite the Pininfarina design)

Turbo9000
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Looking at this dash makes you realize how great the original 9-5 dash was, the one before the ‘GM-dash’ of Dame Edna…

But ofcourse nothing beats the ‘flightdeck’ of the legendary 9K πŸ˜‰

alwaysSaab
Member
4 years 5 months ago

The front badge is ugly and way too big. The grille is not well fitted with a huge gap on one side. Overall quality control failed badly.

bpsorrel
Member
4 years 5 months ago

As has been said already – this car is a concept. Panel gaps should be sorted on the production models….

Badge is no larger than Volvo or Infinit badges….. Why the downer guys?

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 5 months ago

VW badges are huge these days too—it’s the trend.

Sockmonkey
Member
4 years 5 months ago
If the Saab engine technology (the B205 and B235) was exported to BAIC along with the rest of the 9-5, I imagine the Chinese would not be too put out to supply the new owners of Saab with these engines, or even license them back to Saab. I for one was a big fan of the B235 which over the course of its life went from 150hp to 260hp in USA trim, yet was refined, reliable, and returned good gas mileage. Instead of saddling the cars with an engine from the new owner’s parts bins that may not be a… Read more »
Katsura
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Arguably the B234 in the 9000 was a better serious – they were well over engineered and had no sludge issues.

Eagle63
Member
4 years 5 months ago
You’re absolutely right! I talked to my (very experienced) Saab mechanic recently, he said the same thing. The 9000 2.3 T engines could be tuned to much higher levels than the newer ‘more efficient’ engines from the GM era, and indeed, NO black sludge.. He could exactly point out the technical details of the engine that made the older engines so much more durable. It seems the sad decline of Saab already began the moment GM’s technical influence appeared in the cars. Hopefully in the future Saab will once again be able to design and manufacture Saabs with the same… Read more »
Thylmuc
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Maybe. Or the engines were at the end of their lifetimes. As new, lower emmision and consumption standards came into effect, Saab had to modify their engines. But lacking money for a completely new engine concept, they needed to compromise. Lighter parts reduce fuel consumption, but will tend to be less durable, for example.

Turbo9000
Member
4 years 5 months ago

There you have it; after the 9000 Saabs became compromises. The 9k was in almost all aspects superior to an Audi 100/200 or BMW 5 series. To say the same of the GM 9-5 would be absurd.

Chris Carrier
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Says the guy named “Turbo9000.”

davidgmills
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Says the guy who must not have ever owned a 9000 automatic transmission. What good is a good engine when the tranny sucked?

Turbo9000
Member
4 years 5 months ago

I admit the German ZF automatic transmission wasn’t the best in the world. A ‘sportier’ driver might be better of with the manual. howevever, if you take good care of the old ZF and don’t abuse it too much it will last quite a long time. I’m a relaxed driver in my 223.000 km 9000 2.3T and the auto still shifts like new.

Katsura
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Indeed, I love over engineering solutions, like old Mercedes. It says a lot about a company’s ethos too.
But let’s hope for the first step of re-birth first πŸ™‚

Quixcube
Member
4 years 5 months ago

I always thought the B235 vibrated way too much (and in a kinda lumpy way) at idle. It didn’t feel very refined compared to the engine in other $40k cars. I think it would take a huge effort to bring it up to the NVH standards and emissions standards that the later 9-3 engines offered.

ivo 71
Member
4 years 5 months ago
In 90% of idle vibration in a 2.3-engined 9000, the vibration is not caused by the engine running rough but by its ‘hydraulic’ engine rubbers (silentblocs) gone dry and soft. The vibrations actually increase in intensity if the car is parked at an angle, like on a slope. And they generally cease as soon as new rubbers are put into place. As to the effort required to bring them up to a higher standard, I believe it would be worth every penny, The B235 with T5 engine management was virtually indestructible and had no problems with black sludge, the later… Read more »
Turbo9000
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Not only that, but a friend of mine was amazed how solid the old 9k feels compared to his 5 year old 9-3…
πŸ™‚

spacy
Guest
4 years 5 months ago

Neo Bros, team racing had the 9k up to 420hp.

ivo 71
Member
4 years 5 months ago
@ Turbo9000: you may not have noticed πŸ˜‰ but I do drive one of those, a 202 HP 2.3 full-pressure turbo manual CSE. It’s 16 years old and still as solid as on the day it left the factory. 318.000 kms and still going strong on its first turbo and first set of distribution/balance chains. No rust anywhere and the leather is beautiful enough to put in one’s sitting room. I have tried out various OG 9-5’s (cannot afford NG) because one inevitably has to think about what to drive after an old car has had its run of life… Read more »
Turbo9000
Member
4 years 5 months ago

