With Russian financiers offering up to $100m to back the new Saab-Spyker project, it’s not surprising that the internet is awash with glad tidings of new cars from the new Dutch-Swedish venture. On the Saab side, CEO Victor Muller and company are teasing analysts with news that Saab is “already working on plans” for a new compact car, tentatively named 9-1. Having quoted Muller as saying the 9-1 had a “better than average chance”of being built (whatever that means), Automotive News Europe [sub] filled in the blanks:
[The 9-1] would be needed to help achieve Saab’s stated goal of closing the gap with BMW and Audi. Saab debuted a concept for an entry-premium car at the 2008 Geneva auto show. ANE sister publication AutoWeek named the 9-X BioHybrid the best concept at that year’s event.
First of all, nice pimp there guys. Also, too bad the guy who led design on the 9-X BioHybrid (and most Saab design work of late) has gone to work for Renault
. Especially considering the rumors are swirling that a deal already exists for GM to supply Opel Corsa components to Saab for the vehicle, which would theoretically debut in 2013. Even though the 9-1 is not part of the as-yet not completely funded $1b development program announced by Saab, meaning more money would have to be raised to go beyond Muller’s current in-house scribblings.
Not that Muller is sweating any of it. As far as he’s concerned, he snagged himself a real live automaker for “the cost of a windtunnel.” Or, as he put it to caradvice.com.au
This has all been given to us as a nice package, saying, ‘Good luck with it,’
Considering the recent history of Saab, isn’t it possible that this might not be such a good sign? Sometimes it’s hard to tell if hope dies last, or if sanity just dies first.