With a life-saving infusion of Chinese cash on deck, Saab's ready to return to its beloved, idiosyncratic self. These pictures, nicked from a fundraising presentation earlier this year, give some outline to its brighter future.
Saab gave a PowerPoint presentation to the Swedish National Debt Office in January of this year in one of its many attempts to secure vitally-needed kroner. Although the meeting's materials were heavily redacted to protect industry secrets before being archived, someone neglected to black out the visuals. Three stills have been made public by major Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. (Note: Link is to original article written in Swedish.)
The most eye-catching shot is the above rendering of the new 9-3, the company's volume backbone and a model that must immediately do well if Saab is to endure. Styled by Pininfarina alum Jason Castriota, it's a decisive rejection of the GM-induced blandness that doomed the previous 9-3 to forgettability. The graininess of the scan does nothing to obscure the fact that it's a four-door hatchback, a familiar form for the company — and that shape could be nothing but a Saab.
Perhaps more important is the strategic timeline. The company is now obviously a few years behind the schedule as laid out, but the three-pronged product strategy still seems to promise the eagerly awaited neo-96 alongside the proposed 9-3 and recent 9-4X.
Major patience is still essential for Saab fans as the situation progresses, but if the company's new Chinese owners can keep the faith there is reason to believe.