International Saab Meeting 2016 coming up

programme-front_220x305
IntSaab 2016 Programme

It’s now less than two weeks until the International Saab Meeting 2016 (IntSaab 2016) in Linköping – Vadstena, Sweden. IntSaab is a yearly Saab meeting “on tour” in different countries. Last year it was held in Norway, the year before in Poland and so on.

Read more about IntSaab2016 here at SaabsUnited.

The focus, or theme, for IntSaab 2016 is the beginning and early history of Saab cars. As you may know, the first Saab wasn’t built in Trollhättan. The UrSaab was built in 1946 at the Saab airplane workshop in Linköping and the premiere display of Saab 92 was held in 1947 at the Saab staff restaurant Terrassen in Linköping as well. Saab 95 was also assembled in Linköping.

IntSaab 2016 has 600+ registered participants from all over the world. There will be pre-tours from different cities in Sweden, starting Monday-Tuesday, where the guests travel in their Saabs and are shown to some of the most beautiful places in our country (on the way to IntSaab 2016).

Friday and Saturday is filled with activities and events in the cities of Vadstena and Linköping. Sunday 14th of August there will be an open Saab meeting and market at the Vadstena castle (yes, we’ve booked a castle). This will be the largest Saab meet in Sweden 2016, with approx. 1 500-2 000 visitors.

su_vadstena_castle
Vadstena Castle. By Zeddok [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
A program for IntSaab 2016 can be found here: IntSaab2016.com, Weekend Programme
We also have a Facebook event for Sunday: Öppen marknad & träff – IntSaab2016 (in Swedish)

IntSaab 2016 is arranged by Svenska Saabklubben (the Swedish Saab Club) and managed by our (awesome) voluntary working members. More stories and pictures from this meeting will follow here at SaabsUnited.

Update on Saab/BMW co-operation story

Let’s draw together a few news stories and see if we can’t navigate through and see what’s going on.

News services have finally reached Victor Muller for a comment, to which they basically received a big “no comment”.

“– It’s all based on rumours and speculation that we can not comment. Nothing has been signed. Until everything’s presented and done, it’s not done, Victor Muller says.

If it were all hot air, they would have got a “No”, rather than a ‘no comment’.

Why the semantics with words? Well, Spyker’s a company listed on the stock exchange. Victor can’t say something’s done until it IS done and he can’t deny it if it’s about to be done. Such actions would affect the share price and could get people into trouble.

Spykers shares have already risen on the speculation and would probably rise a little more if it were confirmed.

——

AutoWeek.nl are claiming that the deal will be not only for an architecture to build the Saab 92, but also some engines, most notably for the coming Saab 9-4x.

They say Saab will acquire BMW diesels for the 9-4x. A good competitive diesel will be essential for marketing the car in Europe.

They also state there could be some BMW engines powering the Saab 9-3 and they mention the word “soon”, indicating they think that this could come before the next generation of the car goes from being just a twinkle in Jason Castriota’s eye.

I’ve got no information one way or the other about this. The 92 and 9-4x stories make sense and seem realistic (it might take a little while to get a Beamer diesel into the 9-4x, though, as it wasn’t designed for it).

The 9-3 story would be nice, but seems just a touch too much for this little enthusiast to hope for.

——

Interesting times, people. Interesting times.

Reports: Saab 92 deal signed – unconfirmed

UPDATE

I’ve just received an email from Victor Muller.

As usual, nonsense. there is no such contract.

As mentioned below, I was a little sceptical of the Mibz piece and on listening to pieces of the interview at autoactu (after this post was written), I couldn’t actually hear Victor’s voice saying anything to this effect, or saying anything. They have a picture of him in the intro to the piece. Maybe I just didn’t listen to enough of it.

In any case, it seems a matter of watching this space. We all know that Saab want to build this car and are working feverishly towards making that a reality.

What Victor’s saying here is that it a deal isn’t done……. yet.

——

I didn’t believe it when I first saw it on Mibz last night but it seems there may indeed be reports floating around that Saab have signed a technology deal that will enable them to make the much talked about Saab 92 compact car.

