Here’s a fun little mystery that EduSaab has begun unravelling.
EduSaab is the Saab enthusiast world’s premiere patent researcher. Every story I’ve come up with here that’s involved registering a patent or design or whatever has come through his work. And here’s his latest effort.
He was looking around this weekend and having some trouble finding anything Saab related. GM are now registering new stuff as “GM” rather than “Saab” so it’s getting tougher to find things, though not impossible. By some clever use of search filters, EduSaab managed to come up with a new patent labelled as an “automobile” that he hadn’t seen before. The applicant were Anthony Lo and Anders Gustafsson and the applicant was GM Global Operations, Inc.
It gets even more interesting – the patent application was registered very recently – on the 4th November 2008, in fact.
There were no drawing with the initial page that EduSaab found, but he kept digging. A few searches later, he came up with these by searching via the patent number.
Now, those of you who are relatively new here at Trollhattan Saab might be seeing this vehice for the first time.
Those of you who have been here since the early days would recognise a very strong similarity between these images and the Saab 9-6x that was being proposed back around 2005.
These were the days of the 9-2x, when General Motors still owned part of Fuji Heavy Industries. The proposal was for a second Saab-Subaru collaboration, one that would provide Saab with a midsize SUV largely based on the Subaru B9 Tribeca.
These were amongst the first ever spyshots I showed here at Trollhattan Saab, back in August 2005:
The vehicle in the patent is a five-door vehicle and the one in the spyshots is a three door vehicle but the similarities are obvious and undeniable.
It’s an interesting development and one can’t help but be curious about why they’re lodging a design patent in 2008 on a vehicle that was canned back in 2005/2006.
The other interesting angle is to pause and reflect on a vehicle that was widely regarded with a tinge of caution (to say the least) a few years ago. As you know, the 9-2x was critically panned because it was way too much Subaru and too little Saab. Enthusiasts viewed these photos with a certain amount of cautious optimism, fearing that the 9-6x would be more of the same – too much Tribeca and not enough Saab.
The sale of GM’s interest in FHI took care of everyone’s concerns as the plans were cancelled. We’ve still got the 9-7x as we wait for the 9-4x to come to market.
Again – why register the design now, in November 2008?
Many thanks to EduSaab for the excellent detective work!!