The results are in and I think many of you might be surprised.
A few weeks ago I invited readers here to contribute to an effort being co-ordinated by Ny Teknik magazine in Sweden. You were asked to provide your vision of what a future Saab car should include.
That request ran concurrently at Ny Teknik itself and they’ve gathered all the thoughts, picked the dominant themes and presented them in an article on their website. Yes, an illustration is included, one that is based on those dominant themes.
Ny Teknik have provided me with translations as well as images from their article, which appear below.
SAAB OWNERS’ WISH LIST
Over 70 e-mails direct to Ny Teknik and over 70 comments on the Web from Saab enthusiasts all over the world ended up in a distinct wish-list to Saab´s CEO Jan Ake Johnson and Saabs owner Victor Muller.
The main concern is simplicity, functionality, originality, classic Saab roadholding and drivers control and aerodynamic shape.
Saab should be a family-friendly sports car rather than a sporty family car. Here is a summary of the long, long wish list to Jan Ake Johnson, and Victor Muller.
- Turbo is a must.
- Combi Coupé is Saab’s hallmark – three or five doors with folding rear seats.
- Simple and stylish Scandinavian design with aerodynamic shape. Have a look at old Saab 92.
- Combine future with retro – build a small car like the Saab 96 in a modern version with Ultra Low fuel consumption.
- Take advantage of the heritage of Saabs rally time with direct control and safe handling, which makes four-wheel drive is unnecessary.
- Saab is special – not a sports car or magnificently practical. Saab is a fast, comfortable and very personal car.
- Do not try to emulate BMW or Audi. A Saab should not resemble any other car.
- Safe, reliable and conservative looking.
- We need a Saab 9-1 or 9-2 – more basic with a focus on styling and performance.
- Do not be careless with Saab’s outstanding seats.
SAAB ENTHUSIASTS TO VICTOR MULLER: – THIS IS THE SAAB WE WANT!
This is how it looks like – the Saab enthusiasts wishful-Saab. Ny Teknik have been helped by Saab Owners all over the world to develop a selling Saab model.
Saab is about to cast off from the U.S. General Motors and started to prepare for a new life with the Dutch sports car manufacturer Spyker as the owner.
Already in Trollhättan, Saab’s engineers started to sketch out the future Saab models, and we asked the Ny Teknik readers to help Saab to get the right track for the future.
We received valuable assistance from the Australian Steven Wade and his blog Saabsunited.com. He put Ny Teknik in its call site and from all corners of the world were then enthusiastic e-mails to Ny Teknik´s editorial.
– Thanks for the chance to share with you my views on the Saab, writes 47-year old Stephanie Karr from Cedar Rapids in Iowa, USA.
In total, we received comments from some 150 Saab Owner of how a Saab should look like and what characteristics it should have.
We collected all the emails and comments and went to car design Johan Wejedal in Gothenburg to get a visual picture of the requests.
Click through to see the images and read more.
Johan Wejedal immediately saw a connection between the old 96 and Concept 9-X BioHybrid, which showed up a couple of years ago.
– My picture of the Future-Saab is a “modern retro” – as if Saab had never closed the manufacturing of the Saab 96 but made constant updates like Porsche has done with the 911, says Johan Wejedal.
He stresses the Saab heritage of aviation.
– Flights legacy can be seen for example on the roof, which is supposed to resemble glass cap in a fighter aircraft or a private propeller plane.
He has taken advantage of the original lines from the Model 96 while he fitted the car with a practical combination coupe-trunk, which was the hallmark of the popular Saab 900. Then he did a little innovation in the rear doors.
– To get a simpler inroads in the back seat – and to keep the original lines from the 96: and I have had the car get the same type of split rear doors like Mazda RX8 and the Mini Clubman, said Johan Wejedal.
Thus, two large full front doors plus two small rear hanged doors for rear passengers, which only can be opened when the front is opened, according to John Wejedal.
Johan himself is very satisfied with the outcome.
– This model could also, easily be build a combi-coupé, a new 9-5, a cross-over or a convertible, says Johan Wejedal.
THE EDITORS REFLECTION – SO RIGHT SAAB!
Retro is right for Saab. And the future of Trollhattan should be looked for in the past.
It is the clear message from you, the readers of Ny Teknik, to the new owner of this over 60-year-old Swedish industrial jewel.
And I think you are absolutely right. But Saab should not be backing into the future. The key to Saab’s talented engineers and designers are now quickly analyze Saabs own DNA.
Highlight the soul of the brand, the soul that GM’s directors never knew, or wanted to understand. It is the heritage of aviation and the legendary duo Sixten Sason (designer) and Gunnar Ljungstrom (engineer) that Saab must take care of.
Carefully dress on in new forms and download with lots of new innovative technologies at the cutting edge.
In a world of mass-produced cars Saab must stand out. Be visible. Be unique.
Automobile manufacturing is similar to the fashion industry. It’s about trends. Most car buyers take the quality, safety and efficient engines for granted. These are hygiene factors that all manufacturers must satisfy. Including Saab.
The rest is about dreams.
The sportyness, the driving pleasure and the red color reminds of the underdog beating rally who took the world with storm in the Monte Carlo Rally.
So retro. But so right.
Look what BMW did with the Mini. Look what Fiat did with his 500th Look what Ford did with the Mustang. Look what Dodge did with the Challenger.
Victor Muller, take a good look at Saab 96!
If you want to, I´ll take you on a ride in my own of 1964. So together we can have a deeper talk about Saab’s soul in the right environment.
Editor in chief, Ny Teknik, Sweden