Saab Planned a New Sonnet


Before its bankruptcy, Saab was seriously looking into reviving the Sonnet name with a stunning new coupe.

There was a time, albeit short, that it looked like Saab may have been able to survive its break from GM under new owner Spyker. Obviously that didn’t happen and details are still trickling out regarding the Swedish automaker’s once-grand plans to reinvigorate its lineup. Aside from a new 9-3 sedan that was supposedly set to take design cues directly from the 80s yuppie favorite, the 900 hatchback, it turns out Saab had plans to launch a coupe variant carrying the Sonnet nameplate.

For those unfamiliar, the Sonnet was a small sports coupe first built by Saab in 1955 and again in the mid-60s until 1974. This new Sonnet would have been built on the same Phoenix platform as the new 9-3 with a design inspired by the stunning Aero-X concept. Power would have also supposedly come from "various versions of Mini’s current 1.6-liter turbocharged" gasoline engine. Plans were also in place to build a all-wheel-drive performance version with an electrically-powered rear axle for improved handling. Overall, this sounds like a great plan that would have been just the thing to help Saab expand its lineup while drawing upon its past.

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But it just wasn't meant to be. Even its chief designer, former Pininfarina penman Jason Castriota, had big plans for the car as he was able to get the wheelbase lengthened along with shorter front overhangs. These elements, and along with other new design bits, would have found their way to the facelifted 9-5 sedan. Sadly, the key words here are "would have."

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