Shenbao C60 ready for the market launch

Chinese car buyers will soon face a luxury problem. NEVS starts with the 9-3 EV, and BAIC launches the C60 under the old Saab brand name “Shenbao”.

Shenbao C60, aka SAAB 9-3.
Shenbao C60, aka SAAB 9-3.

The C60 is based on the last Saab 9-3, which was developed in Trollhättan. NEVS is also coming this year with the further developed original, which is “Made in Sweden”. However, NEVS will only offer the electrical variant that will undergo final assembly in the new Quindao plant. BAIC customers, on the other hand, will find the B205 engine under the Shenbao hood.

Maybe the old Saab turbo engine with direct ignition is one reason that it took a little longer to present a finished product. Because this first had to be adapted to the 9-3 basis, which made additional new pressing tools for parts of the body necessary. Incidentally, a problem that also plagues the manufacturers of the original in Trollhättan. Because there too, with the “update”, new engines will move in under the hood, and there, too, new equipment is needed for the press shop.

Shenabo C60 interior, basic version
Shenabo C60 interior, basic version

By the end of the year 2009 BAIC had acquired the rights in Sweden and then needed more than 4 years for the revised product. During this time, competitors are developing more than a complete model generation from scratch. The result, the first pictures of which appeared on autohome.com.cn, has nothing to do with a Saab visually. The design is based on the larger Shenbao D series, which is based on the old 9-5, and seems to be a successful model in China.

The B205 turbo engine has 204 hp and 280 Nm. Later in the year, a 1.8 liter turbo with 180 horsepower developed by BAIC is to be submitted. The interior is reminiscent of the 9-3 we are familiar with, the photo shows the inexpensive entry-level variant. In the luxury version, which is also available, leather with visible seams dominates the optionally three-colored (!) Interior. The center console was changed and a new multimedia system was integrated. The steering wheel - in Europe we know it in a similar basic form from the Saab 9-5 NG and several products that roll off the assembly line in Rüsselsheim and other factories in the GM world - is not only found in the new Shenbao. In countless variants, always with small changes, you can see it in many Chinese new releases that have nothing to do with Saab or GM. A supplier is doing really well here!

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Buyers of the model, available shortly after the Beijing Auto Show in April, can choose between automatic transmission and manual transmission. The pricing at BAIC is aggressive. The C60, which is positioned between the D-series and the entry-level C50 from the Chinese premium brand Shenbao, starts at € 14.000,00 on the home market. The full equipment should be just under € 20.000,00.

BAIC is clearly accelerating NEVS, the electric test fleet will not arrive in China until later. However, let's be fair, they also had a full two and a half years ahead. As optimists, we assume that Trollhättan will be a little faster with the presentation of the petrol and diesel versions than the manufacturer from Beijing. Is it?

Text: tom@saabblog.net

7 thoughts on "Shenbao C60 ready for the market launch"

  • I think BAIC's situation cannot be compared to NEVS '. BAIC tries to sell their vehicles to private customers, and that is exactly what NEVS does not (at the moment) believe is necessary (yet). Since NEVS belongs, at least in part, to a provincial capital, sales of EVs are apparently secured. And that's pretty clever because for private individuals, the 9-3 EVs, like most other eCars, are pretty useless. But the 9-3 EV seems perfect as a representative city car for middle-class bigwigs of the party apparatus. I just hope that NEVS realizes that private buyers, if they are in the NEVS “loot scheme” at all, will find light, small and manoeuvrable city eCars (as a 2nd car) and economical, sporty petrol / diesel (a further development of the 9th) -3 with modern gasoline and diesel turbos).

    And the rest must be said here once: Nothing, but really nothing is my opinion about the B235! The thing can never have power end and remains in real operation more economical than comparable engines.

  • For NEVS, the Chinese market is becoming vital. Even if someday in Europe, the sales are made there. 14000 Euro is a clear sign.
    This is already becoming a piece of hard bread for NEVS. The time is running……
    Not to mention in Europe. Does NEVS (except Sweden) really want to go back… ..?

  • Nothing is yet on the Chinese website, but the B185 looks very much like the engine of the Mercedes C-Class. While the B205 and B235 always refer to the Saab origin, the B185 is never mentioned in connection with Saab.
    Since Mercedes is indeed involved in BAIC, it would fit, especially as positioned below the C-series and the D-series E-series from BAIC, the old B-Class from Mercedes.
    For the design, it should please the Chinese and technically it seems to be very close to the Saab philosophy.
    At least the Saab performance team is doing quite well with the D-70. And the technical specification reads really well.

    I think it's already clear that Nevs only has a chance in China with an electric car.

  • Particulate matter is negligible with a suction tube injector (which was and is the B205). Only in direct-injection (gasoline such as diesel) he plays, due to the charge stratification, a role.
    The problem in China is mainly smog and ozone.

  • Looks like an old Hyndai. Hopefully the things will not come to Germany. It's an insult to the eye. Luckily you do not see that it was in the SAAB. Let's hope it makes NEVS better. Please try hard.

  • Continue? In the next few years, the Chinese will increasingly struggle with car exhaust fumes in their cities. An EV would be more welcome than a car with a conventional engine that produces a lot of fine dust….
    Let us surprise ourselves….

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