Turkish SAAB 9-3 Slated for 2020 Release
(Turkey's national car -- pictured above -- to be modeled after the Saab 9-3)
The fun of writing this story is understanding our publisher's love for the Saab brand. On more than one occasion, we've heard her lament the General Motors influence and a longing for the classic 900 body that made her first love it. Dr. Shantella Sherman believes that the Saab will never completely go out of style, simply because its true lovers, won't allow it so to do. And if used Saab prices are any indication, one need only mark the increased value of models manufactured before 1999 to note its cult-ish appeal.
"They can be particularly finicky, but they are super fun and innovative. I always loved the body design and center ignition and controls that mirror a flight cockpit," Sherman told us. "Above all there are few autos that matched their speed and comfort."
Then, just when the Saab enthusiasts of the world believed the auto had seen its last hurrah, it looks as though It may have another life cycle. Turkey, the former hub of the Ottoman Empire purchased the Saab 9-3’s license from National Electric Vehicle Sweden in 2015 and expects to release a new model in 2020. Analysts believe that lacking oil or gas of its own, Turkey’s economy remains vulnerable to exchange rate fluctuations, and the fall in value of the lira in 2018 hit motorists hard. Electric vehicles are seen as key to Turkish economic independence. The plan is to make the electric 9-3 “the national car of Turkey.”
(Dr. Sherman's vehicle of choice, the 1987 Saab Cabrio. / Photo courtesy of AutoEvolution)
According to Automotive News, the final vehicle should be a range extended electric sedan. In 2018, Turkey’s Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology indicated the debut model would be an electric car with a small gasoline engine as a range extender, possibly containing a 15-kWh battery and a pure-electric range of 60 miles. Turkey’s Science, Industry, and Technology Minister, Fikri Isik, said the car would “be better and safer than Tesla’s car.”