Road and Track magazine has spoken with Jason Castriota and got just a little detail and a few images of some of the cars that were envisioned for Saab’s future.
They were not certainties, by any means. Saab didn’t have the money to develop this full portfolio. The company would have needed investment partners to do so. But these three images, not all of them new, show some of the potential that was waiting to be harnessed within the company.
This has been shown before but it’s worth seeing again.
It’s always interesting to see how a car’s design stands the test of time. A design’s acceptance seems to evolve as people get to see it more. The Dame Edna 9-5 is a great example of this. I was in two minds about this design when I first saw it but it looks fantastic in this rendering. I’m still a little unconvinced about the back end, but I know from experience that it would look better in the metal than it does in pictures.
The small car segment was one that that Victor desperately wanted to be in. He had his own design based on Saab’s traditional teardrop shape, but the 9-1 below is much closer to what we would have seen if this segment were ever tackled by Saab.
I’m not convinced by the lights, but the overall proportions look good to me.
This would have been my personal holy grail and the closest direct descendent from the original PhoeniX concept. It’s interesting to note that Jason was aiming at a 400hp top specification, which is a little out of whack with the Sonett’s origins (small engine, light weight) but would have made for a hell of an interesting drive.
Saab’s demise still burns. There’s no point stewing over it but I do.
When I was working for Saab, I wrote (in one evening) a six-part series covering all the things that I thought Saab had going for it as a company. The one thing I didn’t write about was in-house cash, of course, because Saab didn’t really have any. But we did have a hell of a lot going for us and it’s a damn shame we never got to see it all happen.
The obstacles that got in Saab’s way – some institutional and some of Saab’s own making – denied all of us what I think would have been a very enjoyable automotive future.