It was December 2009. Saab was once again close to the abyss in Sweden, and GM had already commissioned the gravediggers from Alix Partners to handle it. The Saab employees had - again - a sad Christmas in sight, and a car transporter was arriving from Germany in Sweden these days, with a prototype that was never to be built.
In addition to the new Saab 9-5 sedan and the 9-5 sports trolley, there should also be two other variants. The one version would have celebrated its premiere in the fall of 2013 and would have met roughly what we know as Insignia Country Tourer or Audi Allroad. The other variant would have been a hatchback.
This Trollhättan would have made a connection to the Saab 9000 and would have had in its class finally (almost) a unique feature. From size, image and price only the BMW 5er GT would have been comparable, the hatchback Insignia ranks with its by 11 Zentimer shorter wheelbase not only the image of a class lower, as well as the Skoda Superb. There were two prototypes that were built and whose development was well advanced. After the December 2009 both vehicles disappeared, and the plan to build a luxury hatchback was not pursued.
Why? The facts are poor. Some voices say they wanted to take care of Opel again. Which hardly makes sense, because the Insignia, sitting on the same platform but with a shortened wheelbase, has a different audience in focus than Saab had. Others are of the opinion that the expected quantities would have been too small and the production would not have been worth it. Okay, dear readers, openly and honestly: what would we have preferred to buy? A notchback sedan, which is also beautiful, or a hatchback? No question for me! Clearly - Saab hatchback.
In the first months of 2010, the two prototypes are said to have been in the press, and the dream of a large Saab with a tailgate was finally at an end. We thought. Til today…
Because both vehicles not only survived the GM era, but also the era with Victor Muller. In spring 2012, Mark and I met both prototypes again, outwardly intact. Since the same rims were still mounted on the vehicles as in 2009, it can be assumed that there were no more activities related to the 9-5 hatchback in the Spyker era either. The vehicles were secured on the gravel yard in front of the plant and we didn't notice them at the time.
Many months later, looking through the pictures, I noticed the missing hatchback. Behind it stands, you barely see it, prototype number 2. A glance at the license plates confirms that vehicle number one is the Saab, which was photographed on the transporter in December 2009. The quality of the pictures is unfortunately not the best. The recordings were made partly with the mobile phone, and also the telephoto lens used by my good Nikon was not optimal and got a better successor.
We do not know what has happened to the vehicles in the meantime. Three forecasts are possible. Like many other prototypes, these vehicles also went to the recycling company with a high degree of certainty. Then they could either have been scrapped or they are among the prototypes that NEVS bought back and saved with the consent of the administrators at the last second. Or - that is also possible - someone recognized what was there and saved the vehicles in a dry hall.
If they are still there, then someday we will see them again. I'm sure !