Victor Muller, the Spyker chief, announced that it has found a partner to develop new Saab 9-2.

Mibz doesn’t have the best reputation for developing their own stories and they didn’t say where they’d got that information from. No links, no nothing.

Since then, an interview in French has popped up, where apparently VM has indeed mentioned a partnership deal for the 92.

The interview appears at autoactu and in writing to me about it, PierreT writes:

I listened to VM on autoactu.com and he did affirm that they signed a deal with a manufacturer to produce a small SAAB, (including the platform).

I’ve written to VM to seek some clarification and I’ll also try and get a translation of important bits of that radio interview.

Exciting times! But it is all unconfirmed at this point….

Saab ‘tipped’ to enter WRC – with a car that won’t even be made?

Re-posted.

Even CAR Magazine and Autoblog are writing about this issue now, but none of the excitable writers are doing the maths when it comes to Saab releasing a new car that would be suitable for the WRC.

So I’ll run this story again, for those of you who are still seeing things pop up on the internets that make you a little excited.

I’ll be happy to be wrong on this as I’d love to see a 92 come sooner and I’d loooooove to see Saab in the WRC, but I just can’t believe it’ll happen in the timeframe that people are talking about.

See why, below.

——

I received a few emails about a story that I would have liked to cover if the webs were working, though. The first one was from Portugal and the story then spread to an English-language racing paper called Autosport. They made the following declaration:

The World Rally Championship’s return of retrospective manufacturers looks set to continue, with Saab now tipped to follow Mini back to the sport’s highest level.

Saab, which last competed in the WRC in 1979, has been linked to a possible entry in 2012, with the company’s first World Rally car running off a possible 9-1 or 9-2 base car. The engine for the car would be likely to come from BMW, meaning a universal 1.6-liter turbocharged motor for the Mini and Saab.

They go on to say that meetings have taken place and by the end of the story, it all seems like a fait accompli.

We all know that Victor Muller is very keen on motorsport and he’s even mentioned that rallying would be the most appropriate form of motorsport for Saab, should they ever get to a stage where a factory motorsport team is feasible.

Personally, I’d love to see it happen, too. I love motorsport, love rallying, and would absolutely love to see my favourite brand competing on the world stage once again.

BUT…….

I’m afraid I’m going to have to inject a small dose of reality into this one before we all get carried away.

First of all, motorsport is probably priority #1156 or thereabouts for Saab right now. When you get to a certain level of comfortable production and profitability, motorsport can then be inserted and become a key pillar in your technology and marketing programs. Take Renault, for example.

Saab aren’t at that stage, or anywhere near it.

Secondly, the car that autosport suggest will be the one Saab uses for their WRC entry isn’t in Saab’s business plan, and even if they manage to add it to Saab’s portfolio (which they’re quietly confident of doing), it won’t be released for another 3 or 4 years.

Want a source for that? How about Victor Muller himself?

This video at Fox will give you your answers (he talks about the Phoenix platform, too, though not by name).

The WRC is a very desireable aim for Saab, but it’s not likely to happen in the next two years. Reports claiming that it is are overly optomistic.

VM on Fox Car Report – the most important Saab video you’ll watch this month

I’ve linked to a shortened version of this interview several times already this week. What you get at the following link is a full 15 minute interview with Victor Muller, where he covers a number of Saab- and Spyker-related topics with Gary Gastelu from Fox.

Click here to watch the video. The first section is with some product managers from Ford, but I imagine that most of you won’t be bothered with that. If you click the video timeline at about the 14:30 minute mark, the video will buffer and take you straight to the section with Victor.

Some of the issues covered in the video that will be of particular interest…

Product timeline
Vm runs through the prospective product timeline. We’ve covered all of this before, but it’s 9-4x in April next year, followed by the 9-5 wagon shortly thereafter. The new Saab 9-3 will come late 2012 and if they get to do it – which they’re quite optimistic about – a Saab 92 would come in 2013 or 2014.

