Back in the secret boardroom in Northern Europe the same group of investors are gathered around the large table. This time they have severals images, videos, and spec sheets available to them for the eighteen proposals sent their way. Around this table they will decide how to relaunch Saab.
@FitRS - Saab 20-X by Katsuro Design
The first proposal to be analysed is the 20-X submitted by Katsuro Design. To start with the positives points, the investors like the quirky styling and how well equipped the car is. However, they also have some gripes about it. The car is too focused on performance and overengineered as such, both things that are certain to harm the mass market appeal they’re looking for. Also criticised is the rear end that seems to have been copied from a Porsche and how generally expensive the overengineering makes this car. With the design there isn’t much to be done about dropping it downmarket with other trims and as such this car will not be considered.
@OME - Saab Aero CX
The next one is the Aero CX. The investors are definitely interested in the quirky styling and the consumer appeal of crossovers. The cabin is well equipped and the overall design is very refined, but that ends the positive points. This crossover is ridiculously heavy, greatly harming fuel economy and acceleration. Both these should not be sacrificed in order to be appealing as a crossover. The other outstanding issue is that cabin layout, design, and engineering are also too far on the concept side. With a showcase in the coming months and production in less than two years, this is too far from production to be viable. It’s a shame, if they had more time this could work as a concept car to tease the brand’s return.
The third car to be considered by the investors is the Viggen. Compact sedans are still a popular proposition, so the investors are confident that it could lead to healthy sales so far. Also helping its case is the well equipped cabin. Taking away all ideas of healthy sales are the issues this one has. The most obvious one from a glance is the styling that seems about a decade out of date. Relaunching a brand with something that looks older than the last production models is not a good idea. Matching this outdated design is the outdated engineering. This might be been okay as a model to slow below the 9-3 a decade earlier, but not for the relaunch.
@Aaron.W - Saab 93 by Valentino Designs
So far things are not looking so good, so some of the investors are getting a little restless by the time the 93 by Valentino Designs is up. The design is striking enough to get everyone to pay attention. An aggressive and angular design on a sedan that keeps some recognisable Saab cues is something that should do well on the market. The generous levels of equipment and the solid fuel economy are further positives for this proposal. The only real gripe with this one is the use of a glued aluminium chassis. It’s overengineering that can’t be reserved for a high spec model only. That said, work could be done on modifying that by the time the car reaches production, so it’s tentatively kept aside as a possible model to revive Saab.
@Vri404 - Saab 9-4x by WSHNGTN Design House
Next down the list of proposals is the 9-4x by WSHNGTN Design House, and right away the investors take notice of another crossover that could possibly be like printing money. The 9-4x is well equipped and also quite economical, and that’s where the compliments end. Going for a subcompact crossover is a bold move but not a way to relaunch a semi-premium brand. The engine is also very loud for the type of vehicle it is, while the suspension is simultaneously overengineered and allows enough body roll that running it for the moose test is likely to lead to a rollover. The main gripe is also the one that has no way of being fixed for launch, and that’s the unrefined design that does not fit the Saab styling image.
The ES is the following contender and the refined design of the large liftback sedan gets the approval for its potential market appeal. Also of note is the equipment levels and the stellar fuel economy for this market segment. Of course it’s not all positives from the investors. The downsides they have are that the styling is quite austere and forgettable. It has the elements to look like a Saab but it could be easy to mistake it for just about anything else from a glance. The other negative point is the incongruous engine. A transverse inline-6 is unusual on its own, but this one also has a mix of performance and economy elements in its design to a point that it’s neither a performance engine nor an economy engine. That said, the ES inspires enough confidence to be kept aside for further review.
@yung_doofman - Saab Sonett Aero
The next car down the list stands out from its bright colour, the Sonett Aero. After some consideration, the investors agree that it’s economical and that that’s the only part of this proposal deserving of praise. The negatives are the unrefined styling that does not look like a Saab, the lacklustre interior, minimal and outdated safety features, and the badly design engine. Even with all that, the main issue with the Sonett Aero is that it’s a niche model and is not the way to relaunch a storied brand renowned for its turbocharged family cars.
@Arn38fr - Saab 900 Turbo by Decarlis
The next proposal, the 900 Turbo by Decarlis, also stands out from its bright colour but also equally from its refined design and possibility of mass market appeal that comes from a liftback sedan. The styling has some quirks to it and is undeniably Saab; the right combination to please the investors. Like most before it, it is generously equipped with a well appointed cabin. With all that approval, the investors need to dig to find some negatives but there really isn’t much for this one. What is worth commenting on is that the acceleration is rather slow, especially when compared to the competition. That said, the pros certainly outweigh the cons so the 900 Turbo will be put aside for consideration as the launch model.
Next down the list for consideration is the Groddar, another crossover that quickly caught the attention of the investors. Scanning through the file, it can be commended for its fuel economy and comfortable interior. However, the negatives far outweigh the positives on the spec sheet. The safety suite is outdated and very much lacking for the segment, there are incongruous engineering choices that should not be on here, and of course just from looking at it they can see that the styling is quite unrefined. Also worth noting is that the engineers did not follow the list of specifications and tuned the engine for the wrong grade of fuel. A crossover has potential to allow Saab to strart off strong, but it’s not going to be this crossover.
