Imagine

UPDATE II

Some have noted in comments that the Monaro is to go out of production at the end of this year, which would seemingly pu the kibosh on my master plan for a big Saab flagship.

However, the Detroit Free Press reports that it will stay in production for the US, in the guise of the Pontiac GTO and in Britain as the Vauxhall Monaro. Those models will keep on coming until a new global RWD platform is initiated for 2008.

My advice for Bob and Jay, investigate a Saab variant with AWD for this segment. A flagship, a statement, a halo vehicle. Call it want you want, just build it, and they will come.

——————————

What would you see as being an appropriate Saab flagship?

I covered this experiment on the old blog, but as the photos hadn’t carried over I thought it was worth having a look at again.

Consider Saab’s ongoing position in the marketplace. Currently the marque is regarded as being GM’s global premium brand, even by the head honchos in Detroit. Saab may have to duke it out with Cadillac in Europe to see who’s going to get the nod for the prolonged future, but for the moment Saab is positioned to capitalise on some good model development and some, albeit small, sales momentum.

Given that Saab’s main competitors should be the other Euro premium brands, can Saab really take them on with a sub 3-litre V6 as the premier powertrain? Even with a turbo?

Now, I know this is the work of a serious photoshopper, but is it an unattractive vehicle? Properly set up, appointed and propelled, I think this could be a worthy flagship vehicle. The nose looks a little pinchy – it should be filled out and made a bit more muscular, but the groundwork is there for a pretty nice design.

9-6C.jpg

Now this may just serve to expose my ignorance, but consider the following:

That photo looks very much to me like a photoshopped Holden Monaro (or it’s European equivalent blah blah blah), which is the two door version of the Holden Commodore, which has an AWD wagon version called the Adventra. What does all this mean?

Well, it means that various power and drivetrain options are already available within GM’s lineup for some serious tweaking and twisting. Why not a decent-sized-turbocharged-fully-loaded-with-all-the-bells-and-whistles-incorporated-in-an-understated-fashion-AWD-Saab Griffen to take on the Bimmers, Mercs and Audis?

So much of the hardware is already hanging around. Ship a few Monaros and Adventras over to Sweden and watch what the little trolls do with them. I guarantee they’d be able to blow the doors off the competition given half a chance.

UPDATE: I know this report at Edmunds is for sedans, but this is the area of competition I’m alluding to. Shouldn’t Saab be GM’s entrant in a test like this (All AWD test: Audi, BMW, Lexus, Acura, Infiniti)?

If only…………

9-6C-2.jpg

Forgive me

Forgive Me Part 1

Forgive the lack of entries today, but we were rather flat out at our place. I’ve just stopped for the day, it’s 11.15pm and whilst I’m typing this, there’s people doing far more incredible things than I am. You can watch them from time to time online on the web-streaming version of NASA-TV.

Forgive Me Part 2

Tomorrow morning I have to be up bright and early as I’m heading to the track. No, not the horses or the dishlickers, but a lovely bit of twisy bitumen here in Hobart called Baskerville Raceway.

Why do you need to forgive me? If I manage to get out on the track it will be in a Hun-mobile BMW rather than my own 99. *gasp*

I’d planned to take the 99 out there, but I’m planning some major works later this year and I didn’t make things worse before I got the car all tip-top. In addition, a mate of mine – the one with BMW – was very keen to get the car out on the track, but is unable to drive it out there (for various reasons not to be explained here), so I’m going to his place and driving him and his car out there.

Let’s hope it’s not raining…..

bimmer.jpg

There will be a number of Saabs there from Tasmania’s chapter of the SCCA and I’ll be photographing like a Swedish paparazzi so stay tuned.

Toys

When I get some spare cash (yeah, right) I’m heading over to Playsam to get me one of these…..

playsam.jpg

SAAB 001 Black

One of the most modern and futuristic car model of its time. Sixten Sason´s protoype 92001 has inspired Playsam to design a wooden model painted in high lustre black paint. Length: 220 mm.

