Sunday, April 14, 2013

Autocar Online - News

Autocar Online - News

Dramatic 'Sonett' 9-3 coupé lost in Saab collapse

Posted: 12 Apr 2013 06:45 AM PDT

Dramatic 'Sonett' 9-3 coupé lost in Saab collapse Stylish Saab 2+2 concept, designed to rival the Audi A5, planned prior to the company's collapse

Saab was planning a coupé version of the defunct 2012 9-3 prior to the firm's collapse.

Based on the same Saab-engineered Phoenix platform as the all-new 9-3 hatchback, it was designed as a 2+2 and conceived as a rival for the Audi A5.

Sources say it was going to be badged 'Sonett' — the name used for a series of three small Saab sports cars, built between 1955 and 1974.

This illustration — which is taken from a photograph of a full-size styling model — is not of the final design, but the dramatic proportions, which take inspiration from the award-winning Aero X concept, can clearly be seen. 

The car would have been powered by various versions of the Mini's current 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine. There would also have been a 4x4 performance version with an electrically powered rear axle, which also offered torque vectoring for much-improved handling.

Autocar has also learnt that Phoenix project design chief Jason Castriota had a big influence on the engineering of the Phoenix platform. He succeeded in having the wheelbase lengthened and the front overhang shortened. 

According to insiders, Castriota had to use the same headlights and mirrors on the 9-3 models as those fitted to the 2009 Saab 9-5. New headlights, among many other changes, would have arrived in 2014 as part of a simultaneous facelift of the 9-3 and 9-5. 

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