Archive for '9-X BioHybrid'

Saab Automobile’s Opportunities For Success

Posted on 05. Sep, 2008 by .


Saab Automobile has been a leader in innovative thinking through their technologies ever since their early beginnings back in 1947.

Although things have been tough for them sales wise over the past few years, they will finally begin to see some strong new product introductions by the fall of 2009, but is it too late?

I want to begin with the idea of the Saab 9-1 / Saab 9-X BioHybrid because as Steve Shannon pointed out at the Saturday night dinner at the recent 2008 Saab Owners Convention, it was the first concept evidently built on a “compact premium” platform, so it can be produced as-is and is not a one-off like the prior concept cars, so why the delays and uncertainty? The need is certainly there so just build it!

Secondly, we have the Saab 9-3 XC or Cross-Combi, produced in Trollhättan, Sweden, that has been rumored to be debuting this fall as a direct competitor to the Audi Quattro, Volvo XC and Subaru Forrester. The interesting piece about this segment is that Saab should have had this back in 2002, but the project was halted due to GM at the time, stopping all product development in order to reel in costs.

The Saab 9-4x, the successor to the 9-7x, will be coming by the fall of 2009, produced in Mexico for the North American market as a cross-over as we’ve seen in the recent production photograph, very close to the concept vehicle shown in January this year, however that’s all we know at this point. I was specifically told at the 9-4x BioPower concept car’s launch in Detroit, that it will come with a turbocharged 4-cylinder and be touted as the halo vehicle for E-85 in North America. Although there’s been much speculation in the media of this vehicle coming in with a non turbo larger engine, I am optimistic that what I was told couldn’t be anything other than the truth and that we’ll see a 4-cylinder turbocharged crossover when it debuts. If anything other than that is actually produced, what’s the point, really?

Lastly, we have the new 9-5, shown as a rough design sketch also at the 2008 Saab Owners Convention, it also appears to be debuting just after the Saab 9-4x. It should be interesting to see what becomes of this launch because as old as the current 9-5 is, (10 years), this model to be produced at a GM Europe factory in Germany, must deliver as sales for the current 9-5 are totally flat. I worry that the idea of a larger premium sedan for Saab is another pointless exercise at this time as they should be focusing on smaller vehicles, which brings me to my last point.

There Saab Automobile is, with three out of four products set for launch by the fourth quarter of next year. So here’s the question, as Saab has traditionally been a company all about small “rightsized” vehicles, why wouldn’t the smaller premium compact segment be introduced prior to the 9-3 XC, 9-4X and New 9-5?

If GM is committed to seeing the Saab Automobile brand succeed, why not introduce a vehicle that is actually in demand? I question the need for more gas guzzling large vehicles such as crossovers and premium sedans.

I am also deeply concerned that these three vehicles although nice, won’t significantly contribute to turning the sales around for Saab Automobile as the 600 pound gorilla in the corner of the room (a small premium “rightsized” hatchback) would.

Having read this, what are your thoughts? I have included a poll below to see what you think Saab should focus on first, so let’s see what the results show over time.

Update: As of Saturday, September 6th, I am seeing the following votes:

# New 9-5 (52%)
# 9-1 / 9-X (35%)
# 9-4 X (10%)
# 9-3 XC (3%)

I would like to ask those who have voted for the new 9-5, why did you choose this? Was it because you believe Saab really needs a new 9-5, or that you may own a 9-5 and would like to see and/or own the new version?

What Model Should Saab Introduce Next?

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Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept Tours Washington, D.C.

Posted on 27. Aug, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab History

The Saab 9-X BioHybrid concept car will be touring Washington, D.C. this weekend, just after it made its appearance at last weekend’s 2008 Saab Owners Convention in Devens, Massachusetts.

To see everything you need to know about the Saab 9-X BioHybrid concept car, please visit this link here.

This just in from Saab Automobile USA

For Immediate Release — August 27, 2008

Award-winning Saab Concept on tour in the United States

Saab 9-X BioHybrid at Washington Times Car Show this Weekend

Detroit – Hot on the heels of the well-attended Saab Owners Convention in Devens near Boston last weekend, the award-winning 2008 Saab 9-X BioHybrid concept is scheduled to be on display at the Washington Times Car Show this Sunday, August 31. The event will take place in the Spring Hill Recreation Center near McLean, Virginia just west of Washington, D.C.

