I’m away for a couple of days, but this ought to give you something to chew on…..
Consider this the oiling of squeaky wheels as far as SU is concerned.
There are a number of people who frequent this site who think that Saab should definitely build a high-powered, performance-oriented halo version of one of its cars. Whilst I count myself as a frequenter of this site, I do not count myself as an extreme halo car advocate at this time.
From my perspective – and noting that I’d love to see a higher spec Saab if it were realistically possible – what Saab need to do at this point in their history is improve, refine and expand their existing product line. They nearly died just 12 months ago and have a lot of basics to cover in order to get to a position where they’re self-supporting, financially healthy and stable for the future. They need to walk before they try to run.
Whilst I personally consider this sort of model to be an extravagance that Saab can’t afford right now, I’m open to being proven wrong.
The SU Hi-Po Challenge.
If you are one of the Hi-Po advocates, then I offer you a front page opportunity to state your case.
We’ve frequently been told by Hi-Po advocates that such a car must have 350hp minimum, so that’s your baseline (but of course, you should always go 50hp more than the expected amount).
I want you to lay out how you’ll achieve that sort of power, where you’ll source the engine from, what other modifications you’ll do to the interior, exterior, suspension, etc, in order to make this car 1) buildable, and 2) marketable.
I want you to state your timeframe for testing this car, to make sure that the company can warrant the vehicle in all markets with confidence.
I want you to tell me the expected sale price, based on current pricing in your market. Along with that, state how many of these vehicles you think Saab could realistically sell, given current challenges and the reduced marketing budget they might have as a result of this project (your decision, see below).
Remember, they had trouble selling 2,000 Turbo X’s in 2008. I’m not sure if they sold many more Viggens than that back in the early parts of the decade, either. Your car is going to have to be more compelling than those (which means $$$$) but for not much, if any, more money.
And speaking of money…… of course, it’s absolutely essential for you to tell me how you’re going to fund the engineering, development and testing of this project. The Saab 9-3 Viggen was based on an existing model but still took several years to develop before coming to market. All that development work has to be paid for somehow.
Saab have a very limited pot of funds, so if we’re to add a Viggen-on-steroids-style performance version, with all of the work such a project entails, then something’s got to go from the current priority list. Given the EIB funds are for efficiency projects only, EIB money is out of the question.
And by the way – this is done as if under Saab’s current circumstances. There’s no “we’ll go and float on the Stockholm exchange” or “Antonov will give us the money” stuff. You have to fit it in to the current program by telling us which current priority is less important than a performance car.
There are no prizes for this challenge. All you get is the satisfaction of being keen enough to rise to the challenge.
Please be aware that your entry may be critiqued with similar vigor as if it were one of Saab’s own plans for a product offering (and if you hang around here frequently enough, you know that that’s pretty tough scrutiny). Please be prepared to accept that level of scrutiny, just as you expect Saab to live with the scrutiny you apply to them.
All entries should be sent to my email address (swade99-at-gmail.com) and I’ll post them here on site, as is. If we get more than half a dozen then I’ll put up a poll and people can vote on them.
Saab is involved in a real business. If you can make a real business case then maybe they’ll see it and act accordingly.