Saab NG900 prototype?

I received an email from ‘Mike’ overnight with an interesting image attached.
It would seem that this might be one of the prototypes Saab built in developing the Saab 900 that replaced the classic 900 in 1994.
Click to enlarge.
Mike found the image here, and the accompanying text (in Swedish) says that only one was ever built, tested and then discontinued.
Right now is the part where I confess that I haven’t done my homework prior to posting this. I’ve got an Anders Tunberg book on the development of the NG900, but I haven’t fully read through it.
I’m going to go and take a flick through that book now, but if you’ve got any instant knowledge about this longer-looking 900, please feel free to chime in via comments.
I’ve received another image, this time of the car in motion.
It’s quite small, unfortunately, but the profile does look pretty good.
Thanks Mattias!!

Friday Night Snippets – Show me the money edition

From GM Media:

These items were offset by charges of $116 million for restructuring, a charge of $822 million related to Saab filing for reorganization, and a charge of $291 million in GM North America (GMNA) related to asset impairments.

OK, so that’s not Saab’s losses for the quarter. GM don’t break down the numbers for different brands. But let’s just assume it is.
From the SMH:

Toyota lost 765.8 billion yen (7.7 billion US dollars) in the quarter to March alone, even more than General Motors, as it idled plants to ride out the biggest crisis in its more than 70-year history.

I guess that means it’s (not quite) official: Saab are more profitable than Toyota!
No wonder they’ve got so many interested suitors.
Iwas cleaning out some old email today and I came upon this from Mark S. I’m not sure I ever featured it at Trollhattan Saab, but as I read it I felt I just had to give it a run here.
Mark’s noting just a few things that he loved from his C900 and missed when he picked up a 9-3.

  • 1.) The protected door sill – This feature made entry/exit of the vehicle very easy, and kept the sill clean! The first time I smeared road salt across the back of my pant legs exiting the 9-3, I realized my last Saab had a design feature that my new one lacked!
  • 2.) Integrated car jack “brackets” – I’m sure Saab had a term for these, but I’m referring to the jack “holders” found in all four jack locations on the 99/900. This was a safety feature I completely took for granted until the first time out with my GM supplied suicide jack. Unless you’re on perfectly level ground, watch out! And even then! On the 900, the jack actually slides into a brace in the proper jack position, eliminating the chance of the jack rolling over once the car has been hoisted up.
  • 3.) “Exposed” wipers – Okay, this might sound crazy, but hear me out. Here in New England, we spend alot of time brushing snow and scraping ice off our cars. As you will recall, the hood of the classic 900 consisted of one unbroken plane running all the way to the base of the windshield. Unlike most other cars, the wipers were not buried in a channel at the base of the hood. With the 9-3, ice and snow tend to pack into this space around the wipers, and it’s a pain to clear out. This was never an issue with the 900.
  • 4.) Flat cargo area – Remember folding the back seat of your classic 900 in order to transport stuff that only station wagons or pickup trucks would normally be able to carry? I can recall how easy it was to load a full size clothes dryer into my 900, by myself. Since the floor was completely flat from the rear bumper all the way to the seats, it was quite easy to load and unload such cargo. My 9-3 also has a large cargo area, but the floor is not flat and a bit more difficult to load and unload.
  • 5.) Lower “waistline” – The trend seems to be toward a higher and higher posterior, which makes visibility a bit more of a challenge. The 900/99 had much better rear visibility.
  • 6.) The curved windshield – Okay, this might be more of an aesthetic point but the curved windshield contributed to the cars character and exciting appearance, and also brought the glass far away from the passenger’s face. This was safer, and created a greater sense of space in the cabin.

From Flickr:

Student crashes, dies in Saab 900

File this under “there are certain things that even a Saab won’t save you from”
What are those things? Try being inexperienced and then driving at night, whilst high, in a car you took without permission from a friend’s parent, and all whilst driving without a seat-belt.
From Independent Mail:

PIEDMONT — A Wren High School senior died early Sunday morning after he drove a car off the left side of River Road in Piedmont and was ejected from the vehicle.
Christopher Ray Rose, 18, lost control of a 1989 Saab around 12:20 a.m. before the car flipped and struck a tree, said Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore.
Rose, of Old Mill Road in Easley was pronounced dead at the accident scene after suffering blunt force trauma to his head, neck and chest, Shore said.

And from another report…..

Troopers said that Rose had been smoking marijuana before he took the car.
Rose didn’t have his own car at the house, the friend said. After the friend’s mother went to bed, Rose took the car and drove off, according to investigators…..
…..Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said that Rose was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the car before it hit the tree.

