In 2001, Saab introduced the 9X Concept. Two decades later, it still occupies and continues to mutate. The 4 in 1 concept became an SUV. What else, because the genre dominates the market. The computer graphics show that the compact, never realized 9X Concept could have become an attractive compact SUV.
The designer Rhys Llewelly takes suggestions from the past into the future and also continues to write Saab marketing history. Would the concept be sustainable? Judge for yourself!
The 9X Concept becomes a 9X SUV Concept
In 2001 the world was still a long way from the SUV boom. Although designers anticipated the emerging trend, the topic had not yet reached the general public. Saab provided that 9X Concept that was drawn in Trollhättan but made reality by hand at Bertone. It could have been groundbreaking for Saab.
Around two decades later, Rhys Llewelly is thinking about Saab. He's not a designer at a major car brand, he makes his living as an AV engineer at a well-known streaming service. From the concept car of yore to an SUV, Rhys takes styling cues from 2001 and reinterprets them.
The typical, bulky strip of lights at the rear of the original is retained, but is drawn a little more discreetly. The Saab aircraft cockpit, which stretched so provocatively around the cockpit in 2001, is still there 20 years later. The rear end with integrated roof spoiler is typical for Saab, and you can also discover the design language of that time at the front.
The stylized aircraft wings mutated into a clasp under GM in 2001, on which not even the Saab lettering found a place. Saab 9-5 OG MK3 (chrome glasses) owners who tried to somehow accommodate the brand name with on-board resources failed. A little drama in the world of Saab.
Saab Marketing History
The bonnet, which is traditionally designed like a shell, also survived. It remains the designer's secret whether it hides a powerful turbo engine like it used to, or whether the Saab 9X SUV Concept could drive purely electrically.
Rhys Llewelly also builds on Saab traditions in another respect. Saab used to advertise with the sporting goods manufacturer Salomon for its products. There were Saab-Salomon special models that were supposed to transfer Salomon's outdoor and sporting spirit to Saab.
The outdoor spirit has survived, the Saab 9X SUV Concept drives to the ski slope and its drivers get ready for the alpine adventure. That may not be entirely correct from an ecological point of view, but this is where the creative freedom lies. The graphics of the Saab 9X Concept give an idea of what else could have been. Even decades later.
With graphics by Rhys Llewelly