Future Saabs – Hatches and Sonetts, please!

I’m going to use this post to tie together a few different articles from the past, as well as a couple of new ones.

A few weeks ago, I asked a question on behalf of Ny Teknik magazine in Sweden. They wanted to know what the people thought a Saab of the future should look like. What it should feature.

You responded here at SU with 95 comments and I’m sure Ny Teknik received a bunch more of them too. They’ve already published the first of those comments online and they’ll cover a few more in the near future as they get closer to putting together – with illustrations – what they believe to be ‘the people’s Saab’.
The first of the comments Ny Teknik published (via Googletrans)

Ny Tekniik has received 150 proposals from Saab enthusiasts around the world on what characterizes a true Saab.

Next week we show a drawing of the readers’ Dream-Saab.

Until then, on Wednesday when the next issue of the Ny Teknik coming out, we are publishing on the web a few excerpts of the many proposals received via email and comments on the call we made in new technology and the site via the site Saabsunited.com.

First up is Stephanie and Edward Karr from Cedar Rapids in Iowa, USA.

– Thank you for the opportunity to share my vision, writes Stephanie Karr and send us some photos of her and her Saab.

Stephanie drives a Saab 9-3 Hatchback, model year 1999. Edward has an 9-3 Sport Combi, model year 2008 and Stephanie’s mother is on her third Saab, now a 9-3 Convertible, model year 2007.

This is Stephanies wishlist for the future of Saab.

  1. Keep the best of Saab and skip the gimmicky stuff,
  2. A car is for driving, not fiddling with controls.
  3. Keep the idea of hatchback with three or five doors – practical and stylish and a signature for Saab.
  4. I love when other car owners look at me with skeptical eyes as I fill the back end and the car easily swallows everything.
  5. Turbo motors must remain. Efficient and fast.

You comments seemed to include a bunch of consistent themes:

  • Hatchback
  • Swedish character
  • Turbocharged and lightweight
  • Safety
  • Safety
  • Practicality

It’s not a surprising list as it pretty much sums up all of Saab’s greatest virtues from their golden periods in time.

It’ll be interesting to see the final outcome from Ny Teknik’s deliberations over what they’ve received as contributions.


As a prelude to that article, I wrote my own little thought piece on what I’d really love in a future Saab:

I also wonder if there might be room in a future Saab range for something they used to do incredibly well – a lightweight, compact, driver’s car.

In that article, I talked about going a different tack from what many of you suggested – offering minimal levels of equipment. Stripping the car down, essentially, to man and machine (or as close as you can get in this electronic age).

WIRED magazine seems to agree to an extent – calling yesterday for a return of the Saab Sonett:

What’s more, Saab, and Spyker, need a fun, cheap, entry-level car. What Saab currently offers is plenty impressive, true, but a new Sonett would be both impressive and fun. Never underestimate fun as a way to help you sell the rest of your brand. It might also bring younger buyers into showrooms……

So what would it look like? Around 2,200 pounds, 160 horsepower and a base price in the 24K range sounds about right. Throw in optional light racks that can bolt onto the front and modern versions of Halda trip calculators that can screw into the dash in front of the navigator’s chair and Spyker would have a lead pipe with which to bludgeon the competition on the rally course.

Click that link and read. Plenty of good thoughts there and the kind of car they describe is exactly what I’d love to buy in a new Saab.

In saying that, I recognise that such a car is totally not family-friendly and therefore won’t be a huge priority – but geez it would be fun 🙂

As the author writes – how much money have Mazda made from the Miata over the last 20 years?

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