Variants of the Auto Express 9-3

People that know how the final car looks like have said that the blurry picture of last week was a pre JC design, and thus not really the real deal.

Auto Express has given a talented photoshopper the task to polish that picture using clues from the 9-5 and the Phoenix, for instance the fog-lamps pods are 100% Phoenix, or the crease on the rear fender.

Our Italian friends from the Saabway club have sent us two variants of the AE 9-3, which are at least interesting, and some of you will like more than the original AE 9-3

Read moreVariants of the Auto Express 9-3

A more road-ready PhoeniX? (photochop)

Following our coverage of the PhoeniX showing in Trollhättan (A few more and PhoeniX European Tour 2011), the team received this e-mail from T.M.:

Subject: what would a road-ready phoeniX look like?..hmm
That`s what I asked myself, and I came up with something, didn`t mess with the front cause I quite like it, the back and side needed a bit of “street normality” to them.

As you’ll recall the PhoeniX has aerodynamically innovative wings that channel air in a very tight way to lower the coefficient of drag.

So, what did T.M. come up with?

Better? Worse? Should Saab try harder to be normal? Discuss. More images in an update after the break.

Read moreA more road-ready PhoeniX? (photochop)

Sunday Night Snippets – Bowler Edition

It’s a long distance relationship that we hinted at a few days ago thanks to a tip from SUHRT’s Jorgen Trued – now confirmed.

CPP has bought Bowler.

I’m not sure if I’ve got all this correct as I’m writing off the top of my head, but here goes……CPP Global Holdings Ltd is the same group owned by Vladimir Antonov (and I believe, also part owned by CPP Managing Director, Brendan O’Toole) that recently agreed to acquire Spyker’s sports car business. They are also the coachbuilding company that now makes Spyker vehicles since their move from Zeewolde.

And if you’re not familiar with Bowler’s vehicles, do yourself a favour and go Google them. Brutal beasts, they are. It’s nice to have them in the extended family.


The Saab 9-3 Griffin is now being advertised in Sweden…..

…. nice image, that one. The ad also talks about the Saab 9-3 SportCombi now getting under the 120g/km bar.

243,000 crowns is around $38,000 US dollars.

Thanks to JH for the scan.


People are still buying Saabs……

I’ve had two emails over the weekend relating to people shopping for Saabs. One for a Griffin and one stitching up a deal on a Saab 9-5 Aero.

It’s great to see, and I’m sure we’ll hear more about these purchases as time ticks on.

In the meantime, I’m making a few enquiries of my own. I’m still not in a position to buy new, but am having some thoughts about some vintage Swedish steel. I’ll keep you posted.


This is the front of the Saab PhoeniX Concept….

And this is a quick photoshop of how the PhoeniX concept front end could be adapted for a future Saab 9-3. The artist wishes to remain nameless…..

Nice work. I’d give that a second look. For sure.


The Saab IQon video is definitely proving to be the hit of the Geneva Motor Show news releases. It’s been picked up by motoring websites, as well as plenty of technology mags.

I took another look at it today using my Apple TV device to stream to my 40-inch screen and it looked absolutely fantastic. As of that viewing, it had been watched over 110,000 times.

It’s hard to say what was the bigger hit for Saab in Geneva – PhoeniX or IQon. Great to have them both there, however.


It’s a long weekend here. Woohoo!

I have a lot of writing to do tomorrow, as well as trying to fit in a visit with fellow Saabnut Drew B and a good cleaning of the Monte Carlo. Busy days.

I hope you’re having a great weekend.

Monday Night Mega-Snippets – Happy/Sad edition

I’d like to take this opportunity to pass along a belated, but very happy 82nd birthday wish to Mr Saab, Erik Carlsson.

His birthday was last Saturday, March 5th.

50 years ago, Erik nearly took a placing in the Monte Carlo rally driving a station wagon. He finished fourth. Some brief video here.


I had a chat with Manfred from Hirsch, at the Geneva Motor Show. There are some new body kit items coming from the 9-5 soon. They look fantastic from the early imagery that I’ve seen, but they’re not ready to be shown yet.

What he could talk to me about was this new, lightweight wheel. How light? The wheel itself weight just 11 kilograms. When you put a tyre on it, the weight doubles to 22 kg.

I don’t know about you, but the idea of a wheel being the same weight as the tyre that’s placed on it is a bit of a mindblower.


A note from TTELA about the Saab factory:

Saab will be going to maximum production in the next few weeks thanks to strong orders towards the end of February.

Sounds like those Independence Day announcements have caused some interest.


A tiny bit of Djup Strupery….

Talk has come through that the Saab 9-5x has been signed off very recently, for release in MY2013.

We watch and see.


And speaking of the 9-5, if you’ve never seen Saab’s U-rail system in action, there’s some video here demonstrating it from Geneva on the new Saab 9-5 SportCombi.


TreeHugger is the Anti-NTP.

