Stockholm, April 8th, 2011. Saab’s product portfolio was never as broad and as up to date.
Just a few weeks before at the Geneva Auto Show, Saab had made a big splash with the launch of the all-new Saab 9-5NG SportCombi and the unveiling of the PhoeniX concept car. Today the cars were shown to Swedish customers, press and partners. It turned out to be the very last public Saab car event…
Saab Vårsalong (translated from Swedish: “Saab Spring Event”) was the title of the Saab autoshow held in a small event facility in Nacka Strand, a suburb located east of the Swedish capital Stockholm.
On the one hand, things could not have looked better for Saab: the Trollhättan factory was finally producing cars again, and the product portfolio was broader than ever. Apart from Griffin versions of the 9-3 (including two models featuring 119 g/km CO2 emissions, something quite revolutionary at the time), the uniquely orange colored 9-3 Convertible Indepence Edition completed the low-end product lineup. The long awaited new generation 9-5 SportSedan was now in production, and the -especially for the Nordic markets- crucially important 9-5NG SportCombi was finally ready. And possibly even more important for Saab globally, was the availability of its first true crossover model, the 9-4x.
Note: the 9-4X grille in the picture never made it to regular production. This version was intended for the Aero trim, but ultimately all 9-4X trims were equipped with one that showed more resemblance with the 9-5NG and MY12 9-3 (the same one that came with 9-4X base trims).
PhoeniX and more
The exhibition featured a total of 13 Saabs. Mostly newer models, but also some classics, like the 900 convertible.
Among the 9-5NGs present was one of the two SportSedans that were specially configured by ANA Specialbilar for the Swedish police.
Another eye catcher was Saab’s newest concept car: the PhoeniX. A sportscar designed by Jason Castriota. Although the car garnered several design awards, I have to admit that I’ve never felt any affection for it myself.
I guess I don’t need to add that only a few weeks after the event, Saab’s production lines were halted and that the company ultimately filed for bankruptcy in December of the same year. Saab Cars was no more, but many great cars and wonderful memories remain!