The planned Saab 900 was based on the Phoenix platform and would have been revealed last year if the Swedish company had not run into financial trouble
4 February 2013

This is the still-born Saab 900 that was intended to revive the company under private ownership, after General Motors sold the company in 2010 to Spyker Cars.

Codenamed Project 540 and based on the all-new, Saab-engineered, Phoenix platform, this five door hatchback should have been revealed late last year, along with a new version of the classic Saab convertible.

It was designed by US stylist Jason Castriota and, as these pictures show, was intended to be strongly reminiscent of the classic Saab 900. The rear elevation, especially, looks very much like Saab’s most successful model. Arguably, there are hints of Audi’s A5 in the nose, which is possibly because Saab’s own research said that Audi was the brand most ‘cross-shopped’ by potential buyers.

The 4.5m-long 900 was set to have been powered by a Saab-tweaked version of the Mini’s 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which also had stop-start and braking regeneration. The first version of the new 900 was expected to have 200bhp. BMW announced an engine supply deal with Saab in autumn 2010.

This car would have also been available as a hybrid, driven by an electric motor mounted on the rear axle. The set-up was being developed by American Axle and Saab in Sweden and is expected to appear on another brand of vehicle in the near future.

The Phoenix platform was designed to be easily upgradable across future generations of Saab models and was based on a technique of ‘common component interfaces’ pioneered by truck maker Scania. Scania engineers were involved in advising Saab engineers working on Phoenix. Phoenix was designed to be stretched to underpin an all-new, 5m-long, 9-5 as well as 5.2m long super-saloon for Asia markets.

Sources told Autocar that replacing the 9-5 with a Phoenix-based model was the next priority after the new 900, along with a marketing scheme to retain the owners of the 2010 GM-based 9-5, which was destined to be a short-lived model. Saab also intended to continue to source the GM-based Saab 9-4X, which was being manufactured in Mexico.

Saab folded in December 2010, after production was halted in March and June of that year. A takeover deal with Chinese carmaker Youngman and retailer Pang Da resulted in General Motors stating that it would not allow the use of its technology if Saab became Chinese-owned.

It’s thought that the rights to the ‘60 per cent complete’ Phoenix platform are owned by Youngman. Last June, Saab’s then-owner Victor Mueller announced plans to revive the Phoenix platform as the basis for an SUV and a series of saloons under a deal with Youngman.

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Comments
25

4 February 2013

I can see what they were trying to do with the "new 900" but to my eyes it looks a little awkward and the proportions a little wrong.  I'm not sure it would have been the success they were hoping.

 

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

4 February 2013

TegTypeR wrote:

I can see what they were trying to do with the "new 900" but to my eyes it looks a little awkward and the proportions a little wrong.  I'm not sure it would have been the success they were hoping.

 

 

I agree, it looks interesting.... but there is a big difference between interesting and nice. Shame SAAB went under. Alfa, like SAAB, have a very strong image and I would buy one of them if they they had decent line ups. Back to dreamland....

4 February 2013

I'd have loved to have seen this. I was waiting/hoping for SAAB to escape GM's clutches/ Just as looked like they might, and might also start building interesting cars again, they went under. Such a shame.

The pictures don't really sell it, but it looks like it could have been decent.

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Never wrestle with a pig. You'll only get muddy, and the pig will enjoy it.

Myk

4 February 2013

I'm not sure if it's a particularly handsome car.  It's difficult to tell from the grainy photos, plus white can hide some of the surfacing.  It's possibly an interesting design - I'm sure it would look better in a more flattering colour.

I get flashes of Audi/Seat Exeo around the nose, and something is reminding me of a Subaru Impreza.

4 February 2013

It must just be me then, I really like it.  There's a bit of the original Mercedes CLS in the C pillar.  What a shame it will never see the light of day.

4 February 2013

amble wrote:

It must just be me then, I really like it.  There's a bit of the original Mercedes CLS in the C pillar.  What a shame it will never see the light of day.

I see it too. Actually, Saab might have been onto something if they'd used the 900-style hatchback design as a basis for a smaller four-door CLA-type model. It would have harked back to some heritage but pitched itself into a growing sector at exactly the right time (rather than always being about 5 years behind everyone else...)

Shame GM wouldn't let it happen. I know it's more complex than to simply blame GM, but it did seem everyone else was more interested in saving Saab than the one company that sealed its fate.

4 February 2013

I realise that you can only tell so much from these pictures, but the proportions look really awkward to me: It reminds me of the second generation 900 from 1994, which wasn't, in my opinion, one of Saabs better efforts. On looks alone I don't think it would have done Saab any favours.

4 February 2013

What would you classify this car as?   What would its rivals have been?  

4 February 2013

Audi A5 Sportback, BMW 3-series GT I guess.

4 February 2013

ewallace1 wrote:

What would you classify this car as?   What would its rivals have been?  

I think this was the intended replacement for the 9-3 and a conventional, albeit odd looking, rival to the 3-Series, Mondeo clan etc.

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