What about some good rumours to start the week?
We at SaabsUnited have already made two posts about the “In-car entertainment system” of the face lifted 9-3. The first was about the rumours that pointed to the Parrot Asteroid as being the chosen system, and the second was about the interior pictures of the Chinese version of www.saabcars.com showing a big display instead of the “old” GM Radio.
Today, after checking www.saabcars.com in the three languages available, I felt like having good news and not so good news (for most of you) to tell you.
I will begin with the not so good news. As expected China is the second country where NEVS is asking people for their interest on the car, very much what they did in Sweden a couple of months ago, but this time they are not trying to sell the car online.
There is still hope that after the presentation of the facelift (Beijing Autoshow April 20th maybe) we will slowly learn about other countries where that car will be offered, but we have to wait till then.
The good news, or interesting news, is derived from the former.
NEVS has now published a Chinese car spec sheet, and although I hope that all mighty Google knows Chinese better than me, there are some bits and pieces that make sense after translation.
This is an extract of the spec sheet
萨博IQon信息娱乐系统;基于安卓的信息娱乐系统,带8英寸显示 屏,导航,免提电话,蓝牙音频播放,WIFI,双USB接口和语音控制 功能。
I think most of you have already noticed something without translation. Until we don’t have a confirmation we will treat it as a rumour, but it seems like all the talks about that Parrot unit was a little bit of smoke to tarn what I think is a big sensation to see the IQon system on the 9-3N.
The full translation reads.
Sound and Communications
Saab IQon infotainment system; Android-based infotainment system with 8-inch display, navigation, hands-free phone, Bluetooth audio playback, WIFI, dual USB interface and voice control.
I finished my last post about this with the sentence.
Now, let us hope that the guys at NEVS make a good integration of the system in the car so it feels like an OEM system rather than a aftermarket car stereo.
Well, I think if that text of the spec sheet is right, and NEVS is not trying to foolish its Chinese customers, which I highly doubt, NEVS has managed to get the best integration it can get, as there is no aftermarket system with IQon currently on the market.
Back to the specs. I’m missing a rear-view camera, but I know how complicated/expensive is to add a single cable to the wiring harness of a car, so maybe we see this in the future, but if not, I really understand why.
We will try to get a confirmation from NEVS, but I think till the 20th of April NEVS will keep their mouths shut.
Sorry guys, I’ve a little bit too impulsive when writing this post. Although I’ve heard from too many sources that NEVS would be at the Beijing Auto Show, I’ve finally found a floor plan of the show and I’m missing NEVS on that plan.
UPDATE 2 !!!
I have some update from NEVS directly.
This unit is a already developed Hardware with a standardized SW platform, as the time frame was too short to develop something completely new.
NEVS has worked with Swedspot to develop this head-unit. Swedspot is a spin-off of the former Saab Automobile, and most of the developers of the IQon system are now part of that company.
Acording to NEVS this IQon is not the same as in the Demo at Geneva 2011, but a new development, and their plan is to build all their future infotainment units based on this platform.
So all in all this might not be the full IQon system as firstly designed, as there was more to IQon than a GUI design. But the creators of the IQon system were involved in this development, making me think that the infotainment system of the 9-3N will feel right in a Saab and not like a after-market head unit.