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'Tribute' celebrates Saab's future

2010-03-08 07:27
Dutch sports car manufacturer Spyker has done the automotive world a notable favour by saving ailing Swedish brand, Saab.

The quirky Scandinavian manufacturer was nearly resigned to the annals of history as part of a raft of cost cutting measures predicated upon erstwhile parent company, GM, last year.

Chinese  and Russian investors have been hovering around since late last year, trying to wrestle a deal to save Saab.

Even Swedish supercar maker, Koenigsegg, was willing to do the patriotic thing and flesh out Saab’s credit record with cash.

Spyker's D12 makes BMW X6 look terribly underwhelming. With Saab's production facilities, Spyker might finally have the assets to build it.

Dutch courage

In the end though, it was pragmatic capitalism from Europe’s lowlands which carried the day last month.

What Spyker gains from Saab is a skilled (though expensive) labour force and vastly increased production capacity.

So, does this mean Saab’s quirkiness is about to be infused with Spyker’s design fetishism? Well, no.

Instead we might finally see Spyker’s much vaunted D12 SUV come to fruition, if Spyker CEO Victor Muller’s optimistic musings in the aftermath of the Saab/Spyker deal are to be believed.

Shown four years ago at the Geneva motor show, the D12 is Spyker’s idea of what an ostentatiously luxurious SUV should represent.

Rather insensitively (if you’re Chinese) billed as being a 'Paris-to-Peking' capable touring vehicle, the D12 features Spyker’s typically elaborate detailing both inside and out.

Power for the D12 is expected to be sourced from GM’s Cadillac CTS-V, so expect around 410kW (probably more) from the 6.2l Eaton supercharged V8.

This is Eduard Gray's 'Saab Spyker 9+ Tribute'. Does it show the way for future Saab design direction under Spyker ownership?

Saab supercar?

A production future for the D12 is not the only good news to come out of Trollhättan. Anglo-Dutch industrial designer, Eduard Gray, has just shown off his ‘Saab Spyker 9+ Tribute’, a commissioned design study detailing the best characteristics of both brands.

Officially Gray’s concept has scant engineering details (engine is amidships), and for many it might represent nothing more than a jaundiced public relations exercise.

For others the 9+ Tribute's harmonious styling, and Spyker’s madcap reputation for building the improbable, make it a sign of the brave new dawn for Saab.

Gray does not currently work for Saab, although we think he should be offered a job at the company's design studio quite soon...

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