Saab Never Raced In IMSA But These Renders Envision A Parallel Universe Where It Did
Saab, the now-defunct Swedish automaker known for its quirky models and its original parent company, also known as Saab, that made fighter jets among other things was never big on racing. While the company took pride in the myriad of technical innovations that saw the light of day in Saab’s cars, the track was never Saab’s main development lab. That’s why this brutal-looking Saab 900 Turbo is the stuff of dreams as it takes us to an alternate reality where Saab not only had a proper presence in the U.S. in the ’80s but also decided to spend money developing a race car for the popular GTO/Trans-Am rules that brought together American sedans and coupes as well as Porsches, Ferraris, and Audis.
In a perfect world, Saab wouldn’t be embroiled in the mess that they’re in, having to fight for their automotive life while struggling to even hang on by a thread. Unfortunately, the real world is far more brutal than that and for the past few years, Saab has teetered the precarious line of living to sell another day and permanently closing shop.
It’s this sad reality that makes us feel bad, especially when we know the prospects of what Saab could be if they were as fit, healthy, and spry as other automakers. This particular concept study, an amalgamation between Saab and Nespresso designs, comes from the mind of student Eric Leong from Umea University. A Saab sponsored-project, Leong wanted to design a car that takes its inspiration from a non-automotive source: Nespresso, a Nestle-owned company that sells espresso machines, of all things.
The creative young student mixed the design elements and characteristics found on coupes, hatchbacks, and pick-ups while also keeping to mind Saab styling cues, including the aviation-inspired elements, the ’hockey-stick’ C-pillar, a wraparound DLO, and a roofline design that looks similar to the Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept.
Nespresso-inspired elements on the car can be traced to the rear end with its flexible, dual storage compartment. Likewise, the car was designed with top deck panels with cushions serving as substitute materials to create an open-air, social environment. Incidentally, the same 9-X BioHybrid Concept-inspired roof is covered with solar panels that serves the quizzical purpose of powering the owner’s house when the car is parked.
While we’re not certain as to how that last part works, the whole design of the Saab Nespresso study does give us an indication of what the future would be like if the Swedish brand stood on safer ground.