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by Tim

Aero X concept drawings

March 13, 2012 in SAAB Automobile AB

These are images not widely seen before, the Aero X concept drawings made when the Aero X was being developed… We’ve had the rear image as our top image on our Facebook page for some time and a lot of people didn’t recognize the car so we thought we might as well post the images here as well =) Enjoy! =)

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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!

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by Tim

SaabsUnited EXCLUSIVE: SAAB PREMIUM COMPACT REVEALED!

March 1, 2012 in SAAB Automobile AB

During the last 5 years we have heard about a compact premium car that was supposed to be developed by Saab, also rumored as the Saab 9-1. The rendering we are now revealing is a clear continuation of the Aero X concept. It gives a clear indication about the design language Saab was going for in terms of a Premium Compact car…

From the photo you can clearly see the lines of the 9-X Air with window shape of the Aero X. I must say that I think this one of the best looking cars I have ever seen and I do hope something similar will come out of it in the future!

This IS what a future buyer of SAAB needs in order to really save the brand!

 

TERMS OF USE: The photo may be used for editorial purposes with permission of SaabsUnited, please contact saabsunitedcrew@gmail.com

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by Tim

Griffin Convertible sales update

February 27, 2012 in Editorial, SAAB Automobile AB

Since the article on SaabsUnited last week about the last of the 9-3 Convertibles being built, the pressure on ANA’s sales department has been to say the least, huge. People from all over the world have gotten in touch with ANA wanting to buy one of the last convertibles of the previous chapter in Saab’s history. If it is the last chapter or not will probably be revealed within a few days.

People as far away as New Zealand and Japan have made calls for right hand drive cars, lots of interest shown from the United States particularly around the area around of Memphis and Boston, but also a call from Canada. European’s are of course also greatly interested in these cars and have made several inquires. Most of the cars today have a potential buyer or even several potential buyers waiting in line. Not a lot of time is given to a potential buyer to decide upon the deal or not.

I was also one of the people who placed a call to ANA showing interest in buying a convertible, and I was aiming for a very special car. A 9-3 2,0T Biopower Griffin Aero in the color Sky Blue.

It was the same car that I covered here at SU on the 30th of May 2011 when we were sent some photos of the car by a “djup strupe”, as soon as we got the photos I had to make my way to Saab to see the car in real life as well.

Last friday I was taken out to see the car in real life once again. It was parked together with all the other convertibles at a secret location in Trollhättan. I had heard from people in the production that there are only three cars painted in Sky Blue in total. One 9-3 SportsCombi, one 9-3 Convertible and one 9-3 Sedan. All of these cars were test cars at Saab and in normal circumstances they would never have been sold to private people until they had served as company cars at Saab for a number of years. We’ve been very fortunate to have gotten photos of all three of these cars here on SU. Sky Blue is in fact not a new color in Saab’s palette. It has a history of being used back in 1996 and 1997 with the color code 262. The cars painted with this color were mainly Saab 900′s.

It was really nice to see these cars in reality and to confirm that the Sky Blue 9-3 is in fact the same car I had the honor of meeting back in may. On the tags the 9-3 had week 134 printed on it which means that it was built in week 13 on the 4th day and during the weekend I have done some research into this car. This car entered the first station in the final assembly plant early in the morning on the 31′st of March 2011 and left the end of line during mid day on April 1st. It was held in an area called the the revision hall which is located at the end of the customer care line where highly trained professionals check the cars one last time for any potential flaws. Cars entering the revision hall are given an even more careful extra check where the cars are standing still and controllers check a long list of items on the car. Since this was a test car it was later rolled out outside the revision hall where I had the honor of meeting it for the first time.

Another friend was also parked in the parking lot together with the Sky Blue car. From the original photos sent to us back in may a nocturne blue 9-3 Griffin convertible is also visible, this car is also parked together with its sky blue brother in the same area. Seeing all the different colors parked next to each other really gives a nice view and I must be very honest to say that when I first saw the Independence Edition version of the 9-3 Convertible I did not at all like the color, in fact I thought it was fairly ugly but as time passes the color has grown on me and last friday I stood there for several minutes and just looked at one of those IE 9-3′s and I must say that I’ve fallen in love with the color, though the only thing I still can’t get used to are the rims…

So during the weekend I have had a lot on my mind. Buying that Sky Blue 9-3 would be an amazing thing to do and owning such a special car would be a true privilege. But such a purchase is not without sacrifice and my financial situation does not allow me to keep the three Saab’s that I have now and add such an expensive car so I would have been forced to trade the most expensive car I have, my 9-5 Griffin SC from 2010 which itself is a very important car for me, being that it is one of the absolute last cars built of the original 9-5′s and one of the absolute last cars to be ordered by a customer. I ordered that car on December 19th, the day after GM decided to wind down Saab.

A 9-3 convertible is, when you really think about it, a very expensive toy and not very practical, and sacrificing a car that I need almost every day and love for a car that I do not need but just want and at the the same time loosing an absolutely huge amount of money is not an equation I could justify to neither myself nor my family. Taking a lot of factors into consideration such as the fact that we are currently renovating our house and absolutely need a Combi is very important.

Taking the decision not to buy this car is probably the most difficult decision I have ever had to make. All my friends knew how eager and how much I really wanted to have this car but in the end they all supported my decision and thought it was the sensible thing to do. So this morning I painfully made the call to ANA allowing the car to be released to the next potential buyer and I am 100% sure that this person will love this extremely special car just as much as I would have!

I truly wish all the buyers of these absolutely amazing cars many years and thousands of kilometers of joy! One day I will join in with a convertible of my own! =)

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by Tim

The last Saabs have been built… *updated!

