Design from old times - Saab 9-3 X Concept Michael Mauer (Version 2)

Is there that particular point where you can pinpoint Saab taking a wrong turn? If it does exist, it could be attached to the Saab 9-3 X Concept by designer Michael Mauer. The vehicle can be viewed in the museum in Trollhättan and symbolizes how trends were successfully ignored at the time. Saab had a young, progressive designer, fantastic ideas and a concept car that showed the way into the future. But nothing was made of it.

Saab 9-3 X Concept without roof box
Saab 9-3 X Concept without roof box

20 years later, the decisions made back then seem grotesque. Saab built a sedan and station wagon in 2001 and was in the process of bringing another sedan plus station wagon onto the market with the 9-3. Only half a size smaller than what they already produced.

The fact that an SUV (XC90) was included in the program for the first time in Gothenburg, a few kilometers away, was registered. The fact that Volvo successfully occupied the lifestyle segment with the XC70 cannot have gone unnoticed. The 9-3 X Concept offered Saab the option to score points in the SUV and lifestyle area as well. Not immediately, but in 2005 at the earliest. A little late maybe, but at least.

In reality, it is not that the development has been ignored. You did something, but maybe too little and not energetically enough. The result was an SUV based on Saab 9-3, which was very advanced in its development. Its history has not yet been fully clarified, pictures are not public, prototypes have been scrapped.

It can be seen as certain that the design by Michael Mauer would have been good for the brand. Realized in series, he would have polished up the image that was slowly beginning to collect dust and made Saab interesting for a wider customer base. Because only sedans, station wagons and the convertible alone, that was simply not enough beyond the Saab biotope.

Saab Art Print - 20 Years Old
Saab Art Print - 20 Years Old

Saab's art print shows the large glass surfaces on the car roof and the massive bridge in the middle to accommodate a transport box. The windshield that extends far around the cockpit is fantastic. The cockpit design typical of Saab was reinterpreted by Mauer and even 20 years later it is still regretted that this design never became a reality.

After all, the Saab 9-3 sports suit has a rear end, which the wall with the distinctive taillights and the curve of the C-pillar “saved”. The original draft is said not to have been debatable.

Michael Mauer unfortunately disappeared from Sweden in 2004 to move to Porsche, where he still shapes the design of the brand to this day. He does this extremely successfully. Mauer was, as you can see in retrospect, the ideal designer who could have given Saab fresh impetus.

But who went on board in Trollhättan at the wrong time under unfavorable circumstances.

The art prints were provided with a high-quality aluminum picture frame measuring 62 x 49,5 cm. We have secured a very limited number of the pictures, which are now almost exactly 20 years old, for collectors and offer them in our Aero X Club Shop

A unique opportunity to secure part of the Saab history.

3 thoughts on "Design from old times - Saab 9-3 X Concept Michael Mauer (Version 2)"

  • Somewhere that's the tragedy of the last Saab years. The cars were great, but the big trends were constantly being ignored. The 9-3x came much too late, as did the 9-5 NG and 9-4x. No wonder that in the end the demand was no longer appropriate.

    • At the very end, the demand was greater than the supply. Because there was simply not enough money to build and deliver them.
      At least that's what I remember.

      • At the very end, in the last few months, it was really like that 🙁


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