Saab Is Back From the Dead: Official

Well, not Saab as we recognise it and not with the Saab name. So, the headline is a bit misleading.

2008 Saab 9-3: zombidrive.com
2008 Saab 9-3: zombidrive.com

NEVS who own the assets of Saab are going to supply lots and lots of electric cars based on the dead-then-not-dead Saab 9-3 body. You can read the statement here. This is the first paragraph: ” National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs) and the Chinese company Panda New Energy Co Ltd. have signed a strategic collaboration agreement. According to the agreement, Nevs will provide Panda with 150,000 9-3 sedan electric vehicles until the end of 2020. In addition, the agreement also includes 100 000 other EV products and services from companies associated to Nevs and its owners. The total value of the agreement is 78 billion RMB.” Continue reading “Saab Is Back From the Dead: Official”

Visa in Three Volumes

The Citroën Visa was never a wildly popular choice in these islands during its lifetime and with just over 40 reportedly still registered in Britain, it’s now on the extinction list.

Visa saloon Prototype. Image via autoshite.
Image: autoshite.

But rarer still (had it existed) would have been this, a putative Visa saloon – (possibly the result of the Photoshopper’s art). Citroën (via Heuliez), did explore a five-door ‘break’ or estate variant later in the Visa’s lifespan, which never went beyond a mock-up. Creating a three volume body from a hatchback without appearing tacked-on is something of an art, one that proved beyond the capabilities of most rivals at the time, especially for a car as diminutive as the Visa.

But this is a neatly proportioned conversion, looking as though it was designed from first principles. The Visa’s relatively long wheelbase helps, that and the fact the designer avoided a fashionably high boot line. The plunging tail treatment lends the little saloon an elegance perhaps lacking in its hatchback sibling.

Despite its troubled background, the Visa was an underrated car and probably deserved more sales success than it managed in these parts. This may have been in part because of its looks, which fell between several stools. Would a small saloon have served them better? Probably unlikely, but who knows? Either way, I rather like this.

[Author’s note: This article was amended, to reflect considerable uncertainty about the authenticity of the lead image of this article. Dec 30, 2015]