This is as close are you’re going to get to driving a new Saab.
It’s been five years since Saab’s assets were acquired by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) after the Swedish automaker went bankrupt. Originally, NEVS intended to revive Saab and bring back the gasoline-powered 9-3 Aero sedan, but these plans were halted when NEVS lost the rights to manufacture cars under the Saab name. NEVS changed tactics and sought to produce its own brand of electric cars inspired by Saab, the first of which will be previewed at the upcoming 2017 CES Asia show in Shanghai on June 7.
Ahead of the official reveal, NEVS has released images of the two electric concepts: the aptly named 9-3 sedan and its SUV sibling, the 9-3X. Both use the same underpinnings as the original Saab 9-3 and 9-3X, but have received some cosmetic changes as well as electric powertrains developed by NEVS. You can still see the spirit of Saab in the designs, but the headlights, taillights and front grille have been modernized. No powertrain details have been revealed yet, but NEVS says that both cars will achieve a range of 186 miles and will come equipped with sophisticated modern tech such as a WiFi hotspot, over-the-air software updates and smartphone remote control.
NEVS is targeting a 2018 launch for the 9-3 in China, with the 9-3X arriving soon after. The reborn 9-3 has already attracted a lot of attention, with 150,000 units on order from different Chinese companies. In addition, NEVS will be using the 9-3 EV to test a new car-sharing and ride-hailing service in in the city of Tianjin in China which has a population of 15 million. “We are excited by this great opportunity to develop smart, sustainable mobility solutions together with a progressive city as Tianjin, and develop them in full scale with real people in real life situations, with the vision to create a future integrated urban mobility solution”, said Mattias Bergman, President at NEVS.