The Saab 9-3 is set to live on in spirit after Turkey agreed to buy the intellectual property rights to the car.
The Turkish government has been working towards producing its own ‘national vehicle’, designed to showcase the region’s production and development facilities. The country has been working with National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), the company that acquired the assets of Saab’s car division in 2012.
NEVS, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2014, claims to have sold the last of its Saab 9-3 electric vehicles earlier this year – and its official website states that its “next chapter” will be to develop its own car from scratch. Now Turkish officials have confirmed that the basis for the national car will be the 9-3 – although the Saab name will not be transferred.
“We bought Saab 9-3’s intellectual property rights, but not its name,” Turkey’s science, industry and technology minister, Fikri Isik, told a news TV channel. “The brand of the car will be a Turkish brand; it will not be Saab. We will develop the technology in Turkey. A minimum of 85% of the car parts will be produced in Turkey.”
Officials have already revealed three prototypes of the new car, which appears to be a 9-3 with Cadillac-influenced front-end styling.
Turkish development agencies are now expected to take control of the project, although Isik insisted: “The co-operation with NEVS that developed the 9-3 will continue.”
The car – which is expected to build upon the electric specs already developed by NEVS, giving a range of around 120 miles and a 0-62mph time of 10.0sec – is expected to appear in showrooms by 2020.
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