Capable of 620 miles on a charge, this is what Saab engineers did after the Swedish automaker was declared dead.
Saab is one of the saddest automotive stories of a brand with such incredible engineering promise that GM destroyed, but we've now been given our first look at what Saab's engineers did with the bones of the company, as the first images and details of the NEVS Emily GT have come to light. It's a 620-mile electric GT car with 480 horsepower in prototype form from four electric motors.
GM's mismanagement killed off Saab, but there was hope for a revival after a Chinese conglomerate bought out the company and tried to give it new life as a new automaker called NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden) in 2012. NEVS showed huge promise, even partnering with Koenigsegg in 2019, at around the same time the automaker brought back the Saab 9-3 as an EV.
A series of challenges meant things never got off the ground properly as we'd hoped, but despite declaring bankruptcy earlier this year, it seems the spiritual Saab successor might actually have a future.
Development of the NEVS Emily GT was headed up by Peter Dahl, a senior engineer who had worked at Saab Automotive since 1994. Speaking to the Swedish publication Carup, Dahl explains that the car was rapidly developed in just ten months, with a team of 350 people working on the car.
The four-door electric GT (which was benchmarked against the Porsche Panamera and Taycan) car has four-wheel drive courtesy of four motors - one for each wheel - outputting 120 horsepower each for a total of 480 hp. Dahl says that a 653-hp version is in the works, too, with as much as 1,622 lb-ft of torque. 0-62 mph takes 4.6 seconds in the current 480-hp prototypes, but the target was 3.2 seconds for the higher-powered model.
Thanks to the four independent motors, the Emily GT has genuine torque vectoring and can turn without the steering wheel, and Dahl describes its handling characteristics as "like changing from straight slalom skis to carving skis."
To counter the unsprung mass of an electric motor inside each wheel, the Emily GT uses air suspension and active dampers.
Weight may be an even bigger issue, as the Emily GT will have batteries with up to 175 kWh of capacity, nearly as much as the GMC Hummer EV. This battery would give the Emily GT a claimed driving range of 620 miles. But, the prototypes currently doing the rounds have much smaller 52-kWh packs.
Speaking of those prototypes, only six of them exist. That was supposed to be 20, but the year 2020 had big ramifications for the brand, and it never recovered.
Despite only taking 10 months to develop, Dahl insists it is remarkably near production-ready, citing it is just 1.5 years away from being fully ready. The prototypes are fully functional, lacking only the automatic emergency braking functionality and airbags.
While it seems unlikely that NEVS will be able to finish development, there is hope among the engineers that the car will see the light of day. Nina Selander - the new CEO appointed earlier this year - says the car and all it's development is for sale and that interested parties are welcome. "It should be allowed to live on, it's too nice, too good, and too modern a car for nothing to come of it."
The NEVS website proclaims that the automaker is "closing down [its] product development activities on April 2023 due to the hibernation plan the company is currently going through."
We can only hope somebody buys the right to the Emily GT, as we'd love to see Saab's legacy continue.
Join The Discussion