And there’s a couple of nice Saab stories, too.
Let’s start with one of those Saab stories.
The more obsessive Saab nuts would be familiar with this old publicity shot from the launch of the Saab 99 back in the late 1960’s.
Via the Saab Museum’s facebook page comes this story, reuniting the three ladies that first climbed into the back to show the generous accommodation on offer in the 99.
Non-Swedes will need Google Translate as it’s in Swedish.
Quick tip: they weren’t models from an agency called in for a photo shoot, but regular Saab employees. And they were happy to recreate the photo for the reunion. Well done, ladies. 🙂
I like what Volvo are doing at the moment. They really are becoming a car that a Saab fan can get seriously interested in and not just because they’re Swedish.
Volvo has just shown their XC Coupe concept car, which will make its real life debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.
Websites are tipping that this is the basis for a new XC90, albeit with fewer doors and fewer seats. I’ll wait and see on that one. Volvo aren’t exactly Honda when it comes to concept cars mimicking reality.
But this is nice. And the video’s very Saaby. I wonder how much crossover there is between former Saab and current Volvo PR/Marketing staff and agencies 🙂
I like what Audi are proposing to do with their interior electronics.
I’m not (and never have been) a big fan of large touchscreens outside the driver’s field of vision. While I have a lot of admiration for Tesla’s tech in general, I can’t stand that giant black brick they’ve got for a control centre inside the car. What Audi have done here is use the electric display in the binnacle to display the more vital centre console information and for me, it looks fantastic.
Next, they just need some chunky knobs, buttons and sliders for the HVAC system and entertainment (a-la Saab 900) and we’ll really be rolling.
I like the temp display on the vents, too.
In contrast, Ford is introducing a new function whereby your car’s controls can order a Domino’s pizza for you.
The automaker has teamed up with the pizza maker on an app for its Sync AppLink system that will allow driver’s to order Domino’s through voice commands. Users will have to set up a Pizza Profile with pre-configured menus through their Domino’s mobile app, but it’s relatively straightforward and expected to be available later this year on more than 1 million Ford products that have Sync AppLink.
America – sometimes you really do ask for it, ya know?
Mercedes Benz might have the answer for all those people wondering what they’re going to do when the lease on their 9-3x comes up (I’m looking at you, Hugh 🙂 ). The GLA45 AMG looks a fair bit smaller than the 9-3x (ok, a lot) but it’s got the jacked up exterior trim bits and with that new MB turbocharged 355hp engine, it’ll go like stink.
I’m not sold on the exterior, to be honest, but the interior looks pretty damn nice. Check out the shifter. That’s some nice attention to detail (and yes, it’s probably been seen before but it’s the first time I’ve really noticed it).
Like the Volvo mentioned above, it’ll make a debit at the NAIAS. Price, as yet unknown, but it’ll add a nice premium to your 9-3x changeover, I’m sure.
Given that we’re talking classics a bit at the moment, it’s timely that US insurer and collector experts, Hagerty, has just announced their 2014 Hot List – the cars released in the 2014 model year that Hagerty believe will become collectable classics in the future. Note: they only consider cars under US$100K base price.
The 2014 Hagerty Hot List (along with base price):
1. Jaguar F-Type R ($99,000) – The British marque makes a triumphant return to the sports car scene with the growling F-Type. Boasting a healthy V8 engine and rear drive platform, the F-Type will surely be a driving enthusiast choice soon enough.
2. BMW M5 Sedan ($92,900) – A performance-oriented sedan with an old school manual transmission is quickly becoming an extinct species. While more drivers shun the thought of using three pedals, we applaud BMW for keeping this option alive in this segment.
3. Chevrolet COPO Camaro ($90,000) – Chevrolet basically guarantees future collectability of the drag- strip ready COPO Camaro by limiting production to 69 units. It is only appropriate that the first production model will be sold at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson auction in Arizona.
4. Maserati Ghibli S ($75,000) – The Ghibli returns for a third time, and this time as a four door. The twin turbochargers feeding the 410 horsepower 3.0 liter V6 ensures the Ghibli is more than just pretty curves.
5. Alfa Romeo 4C ($54,000) – A budget-friendly Italian sports car might sound like an oxymoron, but the 4C is saying all the right words. With a carbon fiber tub leading to a curb weight of just over 2,100 lbs., this sporty two-seater isn’t pulling any punches as it aims at the U.S. market.
6. Chevrolet Corvette ($51,000) – The Corvette is the most popularly collected vehicle in the U.S. so GM had no choice but to make the new C7 great. It is a nice mix of Corvette heritage with real world performance figures and technology goodies. Dollar for dollar this is the best performance buy on the market.
7. Nissan 370Z NISMO ($43,000) – The Nissan Z car has amassed a following and the 370Z NISMO is the latest and greatest in this lineage. With Japanese cars now representing a standalone class of collectables in a way that we have not seen in the past, 350 and 370Zs will not be ignored by collectors in years to come.
8. Dodge Challenger Shaker ($36,995) – While the styling of the new Challenger has always harkened back to the glory days of muscle cars, nothing says horsepower wars like a bulging hood scoop. Dodge went back to the roots and added the iconic shaker hood to atop of a healthy HEMI engine and R/T options package. We will take ours in Plum Crazy Pearl.
9. Jeep Wrangler Rubicon X ($35,095) – Vintage SUV’s are the fastest growing segment and Jeep leads that pack. While more comfortable than its bare bones workhorse ancestor, the Rubicon X is highly capable for not a lot of money. Many of these now compete at events, which means they will one day command respect at vintage off-road demonstrations.
10. Ford Fiesta ST ($21,400) – Following the enthusiasm surrounding the Focus ST, the little brother Fiesta ST has been pumping the same iron. Youthful buyers attracted to compact cars don’t always want to sacrifice performance. The Fiesta looks, sounds and acts the part of a modern day enthusiast’s car.
I can see numbers 1 to 8 being possibilities.
As much as I like the idea of the Fiesta ST (and I’m sure the Jeep’s great), I think they should have stopped at 8. Trying to go to 10 for sake of round numbers just gets you in trouble sometimes.
And a Saab story to finish off with, via Autoweek.com
When I first read the headline – Tackling Boston in a Saab 96 – I really hoped that this would show the Saab 96 conquering the arctic windex, or whatever it’s called that’s causing the snowy conditions in the US right now.
Sadly, it seems to have been written pre-vortex so the photos don’t show cars neck-deep in the white stuff while the Saab happily trundles by.
This is a wonderful piece, though. It’s the story of a guy in Boston who’s recently bought a 1973 Saab 96 and uses it as much as possible, even leaving his Saab 9000 at home in deference to the old V4.
“I suppose you don’t get much road rage?”
“Well, you saw that person let me out of my driveway?” Charles had made a left onto Cambridge Ave, and a woman in a Jetta — perhaps a curiosity-seeker — had stopped to let us pull out. A rarity in Boston. In this car, nobody gets mad at you. Probably because they’re wondering what the hell it is in the first place.
That just about sums it up.