Geneva Watch

Sorry for not posting this sooner, but I was in an Aero-induced haze over the weekend.

Remember when the word started passing around that Saab might build ‘another Sonett’ as a concept car to be shown in Geneva? In subsequent interviews, Jay Spenchian was reluctant to use the “Sonett” moniker in describing the car. Many questions were asked. Why wouldn’t you revive one of the most romantic, fancied nameplates in the marques history?

Well, this item at Edmunds, published over the weekend, might give you some idea. It seems that the new concept vehicle is more of a hardtop coupe than the anticipated Solstice-inspired Saab that people expected. Now that’s actually in keeping with the vast majority of Sonetts that were ever made. Of the thousands of Sonetts made in three editions, all but 6 of the cars were hardtops (read about the Sonett roadster No 4 here).

It’s the size of the vehicle that makes it different. From Edmunds:

Described as a two-passenger coupe about the size of the Aston Martin DB9, the Saab two-door — which may or may not revive the old Sonett badge — is said to be a pure concept. Contrary to widespread speculation, it is not based on any existing General Motors platform and, unfortunately for Saab aficionados, there appear to be no immediate plans for production.

However, Saab executives say the concept is significant because it points the way to the brand’s future family design theme, or “form vocabulary,” which is being developed at GM’s European studios under the direction of design boss Bryan Nesbitt

The Sonett was a compact sports car. The DB9 is another kettle of fish all together. This is going to be one exciting concept vehicle. Given the independance of platform etc, I’d say it’s highly unlikely for production as it’d be way too costly. But in terms of styling and future direction now that Saab’s getting it’s act together with costs cut and sales improving, this could be a watershed concept.

The guy in charge of designing this concept, Bryan Nesbitt, has amongst his recent credits the Chevy HHR and the Chrysler PT Cruiser. I can see you shuddering…..

Relax, those cars were designed to a specific brief and I think both companies involved are pretty happy with the results. There’s a really good article here about Nesbitt that I’d encourage you to take a peek at.

While Nesbitt says he doesn’t preclude the Saab team wearing Viking hats and singing the snapsvisa – a Scandinavian song that accompanies drinking schnapps – he does intend for them to build on the design cues former Saab, now Porsche, chief designer Michael Mauer identified. “Mauer leveraged those cues–the C-pillar, wheel design, clamshell hood and the upright wrap-around windshield–on the 9-x and 93-x concepts. We have to keep developing them while integrating the company’s history as an aircraft maker into the whole.”

My thanks to Ted for providing the links for this article. Cheers Mate.

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