Wishlist – including Saab Sonett IV
The prospective Saab 92 is at the very top of VM’s wishlist, as we all know. When quizzed about a possible Saab Sonett, VM states that it’s almost impossible to stop Jason Castriota sketching this and with an all-Saab developed platform for the new 9-3, the possibilities of using that for a new Sonett are “not slim”.

Partnerships
VM talks about negotiations that are ongoing with a premium carmaker for technology sharing. Of course, all the smokesignals in the press and a few whispers from my own Djup Strupe contacts are indicating that the company involved is BMW but no names have been mentioned at an official level.

9-3 platform
Victor talks a little about the architecture that will underpin the next Saab 9-3. This is the Phoenix platform that we’ve discussed here at SU in the past. This is probably the best link for previously known information about the Phoenix platform. In short, it will be a thouroughly customised and re-engineered version of the original Epsilon I architecture that sits under the current Saab 9-3 range.

There is plenty more in the video for you to take in. Of course, the reason Fox were at Monticello in the first place is to cover the launch of the new Saab 9-5 and they spend some time talking about the new car.

In terms of straightening out fact from several recent online fictions, this video is an anchor that you should attach yourself to. It’s a very important filter through which stories about Saab should be viewed.

Auto Express and the Saab 92

There’s been a fair bit of buzz in comments about a story written over at Auto Express in the last few days. I addressed it in comments once, but the buzz has continued on another post and it’s gathered some momentum, so I figured I’d better address it here on the front page.

The AE story is about the proposed Saab 92 and it reads as follows:

Saab, BMW to build 9-2

A fresh start and now a fresh partner. Saab has revealed that it will link up with BMW to build the new Audi A1-rivalling 9-2. Plus, new boss Victor Muller has confirmed the Swedish brand will make a stylish coupé based on the 9-3.

Auto Express uncovered the plans to share technology during an exclusive interview with Muller at the recent Saab Festival in Trollhattan. “We could build the 9-2 on our own, but that wouldn’t make sense,” he said. “Thanks to the crisis in the industry, everyone is willing to share everything. So Spyker couldn’t have bought Saab at a better time.”

The firm is likely to tap into BMW’s planned joint project with PSA Peugeot Citroen to produce a front-wheel-drive chassis – this will underpin the next MINI and a version of the new 1-Series. Given Saab’s front-wheel-drive history, the sports-focused platform is a good fit.

I can tell you that there was indeed an AE reporter at the Festival. Several SU readers took rides with him in the new Saab 9-5. I can tell you that he did indeed get some personal facetime with Victor Muller during the Festival, at least once that I can confirm and maybe more.

However, I can also tell you (from the autoreply I received when I emailed him about this issue) that this same reporter was on vacation when this story was written, so it’s not likely that he’s written the words appearing at that link.

I was suspicious about the detail in this story when I first saw it. The quotes in the story don’t mention any of the detailed claims they make. All Muller says is that it wouldn’t make sense for Saab to do it on their own when companies are willing to share technologies, which is something he’s been saying for a while now. There is no mention of BMW in the quote and if BMW was mentioned in the question that drew the quote, then they don’t mention this, either.

There is certainly nothing there to support a headline that says Saab, BMW to build 9-2.

Concerned about the details in this story, I emailed Victor Muller for a response. Victor’s response was that he was disturbed with the article, livid about it, actually. He hadn’t mentioned BMW at all in any interviews and that he felt a need to take action on this.

——

Conclusion……

If there are talks of this nature with BMW, VM would want coverage of those talks minimised until they are completed and announced, so there is that angle to consider.

I think there’s been enough written about potential discussions with BMW to indicate there have indeed been talks of some sort taking place. Where there’s this much smoke, there’s some fire. My initial and continued belief, however, is that those talks have concentrated on engines, not on the sort of complete package that’s alluded to in the AE article.

Bottom line……. I think that in writing this article, someone at Auto Express has got a little creative with how far they can use a quote and in doing so, they’ve drawn some conclusions that are as yet unwarranted, unsupported and at face value, denied flat-out by Victor Muller.

