At the end of the year, production of the NEVS 9-3 EV will start in Tianjin. Finally - after the appointment has been postponed again and again! On Youtube, in response to the first electric car from NEVS, Chinese bloggers released a video showing the concept cars at CES 2017. A closer look should be worthwhile, because we can take a look inside.
As a reminder: 60% of the NEVS 9-3 EV should have been newly developed. The rest is based on the Saab 9-3, which came on the market before 16 years ago. Clear to recognize as Saab is the body. The hockey stick on the C-pillar makes identification easy. Under NEVS direction, the Saab heritage has been revised several times internally. A design ended up in the museum, we'll probably never see any other suggestions.
The current form comes from an Asian team working primarily for KIA and Hyundai. It was designed in a short time, Swedish designers did not come to the fore. And you can see that. Especially in the interior, of which there is no download in the NEVS database. Maybe you want to keep the interior of the concept car away from the public. There are plenty of reasons for this.
The interior is a blend of leather and Alcantara. An unfortunate mix, barbarously baroque and by no means discreet. Too much of everything. In Swedish, there is the fine word Lagom. A direct one Übersetzung does not exist, but a Saab was always Lagom. Balanced, the right measure, with a dose of style. Never provocative or embarrassing. The 9-3 EV Concept is not Lagom, and the company will eventually have to make a decision what it stands for. Would it like to be a Swedish manufacturer, because the headquarters are still in the Stallbacka, or does it want to be another Chinese electric car brand without any history and no face?
Old dashboard, huge display
Regardless, the mix of leather and Alcantara will not go into production. We can assume cheaper materials, because the price of the EV should be aggressive. Realistic and also much more exciting is the large display on the center console. The existing space and the basically barely modified dashboard were used optimally. The trend to accommodate the largest displays in the car has its origins in China. Without mega-displays and full virtual cockpits, no manufacturer has any chances with the Chinese audience.
Attentive observers will also find that even the air outlets for air conditioning and ventilation no longer have the typical appearance. They have accompanied us since the old Saab 900 days with evolutionary design over 9000 and 9-3 to 9-5 NG. Simply brilliant, easy to use and just impossible to improve. Patented by Saab, now replaced with a trivial design that could have been found in any other car in the world.
If the NEVS electric car goes into production in November or December after a long delay, it will be an 2019 model year. How many vehicles to build 2018 is unclear. The beginning will be the 9-3 sedan. Whether it even gets that far, is still not sure. The difficulties of the company are still unclear, everything remains in the balance.