How was it with automotive emotions in the last Saab years?

If I discover an old Saab in traffic, then I'm happy. Even when I see a classic Alfa, Lancia or Citroën. I even look after English cars and when a customer has an air-cooled Porsche in the manager's parking lot, or a car with the three-pointed star, at least one has an exciting topic. There are more and more old cars on the streets, and you can even spot them in November, when the seasonal license plates are asleep.

Saab 9-3 Aero 2014 - Emotional?
Saab 9-3 Aero 2014 - Emotional?

Automobile emotions and old times

You can push the development towards automotive sentimentality, but that would fall short. Because time and again, classic automobiles are driven by people who are years younger than their car. I think there are two things that are influencing. There is the technology that is manageable and affordable. A light bulb can be replaced for a few €, you can do this yourself in no time at all.

The oil change is done by the workshop around the corner, which does not bill the costs with which one finances the brand dealer's marble palace. And you are out of this line of consumption, live and drive cheaply and do not know the ugly word depreciation.

Then there is, as a second reason, the fascination with technology. An old car is, as the saying goes, authentic. You experience driving in its original way, old cars arouse emotions. When the high-performance turbo of a Saab blows on, you can enjoy your calm sovereignty, then that does something. Maybe you get goosebumps at the bubbling idling noise of an old 900 and love it when the Alfa V6 sings its song towards sunrise.

According to the official interpretation, all of this is something from yesterday. If you think that's great, you're not up to date and probably prefer a good piece of Limousin beef to a Beyond Meat product.

Effective and soulless

Can an electric car keep up in terms of emotionality? It can't. Some of these vehicles are making their way to acquaintances and the neighborhood. After all, they provide material for a single conversation. Yes, it accelerates well. Yes, it lies well on the street and is quiet. Oh yes, uses more electricity than advertised (a tradition is carried on here), and the sound is reminiscent of a tram (electric forklift or vacuum cleaner, kitchen appliance, depending on the brand).

Which would deal with the topic of electric driving. There are no stories from the trip to Provence, the cloak of silence covers the charging stops, and the sunrise in Tuscany is only half as beautiful as it was with the old Alfa.

If there is not a complete system failure, the neighbors already have that and the manufacturer's customer service has to travel there, there is no further narrative. Compared to the classic combustion engine, electric cars are effective, but soulless, synthetic boxes.

The manufacturers are of course aware of this fact. You also see the danger behind it. Because where there is no longer any emotionality, in the end only the price counts. They are trying to counter it. In some cases with an extremely high amount of electrical power, with software that is supposed to score points with a digital driving experience. Or with a cool, technical design that can also develop its charms.

The gates are still closed. Two Saab 9-3 Aero 2014 are waiting for us.
The gates are still closed. Two Saab 9-3 Aero 2014 are waiting for us.

Automobile emotions in the last Saab years

The current development tempts to look back. How was it with automotive emotions at Saab? Especially at the end, in 2014? Was there still fascination, or had everything been washed down the Göta Älv in the GM years?

I'm investigating the matter, because I had the opportunity to drive two Saab 9-3 model year 2014 through Frankfurt. The vehicles are rare, not just in Germany. The opportunity to test a (normal) Aero against the Hirsch Performance version does not arise very often. In the new week we will shed light on how emotional the very last Saab were, and whether they would have had a chance in the market.

I also tell about the plans NEVS had in 2014. They were unusual, but followed a certain logic that may not be apparent at first glance. Judging from a few years' distance, it would have been nice if they had worked. The mini-series about the last Saab and the plans in the Stallbacka can die Subscribers read in the new week.

10 thoughts on "How was it with automotive emotions in the last Saab years?"

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    My most beautiful Taunus was the 17M de Luxe, with the globe. At that time it was a “Heustadl find”, my father and I restored it and put it on the road. Renewing the foam padding and the seized engine pistons, including cylinder milling, as well as replacing the left rear light cover and polishing the paintwork, those were my first classic car experiences.
    Unfortunately, my father sold it a few years later due to lack of space.


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    Oh my god, what an arc of tension at the beginning of the week ... In anticipation 🙂!

    "It" still exists, the blue authentic DB 200 D Bj. 1961.
    Last Sunday the DB above overtook me in Lüneburg. I had to smile and was happy about this sustainability. The “usual driver” was also behind the wheel. Happy to see both of you again!
    Otherwise, I always enjoy a spontaneous SAAB dose ... 😉:
    9-3 (1) Coupe in Güstrow on 11.11. and a
    9-5 OG Sportkombi in Rothenhusen on November 12.11th
    I'm on November 15.11th tense!

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    Good question. I think it was a 17M P5.

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    I am amazed at myself, but personally I find the 9-3 NG very emotional now. Especially since I bought a 4-cylinder aero. The lines are calming and are a design masterpiece. The engine and chassis are addicting. And the "mouse cinema" of the dashboard, which I once scorned - is more of an airplane cockpit feeling than in any other Saab. There has been enough discussion here about the environmental aspects of the well-kept old vehicles. I look forward to the reports next week. I was also able to get to know the two vehicles from Frankfurt. Great is the only thing that can be said about it. When it comes to the subject of automatically switched and four-cylinder 93 NG Aero, there is also boiling behind the - still - closed gates of my "garage". Reports will follow. Have a nice rest of Sunday

    The Lizi

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      I know exactly what you mean, Lizi. Meanwhile I feel the same way with my 9-3. Nordic design, in which some GM parts have been perfectly fitted, comfort, dynamism ... .. I like the pounding when you step on the gas again on the autobahn to clear the left lane more quickly.
      Yesterday on the A39 to Hamburg... the new album “Voyage” by ABBA in the CD player to go with the car, gliding relaxed at 140 in the direction of the Elbe. A pleasure….

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    Yes, in the past I often thought the Rover or Jaguar, I would also like to drive / buy one or the other Volvo. At the moment I have to evaluate for myself which vehicle would be considered if I could no longer drive into the interior with my SÄÄBen.

    Since the end of SAAB, I've been out of the new car buying mill, individually and environmentally conscious.

    But it's a shame now that I could tick the box where I wanted to on the equipment list. When I was younger I had to look at the price more. In return, the SÄÄBe get everything they need and what is available for them!

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    It's true, the everyday classics are becoming more and more popular. It's not a bad development, I think. Classics are sustainable and are usually moved very carefully. In the interests of the environment.

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    Very nice reading for Sunday. That is how I see it too. Just yesterday I met a Ford Taunus again, well cared for and worth seeing. I also look at my collection of brochures from the seventies and eighties from time to time. Those were still cars with faces. The presentation of the brochures is worth seeing, regardless of the brand.
    Have a beautiful Sunday.

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      Funny, yesterday I also met a well-groomed Taunus south of Berlin - very light gray-beige. It was the car that triggered the most positive emotions in me during this trip.

      In an almost empty parking lot, a brand new MB (very small limousine. Does the A-Class also exist as a limo?) Reversed and laboriously to a free parking space. It beeped all the time, but hey, no head was turned in the driver's seat. The technology was really worth it ...
      This encounter was the other end of my automotive emotions yesterday.

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        You have to say which Taunus. Many were called Taunus, from the Buckel-Taunus of 1948 to the
        Bathtub until the 20M in the late 60's. I drove 3 bathtubs between 1971 and early 74.
        That was 17M P3. 2 had a bench in the front (ideal for cruising with 2 kitties in front) and 1 with 20M reclining seats (even more ideal!).


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