After hearing the fantastic news last week that Saab now has a new owner, I’ve been asking myself a simple question: can Saabs be electric?
Not the how’s why’s or what if’s, but more about whether the people who love Saabs now, could love an electric Saab of the future.
I was driving home in my 9-3 TTiD on Friday night and was trying to imagine being in the same Saab, but with no engine sound; I absolutely love the deep, understated rumble of the Hirsch exhaust, the increased rasp as I accelerate, the reassuring change of tone as I slip through the gears, I’d have none of that, just silence.
Silence, is that such a bad thing though, manufactures will have to address the squeaks and rattles that build up over the years to preserve the silence, but it could be a rather pleasant place to be, after all a Saab interior is a luxurious cocoon in which to while away the miles.
On the up side, I could very easily live without paying £80.00 every time I fill up, I’d also be happy to know that I’d be producing zero emissions. I also believe we’ll all have to drive alternatively powered cars in the future, whether they be hydrogen, electric or any other alternative, so why not start now, that is of course if I can keep hold of my original Saabs too.
On the down side, electric vehicles come at a price; expensive and not environmentally pleasing manufacture, they also don’t have the staying power to cover hundred of thousands of miles yet. There’s no passion, no engine sound and no ability to cover large distances in one charge, all go against everything Saab has always meant to people who love the brand.
However, Saab was innovative enough to commercialise the use of a turbocharger in a car, it seems rather fitting then that they could deliver powerful, intelligent innovation for the future, combine this with the unique Saab design style we all love so much and we could have a winner.
That said, will Saabs still be called Saabs, or will the consortium just use the huge innovation heritage and craftsmanship of the past and recreate an altogether new brand for the future, that could, of course, completely change my mind.
So, the question still stands, can Saabs be electric? only time will tell, but I’m in for the long haul.