Stylish Saab 2+2 concept, designed to rival the Audi A5, planned prior to the company's collapse

Saab was planning a coupé version of the defunct 2012 9-3 prior to the firm’s collapse.

Based on the same Saab-engineered Phoenix platform as the all-new 9-3 hatchback, it was designed as a 2+2 and conceived as a rival for the Audi A5.

Sources say it was going to be badged ‘Sonett’ — the name used for a series of three small Saab sports cars, built between 1955 and 1974.

This illustration — which is taken from a photograph of a full-size styling model — is not of the final design, but the dramatic proportions, which take inspiration from the award-winning Aero X concept, can clearly be seen. 

The car would have been powered by various versions of the Mini’s current 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine. There would also have been a 4x4 performance version with an electrically powered rear axle, which also offered torque vectoring for much-improved handling.

Autocar has also learnt that Phoenix project design chief Jason Castriota had a big influence on the engineering of the Phoenix platform. He succeeded in having the wheelbase lengthened and the front overhang shortened. 

According to insiders, Castriota had to use the same headlights and mirrors on the 9-3 models as those fitted to the 2009 Saab 9-5. New headlights, among many other changes, would have arrived in 2014 as part of a simultaneous facelift of the 9-3 and 9-5. 

Join the debate


14 April 2013

Makes me feel better about the demise of SAAB now - that looks a gopping mess.

14 April 2013

Sorry, but even though I know that's an Autocar image and not the SAAB sketch it looks like a disaster waiting to happen.   The new 95 wasn't that great looking.   It did have some nice touches, but over all just looked like Jade Goody rather than Gemma Arterton.

I was sorry that SAAB went under with the loss of those jobs and only wished that excellence (something GM doesn't have) and design (a nice looking Vauxhall?) would win through.   Unfortunately lacking.


14 April 2013

It's everything you want a SAAB to be. Different, individual, unique and quirky. Good to see, although they'll never get chance, or looks very doubtful now, that they practiced this design philosophy till the end.  It's just very SAAB, with heaps of intergrity too.

14 April 2013

Saab were quite a irrelevant brand...... They did not bother to build really anything other than luxury cars. If they concentrated on cheep affordable cars they might still be in business. I don't think there demise is much of a loss

14 April 2013

I t wouldn't have hit the road looking like this, but good old Saab, you could rely on them doing something different, unlike some of our so called Premium brands......?

Peter Cavellini.

14 April 2013

SAAB made great cars. The GM board basically shafted them, in a knee jerk reaction, on a whim. When SAAB could easily have been incorporated into the Opel / Vauxhall family. I never understood why the Swedish government just stood by and did nothing. They aren't even bothered about the SAAB museum.


14 April 2013

kcrally wrote:

SAAB made great cars. The GM board basically shafted them, in a knee jerk reaction, on a whim. When SAAB could easily have been incorporated into the Opel / Vauxhall family. I never understood why the Swedish government just stood by and did nothing. They aren't even bothered about the SAAB museum.

True, and GM could have chosen to save the SAAB brand in Europe, by effectively badge-engineering/re-trimming the many worthy but slower-selling GM products (the Opel Meriva, Cascada and Chevrolet Aveo and Orlando spring to mind)  which would be priced above the cars they are based on (as SAABs) and sold  through the remaining SAAB and 'opting in' European GM dealer networks.  This would have bought more time to get the new 9-3 sorted and would have helped ailing Saab and Vauxhall/Opel dealerships.  True, the 9-2x did not work well in the USA, but a Meriva based SAAB 9-2x for £12,995?  It's not exactly saving the brand, but to buy enough time for the 9-3 and 9-5 variants, that would have made sense I think.

14 April 2013

GM destroyed Saab through lack of interest and investment. Just the same reasons why Pontiac, and Hummer to some extent, shut up shop too.

14 April 2013

Ownership of SAAB was that the base products provided by GM were not up to the standards that SAAB wanted. This resulted in SAAB investing vast amounts re-engineering the platforms to make the fit for purpose. It has been said that SAAB were really frustrating for GM.

I personally always felt SAAB were not a good fit for GM as their products were superior and sadly GM's lack of understanding of the was what effectively ruined them. 

It is possible GM's current products would have provided a better quality and wider range of bases for SAAB, offering the possibility of expanding into other market sectors and therefore boosting sales and profitability.

RIP SAAB; our motoring choices are less interesting without your alternative takes on motoring. 

"Why is not getting more media attention? It could be the future... Now!"

14 April 2013

It seems fashionable to sheet home the blame for SAAB's demise to GM, however the reality is that SAAB would have gone to the chopping block much sooner if it hadn't been for GM. SAAB volumes were too small for it to be economically sustainable, as it couldn't fund the investments required to keep in touch with German carmakers' technology, so there's little point in waxing lyrical about 'paradise lost' when it comes to SAAB.


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