Could a retro Saab 9-1 work?

I received a link from WooDz about this car today:
What you’re looking at here is NOT a Mk II Jaguar, it’s called a Mitsuoka. It’s made as a city car by a company in Japan, using a Jag-inspired body on top of the bones of a Nissan Micra.
There are 4 seats, a top-line trim featuring faux-woodgrain and three engine options from 1.2 litres to 1.5 litres (90hp to 109hp).
When I first saw this, I wrote back to WooDz stating that I thought it quote unholy. If I were a Jag owner (I am a Jag appreciator but there’s only so much heartache I can bear) and someone on my street owned one of these, I think I’d be feeling ripped off a little.
But that’s just me and I know that I can be a bit snobby with such things.
WooDz is much more open and if I put my own snobbery aside, then I can allow myself to see the merit in his madness.
Saab have such a unique history of car design, it really would be cool if they could revive an older model in a modern way. Most of us, when we think of a Saab model revival, think straight away about the Saab 900. That would indeed be quite cool, but it’d be a bit big for the intended purpose in this instance.
WooDz is going back. Waaaaaay back.
His idea is that perhaps Saab could partner up with some people to build a small city car based on one of their own previous small car designs – the Saab 92. You can’t go back much further than that!
Custom Saab 92
I’ve deliberately chosen a Saab 92 image where the car’s been done up a little already as it might give you a better idea of a contemporary version of the car.
Saab would love to do a small car in the future, and Saab’s future is going to be all about partnerships. WooDz has picked up on the fact that Ford are going to be releasing a wider Ecoboost engine range in the future, including turbocharged engines as small as just 2 or 3 cylinders.
I think Ford are situated pretty well for turbo engineering right now, but who knows? Maybe Saab can partner up with them on the development of those engines.
A small, nimble Saab 9-1 based on the original design of the Saab 92 and carrying a two or three cylinder turbo (instead of a two or three cylinder 2-stroker like the old Saab 92 and 93) would make for a very interesting throwback city car.
It feels unholy when I think of a Jag design based on a Micra frame. But a Saab based on something decent with a good little turbo?
Colour me interested.

Ny Teknik: Saab’s 9-1 hybrid plans

Swedish nerd mag, Ny Teknik, has an article today speculating on Saab’s possible small car plans for the future.
This would no doubt be a vehicle similar to the 9-X BioHybrid in size and it sounds like they’re going to licence and play around with a bunch of technology from GM.
The article is in Swedish, but I’ve received an English translation via email:
Saab are currently (and secretly) developing a smaller car, with a cheap electrical hybrid solution. The car is based on GMs existing smaller Delta platform.
The new small Saab will compete with BMW1 series and Mercedes A-class
With the help of the hybrid solution, fuel consumption can be reduced to as low as 0,4 l/10km.
This is an attempt to regain the former Saab strength: smalls, fuel efficient cars with driving pleasure. The basic design of the engine taken from any of the GMs smaller engines. They are available in both petrol and diesel models from 3-cylinder to 1 liter and above.
The engine (diesel/petrol) is complemented with a hybrid solution based on a GM technology called BAS (Belt driven Alternater Starter) and consists of a combined start engine and a generator that replaces the more separated conventional start engine and generator.
The benefits with the BAS technology is that it take smaller space and can easily be incorporated in the existing Delta platform. This means reduced costs and shorter production time.
I received an official comment from a Saab spokesman about this one, as follows:

“As our concept cars prove we have never been short of innovative ideas however we have not always had the opportunity to make them a reality.”

Read into that what you will, but I’d say they’re looking forward to the opportunity to do what they haven’t been able to do in the past.
In my mind, the next generation Saab 9-3 wouls have to be the biggest priority on Saab’s list, but if they could pull this car off in an inexpensive manner – and it sounds like most of the tech is quite well along the way – then it would be an absolute bonus.
Thanks Anders!

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