Never built. Saab Spacecoupe

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 Spacecoupe 1999 Bjoern Envall
Saab Spacecoupe 1999 Bjoern Envall

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?

42 thoughts on "Never built. Saab Spacecoupe"

  • That you take care of newer SAABs - that sounds good, I would have liked to experience that.

    I've had 5 dealings with parts deliveries and Orio to date. 2 x with flawless delivery (ignition box, Nivomaten), 3 x with potential upwards / parts with unsatisfactory function (exhaust, tank / fuel pump).

    Written complaints were not answered by Orio (1 x) or deported to the workshop (1x). Again and again, the workshop exchanged entire modules, was unable to make any real troubleshooting, and said that it would not get anything else from Orio. I paid bills, even for parts that were not necessary to spare the workshop the expansion. The problem is still not solved.

    I will not get rid of the suspicion here that one simply wanted to get rid of storekeepers. This builds little trust for further cooperation and is unacceptable and time consuming for an everyday vehicle. A pity, I would have liked to experience something different. Actually, I have been very positive about SAAB and Orio and I am well aware of what it takes to build a new functioning supply chain.

    However, if you mess up so many chances stupidly and then do not want to worry or can, that's no help. Orio relies more on SAAB drivers than we do on Orio.

  • That would be great, of course!

  • Yes exactly, dark gray. Only gave them - until the end of production (mine is from 06/2003) I once ordered some in the bay, but they were too light. Well, my mats are still like new, just wanted some as a reserve, as I plan to To drive “Earl Gray” until I have to be forcibly prevented from driving at some point ...

  • I'll talk to Till about how high the edition must be. Maybe we can start an action via the blog to fulfill the minimum order quantity.

  • I'm afraid that it only gave these shades. Our 9-3 Aero 2001 has originals in it, with color difference from dark gray to black.

  • Thanks for the links, but there are others, rather a very dark gray instead of black or the lighter gray. Where the second link almost look like that, but are not for the convertible.

  • Has already been in contact with Till, but it looks like the demand is not high enough to start post-production. I bought the rear silencer from him, as certainly some here, but unfortunately my Saab workshop does not seem to be able to adapt the Hirsch rear silencer to the standard middle silencer (different diameters). Leather door handles from the upholsterer are an idea, report back when they're done. Well, and about the floor mats: don't think that Orio reproduces, target group that is too small - Viggen or Aero with Viggen body kit.

  • I've heard about the middle silencer a couple of times now. Send an email to Till Drescher (till (ä t) dreschermedia.de), he organizes reproductions. The leather door handles are made by a saddler, I will now also have them made in winter, the floor mats ... I have no solution yet. Maybe Orio will put on a new production?

  • “Everything that is fun” - exactly right! There it is missing! I also have to carve my own Hirsch center silencer for my 9-3 I Aero Cabrio ... or leather door handles, or original floor mats, or, or, or ... 🙁

  • However, I see it a little differently, I do not consider the A5 to be a flop. I am forced to drive an A5 Sportback on business and I have to say that the tailgate was an important argument in favor of this vehicle. I don't want to miss the tailgate, especially for our weekend shopping. Sure, the cargo space is not huge now, but I still like the overall concept of what I consider to be a really successful design, sportiness and a minimum of practicality! Well, and whenever I have to transport a refrigerator, I'll take my 9-3 I Anni ... 😉 anyway

  • The BE is really a great designer, has also studied sculpture and has also made good art. We look forward to more designs, Saab fans without a new car need something like that….

  • But there are also good news from Orio, where you take care of newer Saabs. In the next few days on the blog, sun and shadow just as in real life

  • This is certainly just a trick to animate customers to a quick purchase.
    You know from other web shops where it says "Only 2 pieces in stock"
    Can not imagine that the parts are really scrapped.

  • Tom, where did you get that great drawing from …………
    Greetings Gotz

  • Can I understand the frustration. The action of Orio Sweden is not very nice, for me incomprehensible. I would like to have written a few positive sentences, but have no in this case.

  • I can not shake the suspicion that ORIO (Sweden) is only busy with the unwinding. There was already a scrapping soon after the end, until someone came up with the idea to sell everything in the webshop. If that does not happen fast enough, obviously it will continue to be scrapped.
    The frustration is very deep right now

  • Orio has been on the suicide path for some time. Wear parts yes, everything else no. Ask my friend he has to buy things like steering wheels, sports exhaust, body kit, and anything else fun from other sources.
    In my opinion these are the things I like to spend money on and where Orio would probably have the best margin.
    I've been watching the shop in Sweden for months, giving away pieces that neither I nor my friend will get. The impudence is that only Scandinavians can order, no delivery to D.

