Name your price

Time for a little market research (Jan-Ake, my bill for services rendered is in the mail)

Ted Y posed an interesting question in comments:

With all of the positive publicity coming from the Aero-X intro, would it make sense for Saab to make a limited edition of hand-built Aero-X models ASAP, complete with canopy and all, and sell to the ultra rich and famous. I think it’s so unique that there would be a solid demand from people who have the money. It could provide both a profit and a halo effect, and later on, a trickle-down effect. Stupid idea?

Not at all. It’s worth pondering at the least – so let’s ask what if?

Aero-X side profile sml.jpg

Say Saab could build 999 replicas of the Aero-X, equipped approximately as per the model in Geneva and any road-legal-requirements put in place.

What would you be prepared to pay for an AWD, limited edition car that you’d be a little foolish to take out in the rain? Remember, it’s 400hp, AWD, Biopower-ready (though you may not be able to take advantage of that), has that beautiful interior, exterior etc etc.

Make your offers in comments, realistically priced given that it’d likely have to be hand-made etc etc. Include your premium if you’d especially like build plate #900.

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  1. Not to rain on Swades parade but building 999 cars is no small task! We’re talking handbuilt prototypes here… (I’ve worked in Saab’s prototype shop so I have a clue to what I’m talking about) I’d say even building 99 cars is a stretch and I doubt that they’d cost less than $200k to build so with a little profit thrown in there they’d be quite spendy.

  2. I’m considering my parade well and truly rained on now. oh well, one can dream…..

    Thanks for the injection of reality though, Mats.

  3. I also belive it would be in range of $200k+ and I still think that there would be enough demand although Saab is not very known in that segment. But just by the fact that it would be unique I think it would be very well excepted. Just imagine, you drive to some place, some peopel are looking at the car some are not and then you open the cannopy. Everyone would look to see who drives that thing and that is something that is primary task of every $200+ car, to make you stand out.
    It would also make a big statement from a Saab to general public and in a very good way. The brand awareness would tremendously arise.
    I know that I would be willing to pay that amount of money, if I would have it. Who knows, by the time Saab decides to make a production run maybe I become filthy rich :).

  4. Things like carbon fibre make it expensive and slow to manufacture. Usually only supercars use it, normal sportcars have aluminum skin.

    Just look how big battle it was from Alfa Romeo fans to start Alfa 8C Competizione production. They even collected buyer signatures.

  5. I’d pay 200k for that car and to start the halo effect. No question about it. I’ve been buying saabs one a year for the past 9 years – all top of the line – and even after having detoured to an M5 briefly I still love their design and aesthetic and attention to detail (our bavarian friends don’t come close). I’m all for helping Saab create the halo.

  6. I’ll bet Jay Leno would buy one;-) It would look nice beside his 93:

    Also got this on the mailing list if anyone is interested:
    “If anyone gets the “Speed Channel”, watch this weeks episode “My Classic Car”, as Dennis Gauge is at Jay Leno’s shop. They do a piece on Leno’s Mazda Cosmo but in the back ground for most of the interior shots in his 1958 Saab 93B sitting with a huge poster on the wall behind it showing a Vette losing a race to a Saab 93 on ice! Poster is hard to see but the Saab looks great!……..tom donney”

  7. I think $225,000(U.S.) but, they’ll have to up the horsepower andmake it able to run E85 instead of fully ethanol only.
    but, i hope they don’t make this car that way. Use the machines (Corvette line), drop the canopy and price it around $100,000 U.S. more of them would then be seen and maybe I could get one used shortly after 😉

  8. Joe, the Aero-X can run on any mix of ethanol and petrol. (E0-E100) I think the Aero-X engine has got about 320bhp when it runs on regular petrol.

    About the price: I think $200-250k will be the minimum. (That’d be +/- € 350-400k here in the Netherlands, ouch…)

  9. Swade,

    I think it could be possible to produce a limited number of vehicles, but a few changes would have to be made.

    Carbon-Fibre changed to Bonded Aluminium.
    Conventional doors and A-pillars added but still with a panoramic roof
    Mercedes produced the last generation SL-Class with this option. So technically it can be built and cover any safety aspects.
    Lower the boot opening down to the rear lights adding the practicality of a Saab.

    It takes 6 weeks to handcraft an Aston Martin and the company looks to produce about 2500 – 3000 V8 Vantages and 5000 V12 DB9s.
    I’m assuming this is the league Saab would be in if they looked seriously at the niche market.
    So what does a V8 and the V12 cost? Well The Vantage starts here in Germany at €90,000 net and the DB9 at €120,000 net. That’s US$108,000 and US$144,000. Then you have to add about €20,000 or $24,000 for your extras.
    So the question is can Saab effectively build a projected 1,000pA units from a standard length epsilon II platform for US$ 130,000? I would like to think yes, and with a decent profit margin. Would it sell? Yes, if the marketing was right.

    However the draw back is that Porsche still leads the market in the performance coupe race and the 911 Carerra 4 Coupe weighs in at €71,200 net ($85,800) Admittedly you then have to add about €40,000 ($48,000) worth of extras to have a very well spec’d car which still leaves the AeroX more expensive. But If Saab could get the performance and handling right so it matched the 911 then I think they would start to win in the Exclusivity stakes. And if Journalist flaunted in their normal manner that this would effectively be a German Produced, German Engineered car, then their suggested negative comments could well ‘back fire’ on them and work well for Saab/GM.

    Additional: you might wonder why I mention standard length epsilon?
    Answer: Production cost?

    FYI: the Aston Martin Architecture is used for the DB9 Coupe, Cabriolet, Vanquish, V8 Vantage, Jaguar XK coupe and XK Cabriolet. Not mention a possible AM Rapide and likely choice for the next generation Jaguar S-Type.


  10. $200K+ for a limited edition Aero-x sounds on target and cleared for take off! Couple questions – What kind of lease deal do you think they would offer?! and do you think there would be an ethanol card included?

  11. if it were a normal production vehicle somewhere in the region of $100K-$200K (depending on production run length and if the roof stays as is). but that ain’t gonna happen… handbuilt preproduction vehicles cost in the region of half a million plus to build (that’s what the prepro Mazda6 MPS a journo who’s article I just read said the car he was testing was worth) so, realistically, it would be very very expensive to do a handmade run of less than 1000 or so. not that they probably wouldn’t sell.

    still, far smarter for Saab/GM to sanitise the concept a bit (regular doors and a-pillars, maybe a folding metal convertible roof and offer a standard PULP engine) call it the Sonnet4 and put it in show rooms for under $100K asap.

  12. I would favor a good bit of alteration along the lines above to make it more production-friendly and ditch some of the ultra-high-end stuff (conventional doors, biopower as an option, etc.) to get the costs down. Then I’d say that $70 or $80k USD wouldn’t be out of the question. It would compete with the Porsches, Audi TT, M-B SLK, etc. so it would have to start in that range to be a realistic proposition. That’s my .02.

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