Against all odds, Saab has carried on under the stewardship of Chinese investors, and development of the PhoeniX platform has picked up where it left off. While Saab sales will stay limited to China and Sweden for now, a new Saab hatchback could return to the road in a few short years if everything goes to plan.
The Saab PhoeniX was designed by Jason Castriota to rekindle passion and interest in the brand, and for a brief time it certainly did, giving the Saab faithful hope that the automaker had a future. Castroita is no lightweight, having helped design cars well-received cars and concepts like the Ferrari 599 GTB and the Rolls Royce Hyperion. Alas, the PhoeniX first debuted back in 2011 and was presumably shelved was Saab was passed from one interested buyer to the next before finally finding a new owner from China. Production recently restarted, with short-range Saab 9-3 EVs partaking in a test for the Chinese city of Qingdao while regular gas-powered Saabs are sold to wealthy elites with a soft spot for Swedes.
In a correspondence with Autoblog, NEVS spokesman Mikail Ostlund said that the PhoeniX platform will eventually replace the 9-3. It could spawn a number of different models including coupes, crossovers, and even a hatchback, long missed from the Saab lineup. Until then, 9-3 production will continue, and the 9-3 SportCombi wagon will also make a triumphant return, albeit as a bit of a placeholder.
As far as powertrains go, NEVS stands for National Electric Vehicle Sweden, so it isn’t too much of a stretch to assume that pure electric drivetrains are in the pipeline. Perhaps Saab should turn to Tesla for help with that.