This car was introduced a very short time ago. It’s the Chevy Volt and whilst its drivetrain holds a lot of promise for the environmentally conscious, in design terms it looks (to my uneducated eye) like……like…..a mid-1990’s version of what a future car might look like.
Is it just me?
One of the things that worries me about GM’s ownership of Saab is that apart from Saabs, I don’t like much of GM’s design work. There’s the odd model that looks quite good. I’m quite fond of the Astra coupe for example, but for every one of those there’s a bunch of Cadillacs on the other side of the ledger.
By virtue of the fact that they never had much money for new designs, Saab’s designs had to be chosen carefully as they had to last a long, long time. Most of the time they were very good at it and a well maintained Saab of almost any era can still look quite contemporary today.
Next time you’re with a non-Saab person and you see a pristine early 1990’s Saab 900, ask the non-Saaber how old they think it is. I guarantee you’ll get a number less than 15 in response. I saw a beautiful, silver 9000 Aero this morning and you’d almost swear the car was six years old at the most, rather than 10-14 years old.
Given that most of Saab’s design (actually, all of it) is now done in Germany I tend to worry a little for the future.
On the other hand, the Aero-X is still stunning in every respect and the 2008 Saab 9-3 is 99% brilliant (I’ll take off 1% for the rear light blackness, which doesn’t translate in all colors). They still seem to be looking after Saab pretty well and the rumours I’ve heard about the new 9-5 and the 9-4x are all very, very positive.
But in the back of my mind I can’t help but think that with all the moving around that these designers do, someone who had a hand in the Volt might end up being given the job to work on a new Saab one day.
And that worries me a little.
Just thinking, that’s all.