Organized by veteran automotive journalist Vern Parker of the Washington Times, the event traditionally offers an impressive array of classics as well as a peek into the car future. Following the tire marks of the Cadillac Sixteen Concept a few years ago, the Saab 9-X will be among the vehicles playing that forward looking role at this year’s show. For more details, see

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2008 Saab Owners Convention – Saturday

Posted on 26. Aug, 2008 by .



7.jpgOn Saturday, August 23rd, I arrived promptly by 9am to thankfully continue selling Saab literature in the shade this time around, but also to sign up for the people’s choice lawn event. The people’s choice event involved just that, showing your car to the people, and the people can cast their vote all any Saab based on any factor, whether that be appearance, interesting approach or any other subjective reason.

While the judging continued, I met up with Liam of Okemo Mountain Resort, who hosted Saab History this past March during the Aero-X Ski test drive in Ludlow, Vermont. 8.jpgLiam brought with him, his Saab 9-5 Aero which made had its first encounter with a dynometer, an instrument used to test the torque, horsepower and a number of other performance features of automobiles. Evidently, the statistics report produced after the experience, were right in line with the manufacturers specs, so that was comforting!

At noon, the New England Saab Association made their renewed and strong presence felt as they decided to do another bar-b-que in parallel to the boxed lunch activity.9.jpg This allowed for those day trippers, whom far outweighted full convention registrations, a chance to eat at the vendor & field area, a good 1/2 mile from the hotel. Even Felix Bosshard, former owner of Gaston-Andrey of Boston, mentioned in the book “In Quest Of A Company Soul”, who made a surprise appearance at the Saab Owners Convention, went directly to the bar-b-que! Way to go NESA!

The majority of Saturday involved lawn events from the Concours and aforementioned People’s Choice to a rescheduled group photo at about 2pm.
10.jpg The group photo, in my opinion, should be one of the most critical activities because it visually communicates attendance figures, and while this year’s group shot looked nice, with the green grass and blue sky backdrop, the number of vehicles continues to be dramatically down. With that said, there were probably twice as many remaining Saabs not in the group shot in the adjacent parking lot as well as back on the hill near the hotel. The group shot is said to be open to anyone, day passers, registrants or even guests of visitors, so why can’t we get more vehicles in the photo? Do we need more time to prepare, more advertising and communication to encourage more participation?

As schedules changed over the course of the day from the original schedule on the program guide, I ended up missing a bunch of seminars including the curator of the Saab Museum, Peter Backström’s presentation on the Saab facilities in Trollhättan, Sweden.

11.jpgFollowing the group photo and attemps to attend the rescheduled seminars, the banquet was next. This time, I made my way just in time not to miss this activity (hope it too was not rescheduled), I began to head towards the hall where the dinner was held and I noticed that the GM Heritage Collection was getting prepared for departure. One of the vehicles that I made my way over to, with a much anticipated photo opportunity, was the none other than the Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept car alongside my 1992 Saab 900 Turbo! The most hiliarious part of this visit & photo op included seeing the biohybrid run out of gas, yes gas. Since this 9-X BioHybrid Concept has a rooftop solar panel setup designed to power the battery hybrid system, I suggested that they just switch the car to the other energy system and power it that way. I was told, not surprisingly, that none of that works on the car and that it is just a gas driven traditional engine underneath. As unfortunate as that was, at least I tried to help get the car back on the trailer and safely home with my suggestion. I know these concept cars are theoretical design exercises, but you can’t blame me for my optimism, right?

13.jpgThe final chapter of the evening was Saab Automobile USA President, Steve Shannon’s “State of Saab 2008” presentation at 8pm. Momemts before the presentation was to begin, I was happily surprised to see Saab Automobile USA’s PR chief, Jan-Willem Vester, a die-hard Saab fan for years, owns a 1984 900 since new as well as others, showed me a tie he was proud to wear that evening. The tie had some historical significance, it was given to him when back when he was a journalist in 1988 while he attended the Saab 9000 CD launch in Nice, France. At this event, you will see that it is also the same event where Bob Sinclair met with Jan-Willem early in his career, and little did Sinclair know that Jan-Willem would end up becoming head of PR for Saab Automobile USA years later.