  • My eyes are falling out at the Orio action ...

  • Beautiful drawing. Happy of it more. Estimating market opportunities is always difficult. There will still be some such prototypes.

    It is clear that the target markets have been the US for years, not Europe. That's why the step backs.

    Had .. would .. would - time to look ahead.

  • Nice drawing and again a cooperation with the Italians, that would have had something. There would certainly be no such useless Coupe came out as at Audi.
    But you can't blame GM for all the missed opportunities, they started earlier. At the time of the 9000 CC there could have been a van and a station wagon, a little later the all-wheel drive CS….
    Unfortunately, the Swedes mess up a lot themselves, as you can see in TH and ORIO is also there:
    https://webshop.saabparts.com/en
    It starts again with the scrapping of spare parts, the decline is accelerated.

  • Well, by the time GM Saab integrated, they had been hired by Opel for 60 years. Opel was 100% GM, and Opel has served all the market segments to the 80er. Therefore, I can understand the jealousies.

    Nevertheless, I remain in my opinion. Had GM Opel for the mass markets, so structured from small to mid-range, and Saab for the upper class, and not always hidden SAAB somehow behind Opel, then both would have got off better.

    But well, the child fell into the well - and afterwards you are always smarter.

  • The next problem was that the Opel houses had the Saab, Saab did not understand. Opel sellers did not have credible reference to the brand. Setup alone does not make it.

  • Hat shelf with toilet paper & bobble dog

    How unbelievably far SAAB was wrong with its limousine strategy can also be seen from the used car prices for SAABs ...

    Between comparable (equipment, age and mileage) SAAB-Kombis and -Limos are with 9-5 chrome goggles often several thousand euros. That's more than buying new.

    However, the percentage perspective becomes particularly blatant. The used 9-5 SC in the 9.000 to 10.000 Euro-Region bring up to 50% more than comparable 4-Doors, which have for 6.000 to 6.500 Euro and are obviously comparatively difficult to sell.

    The 9-3 is in the same direction.

  • Unfortunately, at Saab times GM has (almost) never understood how to play the game. The jealousies of Opel came to it. Only with the 9-5 NG GM Saab has let the precedence, Opel has equaled only with the later facelift. But it was all over.

  • The last question was not meant seriously?!?

  • Only these companies work together and not as in opel and saab against each other

  • Basically, GM was also ahead of its time with the SAAB purchase. In Europe there was a “volume manufacturer” (Opel) and a smaller manufacturer (SAAB). This constellation is now the blueprint, see Toyota / Lexus, Nissan / Infiniti, VW-Seat-Skoda / Audi, ...

    To avoid a phrase: missed opportunities ...

  • Anyway, the A5 is a flop in this regard, and just too much a coupe. The space above the boot lid is so flat that you can not make a pack donkey out of the car like the Saabs. Unfortunately the above drawing looks a bit like this. The hatchback must be a combination of saloon appearance and utility value, otherwise it is meaningless.

  • GM has been too pounded. Of course, the majority of customers were not Saab customers, but all car buyers. Apparently, GM wanted to congratulate the mass here. Just that the crowd did not see any reason to buy a Saab instead of an Audi, and many Saab buyers had no reason to stay with Saab. Flagrant misjudgment of its own unique selling points.

  • What a question ;-)…. I think you can see that Envall was a few years ahead of his time. And yes, the 9k draft will come in the next few days and there will be more from Björn Envall.

  • Thank you, PhiBo! Of course we want to see the draft. On the missed opportunities: Van, later SUV, Saab would have reacted early, the brand could even have survived under GM. A single, modular platform would have been enough to create two to three complete model families at low cost. But in Sweden they had probably never heard of a real platform strategy ...

  • Great, that would have been it! Please also show the 9000!

  • absolutely!

  • Is it really certain that no one has ever defected from SAAB to Audi with a stack of design drafts? If you take a look at A5 and A7, then they seem to have no fear of contact with too big / heavy coupes, nor problems to bring to the man.

  • Yes, sure!

  • Yes, yes, yes!

  • Of course!!!

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