This concept Saab 9-3 was created in 2014 when NEVS had difficulties obtaining funding for developing new vehicles. Many employees were sitting idle and they were given the task of creating a limited edition Saab 9-3 without any available funds within 5 weeks.
The car was presented at the Saab Car Museum during the 2017 Saab Festival in Trollhattan. NEVS donated this one-off limited edition with serial number 000 to the museum. Many people from different departments worked together to create this tribute to the Saab 99 Turbo from the 1970s. Outside suppliers worked on this concept car as well.
The new grille is the most visible change on the car. The hood was slightly raised and they used design elements from the Saab Phoenix concept car for the front. The large wing extends beyond the center grille into the two smaller grille pieces next to the headlights. The SAAB name logo has a prominent place in the wing.
The inca wheels of the original Saab 99 Turbo were the inspiration for the 19″ wheels on this Saab 9-3. The tires are 245/35 R 19 and should provide plenty of grip for the tuned engine. It is powered by the familiar 2.0L Turbo4 engine. Hirsch assisted with tuning and it produces 270hp in this Saab 9-3.
The decals on the doors feature the original font that was used for the Saab 99. The TURBO emblem on the back of the car is milled out of a solid piece of aluminum. The rear of the car also features a large silver-colored wing that extends into the tail lights, as well as a new lower rear valance with newly shaped exhaust tips. They used the original red taillight units of the 2003-2007 model years.
The plan was to manufacture 1000 of these Saab 9-3 Turbo Edition and sell them for SEK 407 005 (EUR 41.700 / USD 46,730). This is not a random number and Frank Smit explained it at the unveiling at the Saab Museum. It is 40 years of the turbo, 70 years of Saab and 05 years of NEVS all coming together in the price of this Saab 9-3.
But this limited edition Saab 9-3 was not meant to be. NEVS lost the rights to use the SAAB brand name for cars and the main focus was on electric vehicles after the funding issue was resolved. It definitely would have been a great final edition of the Saab 9-3 that has it roots in 40 years of turbo-charged Saabs.
Some interior pictures can be found on Saabsunited: https://www.saabsunited.com/2017/06/mysterious-car.html
Pictures for this article were kindly provided by Etienne Morsa of Saablog-in.
Saab 99 from the SAAB USA Heritage Collection.
Pictures by Robert Nordqvist