12.jpgThe 2008 State of Saab began with a follow-up to GM CEO Rick Wagoner’s comments a week earlier. He said that this statement was interpreted as positive, indicating that Saab Automobile AB in Sweden is a strong European brand in order to communicate that they are actually in the black opposed to what some media outlets have been speculating lately. As for the United States, Steve Shannon said we still have some work to do. Following this response he focused on communicating on new products, from the Saab 9-4x, new 9-5 (sedan to be introduced prior to the combi) as well as mentions of even the 2nd generations of the Saab 9-4x, new 9-5 and new 9-3! There were no mentions of the Saab 9-3x Cross-Combi however, but I suppose that’s due to that product being a natural extension of the existing 9-3 cross-wheel drive equipped lineup we have today. The other areas that were discussed included advertising, which consisted of their first ad from McCann-Erickson featuring the Saab 9-3 Convertible “Recycle” Ad that has been out for a good month and a half now, as well as another ad that is a “work in progress” that Saab USA may be seeking comments on at this time which is to be their first ever, XWD ad in the United States. Unfortunately, due to technical issues, we were unable to see those ads that evening and had to wait until the following morning at 8:55am. The spirit of the presentation was upbeat, but realistic and certainly sent some messages to the participants that Saab USA is doing all they can including working even more efficiently with their european counterparts at GM Europe.

Prevous Day, Friday
Final Day, Sunday

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The Saab 9-X BioHybrid To Be On Display At 2008 SOC

Posted on 20. Aug, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

The Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept car that made its global debut in Geneva, Switzerland, and North American debut in New York City this past March, will be on display at the 2008 Saab Owners Convention in Devens, Massachusetts this weekend.

Having attended the North American launch of the Saab 9-X BioHybrid with co-editor, Carl Levine in New York, it will be interesting once again to see what becomes of this concept car when it comes to a production version.

To find out everything you need to know about the Saab 9-X BioHybrid, please check out the designated section where I have over 46 postings about it at this time.

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Saab 9-X BioHybrid Development To Be Halted?

Posted on 05. Aug, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

There have been a large volume of credible news sources lately reporting that GM has halted the Saab 9-X BioHybrid’s development.

This means that a production vehicle and availability date will be further delayed, so I’m hoping to hear something positive about this

I have sent an e-mail into Saab Automobile AB Sweden to see what they have to say about these reports, so please stay tuned:

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The Future of Saab Design from Saab Great Britain

Posted on 23. Jul, 2008 by .


Saab Automobile Great Britain’s chief of communicates, David Pugh, discusses the future of Saab Design and the Saab brand future in the Great Britain market in a video filmed at the recent 2008 London Motor Show media day on Monday.

Here is that video that has just shown up on GM Europe’s video site today. Enjoy!

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Saab Automobile Chief Designer Simon Padian On Design

Posted on 17. Jul, 2008 by .



I have just located a video of Saab Automobile AB’s chief designer, Simon Padian.

In this video, Simon Padian comments on importance of good design at the recent Swedish Design Award which had an event ceremony this past June in Sweden.

The film is in Swedish, but there are small English subtitles.

Enjoy the video. which puts the film archive at over 420 videos!

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The Saab Project Designs by Model

Posted on 28. Jun, 2008 by .



As a follow-up to the previous writeup on the past and present Saab designers and their achievements, it was necessary to include a chronological up-to-date listing of Saab projects both production and concepts.

This listing includes each Saab project, year introduced along with each designer and/or engineer that contributed to the given project.

This list is a work-in-progress, so any additions and/or modifications that you see necessary below, please add your comments to ensure correctness and accuracy.

Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

Design Contributions by Model

SAAB Scandia 90 (1946-1958)


Bror Bjurströmer

SAAB 91 (1947-1966)


A.J. Andersson

SAAB 92001 (Prototype) (1946/1947)


Sixten Sason

Gunnar Ljungström


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Production Concept