That headline hurts when one considers that several years ago, Saab had a full range of 9-3 variants in the pipeline prior to GM turning off the funding tap. Costs had spiralled out of control during the 9-3’s development and GM decided it was time to actually take control of the entity it had owned for a couple of years.
I spoke with a designer in Trollhattan back in June and he confirmed that this was the case. Saab had the sedan, coupe, sportwagon and convertibles all ready to go when the extensive program was killed. Stopped dead, and these were all very close to production standard at the time. The sedan and convertible made it on schedule and the Combi followed some time later. But we’ve never seen the coupe.
OK, that wasn’t it, but I couldn’t resist.
Gripe shot me this link to the Wall Street Journal, where they’re forecasting that coupes are on the rise:
Over the next four years, forecasters at J.D. Power & Associates expect 31 new or redesigned coupe models to hit the U.S. market, including 16 from luxury brands. Among the coupes J.D. Power sees coming are a two-door version of the Cadillac CTS and, maybe, coupes from Italian brands Alfa Romeo and Abarth (an offshoot of Fiat), that currently don’t compete in the U.S. market.
BMW have had coupes in their 3-series range for some time now, and they’re about to slot their award winning twin-turbo engine into the smaller and rather ridiculous looking 1-series in coupe form.
Audi have debuted their A5 coupe this year, which has predictably made the journos drool whilst attracting the ire of the guys at Sniff Petrol (funny stuff).
The current Saab 9-3 won’t see a coupe variant. I’m 99% sure of that. But in its sedan form you can see that it’s a shape that would have lent itself to a coupe variant quite easily. Here’s one I managed to find in the archives and more recently, Ivan photoshopped one as well.
I guess the question is whether or not a Saab 9-3 coupe would attract new buyers, or just steal sales from the Sport Sedan. I tend to think there’d be a bit of the latter, but that set up properly with the right performance package, a coupe variant could be a really attractive option for may shoppers.
Jacco shot me a link to this one, from a Dutch Saab forum. Looks like it’s been put together by “Cheyenne”. Whilst I’d like to see bigger doors, it’s still some nice work….