The year 1999. The Saab 9-5 was still fresh, the 9000 had completed its last laps. There was no direct successor. From now on, the 9-3 I was the last hatchback from Trollhättan - and should remain so. Everything could have been different ...
Saab cooperated with Alfa Romeo at the time. On a new premium platform, a future generation of vehicles should emerge, the Tipo 4 project greetings. The result was Alfa 159 and Alfa Brera. A Saab hatchback was possible, Björn Envall and the Saab design team worked on the Saab Spacecoupe.
The project ran only briefly, just two months, and was then terminated. What has remained is the drawing from the private collection of Björn Envall and the idea of the Saab Spacecoupes. An exciting 5 door that is more in the tradition of the Saab 9000 than in the Saab 900 or 9-3.
Where Saab wanted to go with the Space Coupe Concept is not entirely clear. Work on the successor to the 1998-9 I began in 3 at the latest. The first drafts showed a hatchback until the idea of the conventional sedan prevailed. In research, Saab wanted to have found that the majority of customers would prefer a sedan to the hatchback. What a mistake! Aamer Mahmud's design was accepted, and the limousine became a reality.
To replace the 9-3, the Space Coupe would have been too big and too heavy. A problem of the premium platform, which should also have an adverse effect on the careers of Alfa 159 and Brera. Above all, the Saab Space Coupe would have been too close to the fresh Saab 9-5. The avant-garde space coupe would certainly have blown out the light of day; not a few of the 9000 customers refused to switch to the conventional notchback.
Was the Saab Spacecoupe the preliminary design of a possible successor to the 9-5, which would have been a better fit for the brand, or a fight against wacker Swedes against the dictates of Detroit? It is clear that the concept had a lot of Saab DNA in the potential.
After the Saab Spacecoupe Concept was discontinued, the cooperation between GM - Saab - Fiat was limited to the powertrain area. Björn Envall, a fervent fan of hatchback vehicles, had nothing to do with the new 9-3 sedan.
The Spacecoupe would have been the car we expected from Saab. The 9-5 and 9-3 limousines brought Saab an intermediate high, which quickly evaporated. Regular customers did not stay that rare with the 901, 9-3 I or 9000, or changed the brand.
Björn Envall did not see a Saab Spacecoupe rolling on the streets, but his ideas influenced Saab Design. The rims of the Space Coupe anticipate the turbine design of later years. Anthony Lo and his design team will put the Saab Aero X on turbine wheels, the Saab 9-5 NG will get them in series. They are also available for the 9-3, rims in the turbine design are among the most beautiful creations of the designers at Saab.
The hatchback has not let go of Björn Envall. Several years later, it was between 2006 and 2008, and Envall was again working for the Saab design team, he reached back to the pen and drew the rear view of a Saab 9000 successor. A big hatchback, made by Trollhättan. Do you want to see it?