February 22, 2012 in SAAB Automobile AB

Today it happened, the last Saab of this chapter was completed, a RHD (right hand drive) independence Edition Saab 9-3 Aero TTiD Convertible. Our photographer RikardH was invited to ANA Special Cars where the final Saabs were being assembled by some very privileged and great ANA employees.

Joachim Lind, CEO at ANA said earlier that ANA considers the task of completing the last Saabs a great honor and privilege which ANA takes very seriously. Having a long history of rebuilding Saab’s into special vehicles ANA was the perfect choice for this very important task.

And so today, to witness the completion of the last car, ANA hosted a media event and SaabsUnited were of course on the invitation list. Rikard showed up at ANA at around 1 PM and was greeted by Joachim Lind. Rikard was shown around the area and given details about the cars. Rikard being one of our top photographers, of course saw it as a great honor to document this event, which was for a selected few people only.

In total 47 convertibles have been built, 21 are Left Hand Drive and are all owned by ANA, the remaining 26 are right hand drive and are owned by the bankruptcy administrators. If anyone would be interested in those 21 LDH cars they are welcome to contact a salesman at ANA and more information about the specific models will be made available. The 26 RHD cars are still in an unwritten chapter, we simply don’t know how these cars will be sold yet.

* UPDATE: All the cars including the RHD models are able to be sold via ANA. ANA can buy these cars from the bankruptcy administrators if a buyer approaches ANA and a deal is made. All customers form the entire world are welcome to contact ANA and the salesmen will do their best to make sure that anyone will be able to buy a car.

To contact ANA please call +46 520 472700 or visit the website www.anabil.se.

ALL PHOTOS ARE COPYRIGHT TO SAABSUNITED.COM

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by Tim

SAAB Advanced Concept Center

February 14, 2012 in SAAB Automobile AB

Saab Advanced Concept Center is a place that a lot of people have driven by without knowing that it was there, unless you have very sharp eyes. Located about 500 meter north of the Saab Museum, on the other side of the town from the Saab factory, in a row of 100 year old brick buildings you’ll find one of Saab’s most secret buildings.

This gate was always closed, a few days ago I drove by and noticed that it suddenly was open so I just had to go inside to have a look. I’ve read about this place before and also talked to people who used to work there, although they didn’t say what they were working on until the end of Saab on 19th of december 2011, they did talk about some of the work they did before. The building was renovated in 1998 and completed in 1999. This space was occupied from 1999 until 2003 when the work here was moved to Pixbo in Gothenburg. When Saab entered into reconstruction in 2009 the designers were moved back to Trollhättan as the Gothenburg facilities were closed down due to the cost reduction program. In 2008 some of the design work for Saab was also done at the GM Europe central design center in Germany.

The main word describing the work in there is concept and design language. In which direction did Saab want to go. A typical word for that is minimalistic which normally is the word used for describing Scandinavian design. IKEA uses it extensively as well as both Saab and Volvo. The doors used to be covered with white grain making it impossible to see inside even though it would let a fair bit of the light inside. Everything inside is white, the floors, roof, walls which according to some people who worked there gave a very good working environment when working with lines and curves. It also provided you with what they describe as a Scandinavian winter feeling. This was also featured somewhat in a book I read a long time ago called Nordic by Nature.

The frist thing you used to see was a reception and a display area which was totally covered for anyone trying to look inside. Behind yet another wall was the workshop area’s and office. Only a handful of people worked at this facility and secrecy was kept very high.

Being inside this building is interesting, the light is pretty amazing with roof windows and the whiteness everywhere. Some rare photos that I have seen (but didn’t manage to get a copy of) from this place made me recognize this place instantly, it was nice to be able to compare the mental image of those photos I had of it with actually being there.

A fact that is both sad and interesting is that the area today has been converted into an art gallery and is open to the public. It is another result of Saab going bankrupt. Many other Saab buildings are today the workplace of other people and other companies. I’ll try to cover it in more detail in later articles.

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by Tim

What’s what at SAAB?

February 13, 2012 in SAAB Automobile AB

Here is an interesting little thing that I’ve been working on for a while. It’s a brief description of what is what at Saab. I’ll continue this series for a while showing you what was done where at Saab in Trollhättan. Saab actually had many facilities all over the city, I’ve got some great material that I’ll show you throughout the week. This picture will become more explained in detail as well once I get more data. But I think this is a good start…

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by Tim

Ironic advertising…

February 4, 2012 in SAAB Automobile AB

Everytime I drive to work at Gothenburg International airport I pass by the sign below, its kind of ironic regarding the text written on it but the photo is just beautiful! I’m happy that they haven’t taken the advertisement down yet, it’s cheering me up every time I pass by it! =)

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by till72

Saab Arctic Adventure 2011

January 18, 2012 in Events, SAAB Automobile AB

Yesterday I came across this video. It was obviously made on the Arctic Adventure 2011, which I attended, too. It brings up fond memories of a unique event. It is a great video that gives you a feel how amaizing this event is. And not to forget that he seems to like the 9-5 quite a lot.

Enjoy!

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by Tim

Saab Museum now, Saab websites soon…

January 16, 2012 in SAAB Automobile AB

I fear that the next thing that will happen is that all the Saab websites will be closed down, now its the museum, is soon going to happen to the websites so I urge everyone to download as many photos as you can from these websites and save as much materials as possible before its gone.!

You can if you want, upload these photos to the SU photo library.

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by Red J

Saab Automobile AB Heavy Stamping

January 5, 2012 in SAAB Automobile AB, Technical

I’ve found this on a tweet from Saablog-In.

It makes me feel melancholic. But there is still hope that this press shop will continue creating nice cars in 2012.

I don’t know who has uploaded this video on YouTube. The user is called fglasell and the video was updated on november 7.