We have already visited the press shop and the bodyshop. In the future, NEVS electric cars will be rolled off the production line for Sweden, Europe and North America. We have a surprise for us and so we are driven with three vehicles on the other side in the development department.
As part of the Saab Festival 2015 many guests had the chance to see the first floor of this building with its test facilities. But there are floors in this building that normally no outsiders have ever penetrated.
The prototype clinic of NEVS
On the second floor, where the prototype clinic is, you do not have the chance to set foot every day. In a three-storey room surrounded by offices with windows, the models of the prototypes are usually processed here. For us, the PhoeniX concept car from Geneva 2011 has been driven there. We also see the design study 9-3 Turbo Edition. NEVS wanted to bring it to market before deciding to "lay down" the 9-3 with conventional drive.
The Turbo Edition would have been an interesting 9-3 if this car had seen the light of day: Changed front section, different rear section, new hood, changes in the interior, central turbo display. And all of this in the “cardinal red” turbo color as it was with the first 99 Turbo!
New platform for the NEVS electric car
It was interesting that Hans-Martin could then tell us a little bit about how the Phoenix platform has continued in recent years. The development has definitely not stopped, the platform has been adapted further and adapted to the needs. To speak of Phoenix 2.0 would be a clear understatement, the platform is as flexible today as it would have been possible in the days of Spyker.
The first NEVS electric car for China, which is due to hit the market in 2017, will largely look like the old 9-3. But the platform, which will be the basis for the "old" body, is completely different from the known floor pan. NEVS has decided to only continue to use the body design. The savings in development costs mean that the electric cars can be offered at an attractive price in China. This step is understandable, the 9-3 in its last form is more or less unknown in China, and is therefore perceived as a new vehicle by Chinese customers.
The look into the future. The NEVS design department
As so often, the best comes to the end: The fourth floor, the holy grail in design. In order to gain entry, it is necessary to hand over your mobile phone, hand in cameras and then through the security checkpoint. After these security measures we are then on the top floor. A room that houses well 35 desks and holds a "brainstorming zone" in the middle. Around it are the people who come from 14 nations and work on the design future of the NEVS brand.
Of course, we can not show any pictures of this office due to the prohibition of photo prohibition. Everywhere are materials and drawings for the new vehicles to see! But we are allowed to share an impression, and that is more than overwhelming. The NEVS design language starts where Saab was last. Each individual drawing of the walls is design-technically recognizable for a Saab connoisseur as a further development of the design language. Hockeysticks on the sides, continuous light strips and cockpit-like pulpits around the driver will shape the design future of the NEVS brand.
NEVS focuses on long-term dialogue
What impression remains after this day? Back on the way home, with the necessary distance to the plant and the euphoria that occurs again and again? You can understand why NEVS decided against the name Saab. To invest a significant part of the available funds for license money? It would not have been a smart move.
After much deliberation, NEVS decided to invest in its own name and a long-term trademark. Which one owns and does not have to license. The new products, the electric cars from NEVS, are intended to open up a larger customer base. Including customers who might never have boarded a Saab. The impression that this company can succeed if the products are right is definitely there. Knowing how much Saab DNA is in every consideration, how much Saab know-how is gathered in the form of former employees, lets look at a positive future with NEVS.
It is also very interesting that we were informed at the end of this day. Events like the one on last Wednesday will be held in the future with a certain regularity for “ambassadors” from the Saab scene. They are intended to give the Saab community an insight into the newly emerging product.
We would like to thank Michèl Annink, Jonas Hernqvist, Mikael Östlund, Thomas Ahlzen and Hans-Martin Forhofhof for the hospitality!