The 9-2 Gripen comes up as the next contender for Saab’s relaunch. Try as they mgiht, the investors just cannot find anything worth praising on this one. Just looking at it, it’s clear that this is in no way a Saab, it looks like a crude hot hatch. The whole car is overengineered in ways that do nothing to improve it while the engine has no place being in any car, and being tuned for the wrong fuel grade shows that the engineers also had issues with their reading comprehension. Needless to say, this proposal is not moving out of the boardroom.
@Mikonp7 - Saab Aerocar by Propeller
The Aerocar by Propeller is another crossover proposal and while a crossover can be promising the investors are pretty jaded at this point. Finding some positive points for the Aerocar isn’t too hard, as it holds promise of mass market appeal while also being well equipped and offering solid fuel economy. On its own this should be a winning combination, but of course there are some other things to consider alongside the engineering. The styling of the aerocar is another that’s a decade out of date, and it has an unrefined air about it. Unfortunately the buying public cares about styling so this major shortcoming outweighs the engineering, so the Aerocar will not be considered as the launch model.
Next down the list is the 9-3 XWD Gripen. The most striking feature of this car is its design and it’s enough to make some of the investors salivate. This is the potential of a modern Saab and it’s beautiful. As designs go, this is one of the refined ones and it’s also quirky in all the right ways to be a Saab while not alienating the potential buyers of a liftback sedan. To finish off with the praise for the 9-3 XWD Gripen, the investors also agree that the car is also well equipped and seems comfortable. Moving on to shortcomings, there are a few things for the investors to note. The first is that this car has a strong focus on performance and as such in overengineered in various places to facilitate this aspect, making it expensive without an easy solution for more affordable lower trims. Those are minor issues in comparison to this proposal being too much of a concept car as it stands that it just cannot be adapted for production with the timeline in question. While the 9-3 XWD Gripen is not being considered for the brand relaunch, it is being put aside for consideration as a concept car for a future model depending on what the launch model ends up being.
Moving ever closer to the end of the list, the 9-5x is the next proposal for the investors to consider. While the station wagon market has shrunk considerably this AWD wagon can be an attractive proposal for many buyers. It works well for Volvo, so it could work well for Saab too. Helping make the case is the good fuel economy that should entice even more buyers. Of course with the good must come the bad, and so while the front of the 9-5x is quite refined and definitely Saab, the rear end looks completely unfinished. There’s just no time to continue with a car that has an unfinished design. Also of note is the slow acceleration that’s stands out even more when compared to the competition. The 9-5x is not quite what the investors want for the relaunch.
The next car down the list is the 9-5 Turbo4, another conventional sedan that should offer the possibility of a strong sales volume. The design on this one is stellar and very refined, exactly the sort of thing to help entice buyers while staying true to the Saab image. The well equipped cabin offers all the features to be expected from the car while the solid fuel economy is the icing on the cake. Try as they might, the investors cannot find any faults worth noting with the 9-5 Turbo4. As such, this one is put aside for consideration in relaunching Saab.
@ST1Letho - Saab 10-4 by HOL
The 10-4 by HOL is the next proposal for the investors to consider. This liftback sedan has an attractive and refined design and offers the possibility of the mass market appeal the investors are looking for. While the design is quite angular and different from anything else, it also fits as an evolution of the Saab language and should remain recognisable. Moving to the engineering, the 10-4 is generally well equipped and offers excellent fuel economy. The engineering also has some negatives, one being that this car is on the heavy side for what it is but doesn’t seem to have any major downsides from it. What is a problem is the limited safety suite that just won’t do for this car. The investors decide that it’s worthy of consideration with the note that the safety equipment should be improved if it gets chosen.
@randomtuner - Saab 9-3 by Lünnerden Design
Next down the list is the 9-3 by Lünnerden Design. So this car’s got some issues, as the material provided to the investors shows a wagon but the car that was received was a coupe the looks to have been cut out from the wagon judging by the rear end design. The engineering is also a complete mess and has no place in any production car. Clearly it must be a joke, so the investors swiftly move on.
The next car down the list elicits more head shakes, as it has no name. Even though the investors already have a team at the ready to find the best name for the car they decide, they still expected these proposals to come with a name. That said, this unnamed car has no redeeming features. The styling is simultaneously outdated and unfinished, the car is very heavy for no good reason, it’s overengineered, the engine is badly tuned, and the whole package is too focused on performance. Needless to say, it will not be considered.
@Hshan - Saab 900 Griffin Turbo4
Finally reaching the last of the proposals, the investors turn their attention to the 900 Griffin Turbo4. The liftback sedan is a good segment to go into for some mass market appeal, and this one is very well designed. The refined styling also has its quirks and overall is a good representation of a modern Saab that can be easily recognisable. Matching the styling is the generous levels of equipment provided and the strong fuel economy. This is another of the proposals that just does things right and holds potential. As far as negative points to consider, there is a comment to be made about the apparent focus on performance. That said, the 900 Griffin Turbo4 does it right and would allow for some downmarket variants. The investors set this last car aside for further consideration.
As they leave the boardroom to consider their choices, the investors are provided with more detailed files on the car proposals they will be considering as well as getting scheduled for a closer inspection of all these cars. They will reconvene in a month with their final choice.
Up for consideration are the cars sent in by
And a special mention to @MasterDoggo for making an amazing looking car that was just too much of a concept to make it to production.