Now it starts again! In the Swedish press they are fabulizing about the Electro-Saab from China, which can now be ordered. For real friends of the brand, this is hard to bear. Reiner Schmarrn, as one would say in Bavaria. Because with Saab the NEVS EV has nothing to do. Or maybe yes?
The EV may remind the viewer of an aging diva that has had its best moments long ago. For her appearance in front of a large audience, she is again heavily made up. And that's how the design affects me. It just does not fit, all a mélange of old and new. But that's not what it's all about. The assessment of a design is inevitably subjective. And you can argue about that endlessly.
A Swedish journalist wrote a few days ago that he misses Saab. And that he wonders what would have occurred to the developers in Trollhättan on autonomous driving. I feel the same way. Because I wonder what an electric car from Saab would have looked like.
The art of lateral thinking
Saab was always different. Lateral thinkers who were not afraid to redefine seemingly fixed things. I remember my Saab 9-5 station wagon. He, too, was an aging diva, the chrome-rimmed glasses visually a touch too heavily made up. But technology more than made up for that. A Biopower engine that you could drive with ethanol. He brought more torque and horsepower with plant spirit than with fossil energy. Environmentally friendly refueling rewarded with more driving pleasure. That was only possible with Saab. I liked the concept and laid out my routes so that E85 could be fueled as often as possible.
The genuine Saab 9-3 electric car, which was made as a small fleet of handmade 2010 and 11, was also in the tradition of lateral thinking. The batteries in the center tunnel were cooled by the air conditioning. An idea that is as simple as it is ingenious. No additional cooling system, less energy consumption, reduced weight. Achieve more range with smaller batteries. I have no prognosis as to whether the concept would prevail on the market. We will never know either, because the project ended with the end of Saab. The developers of the real electric car from Saab had never had anything to do with NEVS. They did not leave Stallbacka in the best of terms.
A phoenix that is not a phoenix
Measured by Saab ratios, the NEVS electric car has become a very conventional thing. More than 6 years of maturation to fix batteries to the underbody and lightly overwork the cockpit are plenty. Innovations, lateral thinking are sought in vain. The NEVS 9-3 EV stands for a conventional design that can be found in countless startups in China. Since I buy, if it should necessarily be an electric car, but rather the original. There is Tesla and the number 3 on it, and soon it comes to Europe.
Neither better nor more innovative is the NEVS 9-3 EV by the fact that the manufacturer speaks of a Phoenix platform. Of course, NEVS is free to stick any label to its product. In fact, under the electric car is the heavily modified base of the Saab 9-3 2003. But Saab and Phoenix stood for modularity and innovation. A concept for the future, the basic idea of which went with the development team from Trollhättan to Gothenburg. It became reality there. It carries the name CMA platform today and forms the basis for new models from Volvo, Lynk & Co and soon perhaps also from Lotus.
Maybe it's typical Saab
If you are honest with yourself, then the NEVS electric car was born out of necessity. Too little money hits an aging platform that makes you magic. This is known from Saab, where it was always improvised. A typical child of this need is the Saab 90. Behind a Saab 900, in front a Saab 99. Born of the lack - and because you needed a cheap entry-level solution for the Scandinavian market. Not state-of-the-art because the short stem did not meet American safety standards. But workable for Europe.
And because the tools and presses existed and the investments were manageable, the Saab 90 was born ... like this electric car from NEVS. This is cheap because you can use up tools. A hybrid of an old Saab 9-3 and an electric car. But maybe a building block that could become something.