Looks like there’s a similar model over at Saab Expressions., where they also have a whole slew of groovy stuff – get your SportCombi cufflinks NOW!!!

cufflinks.jpg

Internet retail therapy – a very dangerous thing!

Time for some Saab mixed media

Actual Saab news is quite thin on the ground at the moment, so I’m going to the archives and pulling out all the stops to give readers something to do – gotta pass that office time somehow, right? Just watch out for Terry Tate!

So here we go, with mixed media – print and video all in the one post.

First up, the print.

Thanks to Robin in Un-Zed, here’s another review of the 9-3 SportCombi, this time from TopGear. I use the word ‘review’ with caution as it seems maybe the journo just took it for a quick spin. Nothing in-depth here, but another good, positive write-up just the same:

……this new Saab is no estate – it’s a ‘Sportwagon’, which, like ‘Touring’ and ‘Avant’, convinces young execs that a little extra storage space doesn’t herald the onslaught of middle age.

And there’s more to it than a big boot and clever name. The styling is lifted straight from the concept car, with a hockey-stick-shaped rear shoulder and chunky roofline disguising the swollen rump……

……at nearly £28,000, there’s a lot of competition. None, though, offers such a blend of style and class.

——————————–

The Video

Here’s a very quick clip from a advertisement for the Saab 93, way back in the 1950′s.

93 ad.jpg

You’ll dream of Swedish summers, the whole family snuggling up to sleep in the cavernous interior and you’ll be amazed at how the wheels turn when you move the steering wheel!!

Ah, the fifties!!

Before you view the clip, you’ll need to download and install the DivX codec to play it, but it’s worthwhile – and I’ve had no hassles with using the codec in Media Player.

Click here to load the video – now removed.

2nd rate Saab online

The wind whistles, the tumbleweeds roll……..

If you’re looking for pictures of the soon-to-be-facelifted Saab 9-5 (see here and here) and go to The Saab Network, then that’s all you’ll see and hear. Wind and tumbleweeds. Go click on the General bulletin board, the 9-5 bulletin board and the Future Models bulletin board.

Nothing.

And the real shame of it?

I offered Saabnet’s administrator, Scott Patterson, access to the photos four days ago. The catch? As a source, I asked for a link back to Trollhattan to accompany the shots.

So if you’re a Saabnetter and have somehow stumbled on the photos, spread the word and let Scott know that you would have liked to see them there. Saabnet’s a valuable Saab site, but it’s a real shame it’s such a closed shop. There’s a whole electronic Saab community out there aside from Saabnet, go find it.

Down to business – Part 2

A few days ago (it seems a long time now, there’s been some traffic through the gates, I can tell you!!), I posted a point of view held by another Saab enthusiast as to what makes “a Saab a real Saab”.

In summary, Seth’s opinion sums up that of many enthusiasts, being as follows:

1. It has to be designed by Saab.
2. “Built from the ground up by Saab”, which is later watered down to being ‘built on a platform of Saab’s choosing’.
3. Quality at a par with Saab’s image as a luxury brand.

I think many others would quite possibly go even further and get right into design cues, drivetrains, powerplants and maybe even ergonomics to the point where there may be no real Saabs in the future unless they start remaking 900s…..

…..but I digress.
Continue reading

Eklund 2nd

UPDATE: still away on the job…… hopefully I’m not missing much.

—————————–

Monday morning……

Work will keep me pretty tied up today. I hope Mike Jager will give some details shortly, as it seems that Per Eklund’s season just keeps on getting better every time he takes his 9-3 Sport Sedan out of the garage.

This time it’s the Swedish Championship round at Kalix and Per has reportedly finished second in the A-final.

Check here for updates.

In the meantime, if you haven’t seen them yet, there’s a few pics of the new 9-5 below.

Cheers.