9-2 ‘news’

The Saab 900 of 1993 was the last Saab to have a truly notable windscreen.  It’s curvature would always ‘wow’ the uninitiated and provided for great visibility for the driver.

Auto Express are reporting that the next new entry level Saab may also sport a windscreen of some note, though slightly different to the old wraparound.  They’re rumouring that the next 9-2 will feature GM’s new "panorama" screen, which is making it’s debut in the UK on certain Astra Sport Hatch models.

Vauxhall’s bright idea of stretching the front glass up and over the roof works brilliantly on its latest Astra Panorama and the concept looks set to spread.

The glass could even appear on Saab’s top-secret new premium hatchback. Due on sale in 2008, the Swedish model will be called the 9-2, and will take on the likes of the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series. A spokesperson for parent firm General Motors explained that the clear roof would "fit perfectly into the Saab brand’s sporty image and aircraft heritage".

It’ll be interesting to see whether the Geneva showcar is sporting this big screen (and by the way, can’t you just imagine some young London lad on a double-decker peering down the top of some unsuspecting lady’s dress – or is that just me?).

Other interesting notes from this report – Auto Express date the 9-2 as coming out in 2008.  Other reports that I’ve read consistently mention 2010.  John, who provided the link, noted that it wouldn’t be first time AE’s made a prediction and cocked it up big time.

Secondly, the big glass and the fact that it weakens the body means that power output has to be limited below 200bhp.  It’ll be interesting to see how the Saab engineers mess with this to offer some more poke.

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  1. I dunno TuuSar. I’m sure that safety would be a prime consideration, but I’m also sure that there’s a way for this screen to be included in a safe automobile. There’s ample strengthening around the glass in the Convertible. I’m sure there could be similar strengthening somehow with a vehicle like this.

    Wait and see, I guess.

  2. #1) The double-decker bus scenario is alive and well. This is like the 5th time in the last week I’ve heard someone say they got rid of double-decker buses in London. NOT TRUE! They pulled the last of the old and antiquated “Roadmaster” buses off the streets. However they do have and use modern double-decker buses, for which there are absolutely no plans what so ever to remove.

    Here is a modern London bus at work…

    #2) I can’t stand even the idea of that window. No desire to pay the insurance premium on a window that has to be recockulously expensive to replace. No protection from the sun, a sun much stronger in other parts of the world (US/OZ) than the piddly little sun in northern Europe. No sunroof, so an end to the open air feeling I get in my 1986 900 Turbo. No feeling of safety, at all. There’s no way that window, if it’s made at all, would be universal. It would be an option as making it universal would drive more sales away than it would attract. So those who love it may be lucky enough to get the chance to pay an extra $3,000 for it, while the rest of us should be able to get a conventional window.

  3. Wow, this might be a great idea for gray and dreary London (or Seattle) but I sure would hate to be forced to drive this car in Phoenix on a sunny summer day!!

  4. With this windshield, when you’re driving westbound late in the day, how do you keep the sun out of your eyes? In a traditional car you simply lower the visor. I don’t see how you can mount a visor in a car like that.

    There are other cars with panoramic roof options (Scion TC here in the U.S. and the Nissan Maxima, but that was a different style) out there, but I don’t think any are like this Astra one.

  5. The old 900 windscreen “provided for great visibility for the driver.”?!

    Well, if great visibility is the same as having to lean forward to see the traffic lights…
    It’s like driving with a baseball cap! 😉

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