If things had gone a bit different a view like this with 9-3, 9-5, 9-5 SC and 9-4x side by side would have been rather normal. But we all know how things went for Saab, so meeting this range of cars on a dealer lot tells a lot about the amount of dedication that is involved in their business.
Saab Service Lafrentz in Kiel, Germany has been selling and servicing Saab for more than 25 years and even after bankruptcy they’ve never stopped. As the flow of new cars from Trollhättan ended they put a focus on finding pre-owned cars. They also have already imported two 9-4x, one more is right now on its way to Germany. When the auction of those 9-5 SC in Sweden took place they also bought one of them.
It’s rather unlikely that this car will ever go on sale (as it is drven by Markus Lafrentz himself) but through the experience with that car Saab Service Lafrentz became an unofficial competence center to get the 9-5 SC street legal here in Europe. As I heared they are right now helping other owners of this rare car to get the needed approvals. It was said that those could not be obtained but never say never…
Recently we read about NEVS contacting select Saab dealers across Europe. What we hadn’t heard and were immediately being asked about was, what about North America?
Well, I can now tell you that as of Friday morning all US and Canadian dealers who have information on file with SPNA have received the same letter. This had been in the works for a while with European dealers first followed by all of North America and was discussed at NADA last week.
I’m sure this won’t ease everyones worries about wether or not NEVS/SAAB has plans for North America but I can tell you that I have seen the letter and believe that this is yet another good sign to things to come.
We are heading in the right direction and things just keep coming into place.
The car is a beauty, although since we bought the car we only had a few sunny days, and those days where too cold to drive with the top down. But every car admits some slight changes to make great looking car even better. And after reading Tim’s article on his girlfriend’s car, I got a little bit jealous.
This time I wanted to make its fascia a little bit prouder of being a Saab, and for that last Friday a package with this arrived at my place.
Through my network of car designers I have been recommended to get in touch with a British born guy living in Vargön (Wolf’s Island). Vargön is just a couple of kilometers north of Trollhättan.
Since design in the recent years have grown to become the number on assett when selling cars I feel it is very important to keep the discussion on this dear topic. What is underneath the curved sheets of metal is today not of such big importance since most modern cars are adequate in terms of driving behavior and safety. Very few has he capacity or the knowledge to press a car to its limits. Many manufacturers work hard on putting well designed cars on the roads. Just take a look at the Range Rover Evoqe and the MB CLA class or the brand new Alfa Romeo C4 or the coming Alfa Romeo Gloria that came out of a design student competition at IED in Italy.
Eduard Gray is a talented 36 year old (very Swedish to tell a persons age), he designs not just cars but also yacths. His company is called Grey Design http://graydesign.se/2/ Some years ago he did a new take on the Ursaab.
He told me that he is working on both a new 9-3 as well as a 9-5
There are few things that people within the Saab community have been more eager to see than the Jason Castriota version of the third generation 9-3. Even though bankrupcy came the interest never really died. We all were extremely eager to see what was hidden behind factory doors in Stallbacka.
After a few blurry renderings from a rather early state of design surfaced a few weeks ago we got a first impression of what it had looked like. Then yesterday we could publish two more pics of the design mule. This time in better resolution, but still hard to judge as they were little more like snapshots from only two angles. One even more important point that maybe did not come out clearly enough yesterday is that those pics do not represent the final version of the design, it’s more like half way.
That wind tunnel model was created in September of 2010 – just a few months after Jason came onboard – and represents a stage where design vision and engineering needs were brought together for the first time. The result went through first aerodynamic tests to evaluate where additional work was needed.
Ever since I saw the first pics I was amazed how much it absorbed some core lines of the 900 (or 99) without being a retro design. For me personally it was a proof for Jasons ability to adapt Saabs design heritage and transform it into a fresh design. While the Phoenix concept was more like the classic Castriota field of supercars I was now convinced that he could really come up with a fitting design for a high volume model.
To clarify the evolution of his design a bit more Jason was kind enough to help me by setting the pictures we saw until now into perspective regarding the state of development they originate from. He even added more pics from various states of the process and described the process a bit from his point of view.
Month 1-4 – first sketches, first 3D math model, first full scale presentation model
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