That’s great πŸ™‚
also, a decent 9-5 can relatively easy be found, but it’s getting increasingly difficult to find a
well equipped 9000 in very good condition, making it more unique every day…
Good luck with the old warbird! (mine is a 223000km, ’97 2.3T Anniversary in Amethyst Violet, with the aircraft logo in the suede/leather seats)

KaiC
Member
4 years 5 months ago
BAIC have had the new platform based on saab 9-3 and 9-5 called M-trix platform.They have absorbed the skill of B205 and B235 and also they will begin to build 1.5T GDI and 1.8T engine.So they will have 1.5T GDI,1.8T,2.0T and 2.3T four engines which power cover 127kw-190Kw and torque cover 240-350Nm.We can see the datas are a little bit higher then before. For the M-trix the skill of engine,safety, chassis and electronic system all are based on Saab`s platform .In the near future they will produce A class、B class、C class and CUV,MPV series bsed on the M-Trix platform. I… Read more »
SaabKen
Member
4 years 5 months ago

I wonder what Chinese customers will buy the C70 ? It has no direct pedigree, and BAIC can’t claim it has a reputable and distinct “Saab” engineering & design (because it doesn’t).

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 5 months ago
There must be a reason why the design was so heavily changed. Why not simply re-use more of the time-proofed parts? And the only reason I can see is that the Chinese customers tend to have a very different design background, and prefer different shapes. Considering the decline in automotive design (for me as a European) recognisable with all the companies active in China (BMW, Mercedes, Audi for example), it is evident that we Europeans, as a global minority, might never again get cars that are adapted to _our_ design traditions. Actually, that was confirmed by a BMW engineer that… Read more »
ivo 71
Member
4 years 5 months ago
Apparently, Pininfarina has the same problem as your BMW friends. Because that’s who reportedly designed this car. Which, objectively speaking, is a little ‘loud’ and ‘bling’ for my non-Chinese taste, somewhat unoriginal (given the various ‘borrowed’ design elements although I find this rather strange in a Pininfarina design; do they really need that? or did the Chinese insist?) but which, as a whole, doesn’t offend me aesthetically or otherwise. Declutter the front end a bit, get rid of those X-mas tree LED stripes and I would even consider driving it as a station wagon or a hatchback. 206 HP should… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Not too surprising since you still like 9000’s which to me look as dated as dirt.

ivo 71
Member
4 years 5 months ago

So are, if I follow your reasoning, works by Rembrandt, Mozart, Sheraton and -to name something classic and American- Gershwin, Whistler and Tiffany. True class doesn’t get dated, it just ages. It has something to do with character. Do you prefer last year’s Napa Valley wine over a great Bordeaux vintage, too? Or a generic contemporary family house over a Frank Lloyd Wright villa, ‘dated’ as the latter may be?

Ivo

Katsura
Member
4 years 5 months ago

If these cars safety features are intact from changes, they may well be the first very safe Chinese cars.

That is the real treasure BAIC acquired.

Marque
Member
4 years 5 months ago
Wait, I don’t get it. Exactly what do these two cars have in common? They look so completely different. The B70G looks very good BTW, not according to Saab’s standards, that is. Obviously the design elements are copied from all corners of the world, but then which manufacturer doesn’t do the exact same, apart from Saab, here again. What a DNA that 1998 platform had, fantastic (and probably not so fantastic) brand new cars can be based on that. I for one will cheer for this distant relative to succeed. Definitely it sets brand new standards for the Chinese domestic… Read more »
KaiC
Member
4 years 5 months ago

According to the report from the chief sales officer of BAIC a day ago on the Beijing Autoshow.The C70 have all the elements of safty and sporty from saab.So i consider it will be the first real safe car produced in China. As for the taste of design there are many defferences between westen and eastern people.Maybe that`s the reason why we could not find any shadow of saab from the C70.

3cyl
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Safe or not, I’ll pass on a reborn SAAB if the new owners inflict it with anything like what you refer to as eastern design taste as reflected in the C70. Hopefully a new owner will retain Swedish design elements in their products.

On the other hand, perhaps there is a larger worldwide market for eastern style SAABs. This is something the new owner will decide.

KaiC
Member
4 years 5 months ago

Hope BAIC could produce the car with high quarlity at first.They really have a long way to walk to the worldwide market..

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Why is it that I so much admire Chinese arts and design in general, but don’t like “Chinese” influence in car design (or some other technical goods)? There is something bogus here.

rokhiggins
Member
4 years 5 months ago

http://www.carnewschina.com/2012/04/23/beijing-auto-c70g-debuts-on-the-beijing-auto-show/

More photos of the chinese car. Do you like the color? I guess it works for that market:-)

Angelo V.
Member
4 years 5 months ago

I like the car and I like the color. I’ve grown quite tired of the same metallic silver, gray—-same hues over and over from every manufacturer. They did a fine job with this car.

wpDiscuz