UPDATE – Oh crap. Now Autoblog are writing about it, too. Now every scraper blog on the planet will pick it up, despite the scepticism that Autoblog themselves heap on the issue.

Memo to Saab – this is why you need your own online presence that can capably deal with this sort of stuff.

Photoshopping the future Saab 92

One of our own named Tiago do Vale – the man responsible for the beautiful banner at the top of this page, by the way – has turned his creative skills towards the new smaller Saab being proposed by Victor Muller.

Following are his images and what he had to say about them.

——

I must say a few words before you see this image.

First of all, I’m not a retro guy.

…And, at the same time, I’m a believer in that if Saab has a chance to develop a new small car, it should be a car that can draw a large number of new young owners to the brand, and I’m not sure if a small premium retro sports car is the right formula to do it. (After all, VW Golfs/Rabbits or Audi A3s sell a lot more than VW New Beetles or Audi TTs).

Having said that, I’m as much of a car guy as the next Saaber so, of course, the manifesto for a driver’s car really pushed many of my right buttons. 🙂 (And I guess the new mini popularity sort of proves that my thesis isn’t 100% right.)

So here’s what I imagine a small teardrop-reared sports Saab should look like.
(Should it be a 92 or a Sonnet? It sure is a product of the 92 design discussions, though.)

It’s not retro at all -it just slightly blinks an eye towards those classic 92-to-96 Saabs. I based it on the 9-X BioHybrid, as I really believe in that car and design.

The 9-X BH already has a tridimensional teardrop shape, even if it is more apparent from the top, and not so obvious on the side view, so the base was right in that respect, too.

I shortened its wheelbase by around 30 cm, as I suspect that would fit the target segment just right.

I tried the classic low teardrop roof arch, like the 92, but I found a few problems with that: most people recognized it as a Porsche design cue, and not a Saab one and, with this short wheelbase, managing to have both headroom and a low “tip” in the end resulted in a not so elegant arc, with an abrupt descent. (It works on Porsches in part because of the longer wheelbase but mainly because of the huge rear overhang).

So, I raised the rear (the tip of the teardrop). This allowed for a more elegant and dynamic shape, more headroom, more practicality and storage capability… and for losing that “I’m ripping off Porsche” sensation. 🙂

I guess those were some of the reasons Saab slowly did the same thing with their teardrop “tip”, moving it up from the 92 to the 96, and then moving away from it with the 99 and the hatches.

And there you go. 🙂 Hope you have as much fun with it as I had imagining it.

Road Test: Saab 92

If Victor Muller really does plan to make a modern small based based on the ideals of the original Saab 92, he’s got a lot to live up to.

Autocar have just re-posted online a copy of their original road test of the Saab 92 from 1949.

It makes for some very entertaining reading and you can’t help have a beaming sense of pride as the little Swede wraps the reviewer around its proverbial finger. Here’s the summary:

When a car is created by aircraft engineers, one is inclined to expect something really outstanding in both design and performance. This attitude of mind comes in no small measure as a result of those special qualities demanded by modern flying, which, when translated to car terms, generally produce the succès d’estime.

Such were my reflections when I took over the new Swedish Saab 92 at the start of a 500-mile road test, the first to appear in the British Press, and I was not disappointed. Indeed, it would be a very biased motorist who could find any serious complaint against a twin-cylinder family saloon of less than 28hp* which can put 53 miles into an hour without strain and has the road-holding properties of real sporting machinery, albeit at a petrol consumption of nearly 40mpg.

The Saab aircraft company and its chief car designer, Mr Gunnar Ljungstrom, are to be congratulated on a really intelligent attempt to produce a small, inexpensive car, which, in the words of the high-pressure salesman, “has everything”.

* the Autocar text has just 8hp written there, which I’m sure is a typo.

The car received 4.5 out of 5 stars. Magnificent. It makes for some fantastic Sunday reading. Enjoy.

Thanks to Morten for passing it on.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close