I’m really, really sorry to hear of this kid’s death. The death of almost any young person is a tragedy, especially when it’s so avoidable.
I don’t want to come across as being preachy, but driving under the influence of any substance is playing Russian Roulette with your life and the lives of others. If there’s any young Saab nuts reading this, please think twice and understand that you can’t take stuff and then take the wheel.
And second, whilst your Saab is built with the highest safety standards that were available at the time of its manufacture, there’s only so much it can do for you if you’re not wearing your seat belt.
A regrettable tragedy all round.
Thanks Ted!

Saab sold to Saudi Arabian

After several weeks of tension I can announce the news of a Saab sale exclusively here at Saabs United.
Many may think this to be surprising, that a sale would go ahead so quickly at a time of such economic uncertainty, but I can report that all prudent preliminary checks have been made, negotiations completed and a Saab sale is imminent.
The buyer is a relative newcomer to Saab from Saudi Arabia but observers say that the interest he’s developed in Saab is quite genuine and he’s very optimistic about the future.
All your details after the jump…..

Read moreSaab sold to Saudi Arabian

Swade’s selling tip: take good photos

I can’t remember exactly when I first mentioned the possibility of selling my 1985 Saab 900 T16 Aero, but I think it was as far back as 3 or 4 months ago.
Yesterday I finally bit the bullet and placed an ad on our big car selling internet service here in Australia –
Click here to view the ad.
I placed it around 6.30pm and the notice I got at that time was that it would be reviewed and would take up to 24 hours or so to appear online.
At 8.30pm – just 2 hours later – I got my first call. The guy is a Tasmanian and will hopefully come around and look at it tomorrow.
Today I got an email from a guy who’s heading overseas next week but if the car’s still around in 10 days time, he says he’ll come down from Melbourne and pick it up.
I don’t know if either of these leads will result in a sale, but it’s encouraging. Whilst it’s obviously the car and the details I provided that’s prompted enough interest for them to make contact, I’m pretty sure the reason they clicked on the ad in the first place was this photo:
You can spend all the time in the world writing a great, descriptive ad, but to get people to read that ad, you need a hook.
On web-based car sales sites, I think that hook is the photo (or photos) you associate with the ad. If someone’s looking for a Saab 900 and they see that photo, how likely is it that they’re going to pass that photo without clicking?
If you’ve been hanging around here long enough, you know that I love good car photography. I’m not a great photographer, but that’s one of the photos that I’m proudest of and I really think it’s going to help generate interest in the advertisement.
If you’ve been hanging around here long enough, then you’ll also know that I’ve bought a few cars in the last few years. I can’t believe how poor some of the photos on car ads are. All it takes is a half-hour of your time and a half-decent location to improve your photos and your chances ten-fold.
So that’s my car-selling tip of the day. I absolutely hate selling cars, by the way. At least photographing them is an enjoyable part of the experience.
Anyone else out there selling a car at the moment?
Got any tips to share?
Comments are open.

Classic Saab 900 review

Time to go old skool….
Forgotten what this Saab thing is all about?
I would feel secure in suggesting that around 50% of the readership of this website have had a fantastic personal experience with the Saab 900. Unfortunately, even the fondest memories fade a little, which is why it’s handy to come across people who are having those experiences right now.
I got an email from James M, who writes for a blog called Car Throttle. He’s just posted a test-drive-cum-review of a 1988 Saab 900 Turbo on the site. If you need a reminder of just how well thought out and put together this car was, then click on through and have a read.
James liked the car so much that he bought it. Can’t get much better than that.

Wednesday Quick Snippets

…and I mean quick snippets.
I’m going to be away from the interwebs most of the day again today so please talk amongst yourselves.
CAR Magazine have some new spyshots of the 2010 Saab 9-5, which are so similar to all the previous spyshots that we’ve seen so far that absolutely no-one thought they were newsworthy and emailed me to tell me about their appearance (which is unheard of for Saab spyshots).
Even the mention in comments was without a link!
The rear of this car is going to be interesting. I can’t imagine those sharp lines being real, but can’t wait to see what that back end really looks like.
It seems there was a Saab 900 owners gathering in Paris recently.
Ooh la la!!!
Golfhunter has a few photos at Flickr. Fantastique.
Wouldn’t it be good if Car and Driver actually posted their polls for a reason and did follow up articles on them?
In the Which Geneva Production Debut Would You Like To See In Your Garage? poll, the Saab 9-3x now has 29% of the vote.
Noted: comments from North America have dropped off markedly in the last week. Am I not pretty enough?

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