It’s great that Saab is thinking about hybrids and stop-start systems and all that, and it’s not nothing that a car this sporty can get in the mid-40 MPG range, but for a concept car that is supposed to be forward-looking, it’s not enough. It just doesn’t cut it these days.

It’s a CONCEPT you bunch of double-rainbow dreadlocked moonbeams.


An image from comments…….. by Jeff the resident photoshopper


Last, but by no means least….

Vale David Calabrese

Many Saab fans and club members in the US are mourning the loss of David Calabrese last week. David was tragically struck down in car accident in Chicago.

My correspondence with Dave was minimal, but it was very obvious that he was a passionate Saab fan. He wrote to me several times earlier this year telling me about observations he made at Saab dealers and auto shows that left him very concerned for the brand, some of which I passed on to Saab in North America.

I’ve had a number of people write to me about his passing and it’s quite obvious that he was held in very high esteem by all. It saddens me that I never had an opportunity to meet this old-school Saaber.

David Calabrese was 70 years of age.

RobertJ mashes the Saab 9-5 and PhoeniX concept

Aren’t computers fantastic?

Just a few days after the PhoeniX has made an appearance, people are wondering what it might mean for future Saabs. We’ve already heard from Jason Castriota that some features of the PhoeniX concept will flow through to future Saabs, most notably the front end, elements of which will form the ‘face’ of Saabs in future years and of course, the PhoeniX platform itself (more on that in a later article).

RobertJ took the liberty of combining the new Saab 9-5 with elements of the PhoeniX’s design, the results of which he posted in comments and on Flickr.

Here’s the mashup. The 9-5 bits are in black and PhoeniX in gold.



Jeff P has extended RobertJ’s work with a bit of coloration to make finished proposals.

It’s always fun to see this sort of thing. Outstanding work from both.

Thanks gents.

Tiago photoshops the Saab Design Concept for Geneva

Saab have given us the first teaser image of the design concept they will unveil at the Geneva Motor Show.

In the comments that ensued, Tompa asked one our resident photoshoppers, Tiago do Vale, whether he might be able to make something more from the section that we saw. Tiago was tempted beyond resistance and so here we have his work.

Now, all should bear in mind that this is just an exercise in fun and speculation to the highest degree. Tiago himself prefaces his images with the following:

This one is very speculative, of course: the teaser image doesn’t provide any detail and we might even be wrong about the perspective we believe the photo was taken from. But I had a few hours, I know and admire Castriota’s work… and suspect that this concept will be sporty and low slung… sort of a new sonnet.

And so I did it.

I don’t want anyone to believe that the concept could look anything like this – I’m 1000% sure it will not- but it serves the purpose of testing if our ideas about the picture’s perspective are right. I think they probably are: I superimposed the teaser over the chop – see the second image – and it sort of fits 🙂

The first image – Tiago’s photoshop by itself….

And the second image, with the concept teaser superimposed….

There you go, Tompa!

And everyone else, too, of course.

My thanks to Tiago for whipping these up and sending them in.

Thursday Night Snippets – Hi-Po edition

This is slightly embarrassing for me as I prefer the public stuff to be about Saab and about you and your Saabs, but I can’t not post these after a few mates went to the trouble of shooting them and sending them in.

These two blokes are good mates of mine and regulars here at SU. One I’ve met in person and the other I’ll definitely buy dinner for next time I’m in Germany.

From deep in the heart of BMW country, this is Till72 and Olaf95 having their own little SaveSU Convoy 🙂

The two black cars belong to the Till72 family and the white 9-5 belongs to Olaf.

Incidentally, those two are off to the Saab Arctic Adventure up in northern Sweden this weekend. I’m expecting Olaf’s photographic work to be outstanding and I know Till’s going to have some fun to report.


The ex-GM Heritage Collection Saab 9-3 Viggen for sale on Ebay is now up to $18,600 though the reserve is still to be reached.



“Hey, Fatboy!”

Pic from Autoforum, via Facebook.

And for those thinking I’m being a little sizeist there, zip it. I’m as big as any of you.


Speaking of the Teutonic competition, this article from Bloomberg does a good job of spelling out just how much demand there is for larger luxury vehicles.

Audi AG buyers must wait an average of three to four months for cars like the $52,700 A6 sedan as the company runs factories at full steam in an effort to keep pace with record demand, sales chief Peter Schwarzenbauer said.

“If sales continue to grow like this, it’ll be difficult to say how long it could take to reduce waiting times,” Schwarzenbauer said yesterday in a phone interview from Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany. “We’re working at full capacity at our plants and may add extra shifts on Saturdays.”

Many of might consider the 9-5 to be too big, but there’s definitely a big market for cars like this when the manufacturer gets the formula right.

Thanks to Curvin for the tip!


Norwegian magazine prognosticates on the possibility of a smaller Saab…..

Hit that link to see just how much like a Mini they think this car will be.

I say “No”

Thanks Bjarte!


And finally, for all you hardcore Hi-Po Saab advocates, here’s your Hi-Po Saab – and it’s even dragracing sportscars and winning!!


Off to it!

h/t to Andy Rupert for finding that one.

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