Saab’s convertible party trick

I’m not sure it’s wise to say who dug these drawings up, but suffice to say they’re in the public domain, having been found as part of a patent application by Saab. I believe it was lodged last year.
When the 9-X Air concept car came out, I told you all that there was something special about the operation of the roof. We never got to see it in action, however, as Saab never allowed the roof to be opened (or closed) in public. Having looked over this patent app and the associated drawings, I believe that’s because the 9-X Air doesn’t show off the full system they’ve developed, though it gives a hint as to what’s to come.
This is the 9-X Air as we saw it last year. And yes, I know Saab are now calling it the Saab 9-X Convertible, but I liked the ‘Air’ name better.
And below are the patent drawing relating to the convertible concept they’ve developed and applied to protect.
As you’ll see, the 9-X Air gives an indication as to their intention with the high sides coming down from the B-pillar to the rear of the car. What you can’t see in the photo above is the retractable rear window, which would protect rear passengers from uncomfortable headwinds with the roof in the open position.
Figure 1, below, is basically the car with the roof closed. When opened in the preliminary position, the roof folds into a compact unit and is stored in the boot of the car, as per normal.
Unlike a normal convertible arrangement, however, there is still a rear window. Normally this would be part of the roof on a convertible, but in this new system, it’s a separate piece of the puzzle.
Figure 5 shows the folded roof being tucked away, with the boot of the car raised from a hinge at the rear and about to close again concealing it.
Figure 6, below, shows the boot closed again, with the rear window still up and the car in a similar configuration to what we’ve seen with the 9-X Air.
All four passengers are now enjoying open-top driving, but all are protected a lot more from the wind than they would be in a regular convertible.
If the initial party trick is the protection of all occupants whilst creating a damn sexy body style, the Figure 7, next, is the extension of the party trick.

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Another successful Saab Cabrio Challenge

When I got an email through asking me to take a look at some pictures from the Saab Cabriolet Challenge, I figured something must have been wrong. It’s too early.
The Challenge was to have taken place in late June, just before the Saab Days that’ll be held in Trollhattan as a low-key replacement for the usual Saab Festival (though I think there’s still going to be something big to celebrate when that comes around!).
For whatever reason, the organisers decided to move the Cabrio Challenge forward by a few weeks and it was held last weekend, instead.
As you can see, the scenery was pretty good, even if the weather wasn’t.
The event was held over a few days, with participants navigating through various parts of western Sweden with some stops for fine dining and accommodation along the way.
They even had a stop to take in some rock carvings and paintings around Trollhattan, and it looks like the Saab gods have been in action there 🙂
There are a number of fantastic photos over the Saab Turbo Club of Sweden forum. That Monte Carlo yellow C900 convertible is a real sight to behold!
Despite the non-convertible type weather they had, I’m sure everyone had a great time in the company of other ‘vert owners and it’s good to see some were adventurous enough to get the top down when a brief respite from the rain permitted.
Thanks to Trued for the event and the photo links!

Djup Strupe and the Saab 9-3 convertible

Djup Strupe’s scored an interesting whole truth.
Via my inbox:

9-3 Convertible Production Planning
The important work to take Saab successfully through the reorganisation is going as planned. An important step in creating a profitable new Saab Automobile involves changing/improving our production footprint and capacity utilisation. As part of these changes, production of the 9-3 Convertible will be temporarily halted for approx 6 months (from the middle of July until end of calendar year 2009). To minimise the negative impact of this production stop it has been deliberately timed to take place in the “low season” for Convertible sales

I guess those negotiations with Magna Steyr have been finalised now…..
It’s good to see everything coming home to Trollhattan. Not that the convertible being made by Magna was ever a source of objection. They did a great job on a great vehicle. but these are tough times, exciting times, and it just seems right that the whole family starts off “together” in the same place at this time of rebirth for the company.
It’s also a nice reminder about how long it takes to accomplish things in the automotive industry.
You’d think it’s a matter of just unbolting some robots and moving them from Austria to Sweden. I could do that with a socket set, a hoist and a U-Haul, right?
Wrong. This is a long term business. Sometimes we propose finger-snap solutions and wonder why they haven’t been done, or can’t be done by next month.
When it takes six months to move production of an already-developed vehicle, you can get an idea of the real timeframes involved in designing and building one from scratch.

Saturday Night Saabs on Flickr

This is just a quick post before I go and enjoy Eric Bana’s new car-buff movie Love The Beast. Vrrm Vrrm! It’ll be especially poignant to watch here in Tassie, too, being the state that that halted the beast and turned the direction of the movie.
There’s a great photographer on Flickr named Andy South Wales who owns a 2008 Saab 9-3 Convertible. Good for him, and good for us!
What an absolutely superb shot!
And this high-speed lights shot’s pretty darn good too.
This shot was taken by our unofficial Saab ambassador in the UK – Robin M, whilst in Geneva.
Two points to make:
First, I think Saab needs a new Lightning Blue. Some more color in the range wouldn’t hurt, would it?
Second, is that Jan-Ake Jonsson giving an interview in the background? I think so.
The Saabs United movie report on Love The Beast will come in a few hours.

Saab O The Week – Saab 96 convertible

I can’t tell you much about this Saab 96 convertible as I don’t know much. All I’ve got is a bunch of photos and a general location.
But they’re sure worth looking at.
All I know is that the car belongs to an independent Saab tech near the home of our unofficial Saab Ambassador to the UK, Robin M. There’s no details as to the conversion or what it looks like with the top up. But I figured I’d run with these anyway.
Another very nicely executed Saab convertible. Kudos to the owner!

Friday Quick Snippets

Light-hearted stuff. It’s been another heavy week.
Hemmings covered Mr Saab’s 80th Birthday on their blog today. It was good to see Mr John Libbos, formerly of SaabUSA, chime in in comments.
Thanks Gripen!
Did you know:
In 1974, when Saab released the Combi Coupe Saab 99, they had 15% market share in Sweden.
It seemed like a lot to me when I read it.
Some of the Saab Expressions merchandise on display at Geneva. Thanks Golfhunter!
The Local – Swedish news in English – has a great pair of articles on people’s favourite Swedish words.
Part 1 and Part 2.
I’ve been trying to learn a bit more Swedish with all these news reports from Swedish papers that I’ve had to read. It’s been fun. I hope I get to learn more some day.
Let’s hope Saab can be a bit like the kackerlacka and live through these current circumstances.
I’m not sure this one’s working……
I have joined a gym, a move intended to compliment my recent return to basketball after a four year absence.
I did a circuit today that would have a taken a 25 year old Swade (who was not a model of mid-20s fitness) around 20 minutes to complete. Late 30’s Swade took twice as long. And the pain……oh, the pain.

Saab 9-X Air becomes Saab 9-X Convertible

I just noted a small subtle change on the Saab global website. I’m not sure when it happened, but it happened.
When it was first shown last year, this car was known as the Saab 9-X Air. It seems Saab are determined to solidify the image of this being the next generation Saab convertible as they’ve renamed it as such in both imagery and the press release on the Global website.
By the way, I’m firmly of the belief that this car has another party trick that we haven’t seen yet. I’m trying to figure it out from the drawings I’ve got here, but just can’t see what it is. Of course, we’ve never seen the roof in action and that’s the big and obvious mystery, but I think there’s more to it than that.
Still looking.

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