Production of the NEVS 9-3 EV is to start in Tianjin at the end of the year. Finally - after the appointment has always been postponed! A video of the concept cars at CES 2017 was published on YouTube by Chinese bloggers as an introduction to the first electric car from NEVS. A closer look should be worth it because we can take a look inside.
As a reminder: 60% of the NEVS 9-3 EV should have been newly developed. The rest is based on the Saab 9-3, which came on the market before 16 years ago. Clear to recognize as Saab is the body. The hockey stick on the C-pillar makes identification easy. Under NEVS direction, the Saab heritage has been revised several times internally. A design ended up in the museum, we'll probably never see any other suggestions.
The current form comes from an Asian team working primarily for KIA and Hyundai. It was designed in a short time, Swedish designers did not come to the fore. And you can see that. Especially in the interior, of which there is no download in the NEVS database. Maybe you want to keep the interior of the concept car away from the public. There are plenty of reasons for this.
The interior is a blend of leather and Alcantara. An unfortunate mix, barbarously baroque and by no means discreet. Too much of everything. In Swedish, there is the fine word Lagom. A direct one Übersetzung does not exist, but a Saab was always Lagom. Balanced, the right measure, with a dose of style. Never provocative or embarrassing. The 9-3 EV Concept is not Lagom, and the company will eventually have to make a decision what it stands for. Would it like to be a Swedish manufacturer, because the headquarters are still in the Stallbacka, or does it want to be another Chinese electric car brand without any history and no face?
Old dashboard, huge display
Regardless of this, the mix of leather and Alcantara will not go into series production. Cheaper materials are to be assumed, because the price of the EV is said to be aggressive. The large display on the center console is more realistic and far more exciting. The available space and the dashboard, which has hardly changed in its basic form, were used optimally. The trend to accommodate the largest possible displays in the car has its origins in China. Without mega displays and fully virtual cockpits, no manufacturer has a chance with the Chinese audience.
Attentive observers will also find that the air outlets for air conditioning and ventilation no longer have the typical appearance. They have been with us since the old Saab 900 days with evolutionary design over the 9000 and 9-3 up to the 9-5 NG. Just awesome, easy to use and just can't be improved. Patented by Saab, now replaced with a trivial design that could have been in any other car in the world.
When the NEVS electric car goes into series production in November or December after a long delay, it will be a 2019 model year. How many vehicles will be built in 2018 is unclear. The 9-3 sedan will begin. It is still not certain whether it will even come to that. The company's difficulties have still not been resolved, everything remains in the balance.