Djup Strupe on the Saab 9-1 that wasn’t

Fridays are never as good as Mondays for people seeing stuff, and this is one that I figured people might find particularly interesting, hence the re-post.


Who knew that yesterday – 11/11/11 – was going to be dubbed “Nigel Tufnel Day”? Outstanding. Thanks Jim.

We celebrated the alignment of the ones on the calendar by taking a look at the car that could have become the Saab 9-1 if was built, which it wasn’t. That car was the Saab 9-X BioHybrid, a concept car from the 2008 Geneva Motor Show.

That story aroused the interest of an old friend of mine, someone simply known as Djup Strupe, which is Swedish for “Deep Throat”. Dust was blown off the Djup Strupe filing cabinet and the image below was sent via carrier pigeon with a simple note saying how Saab saw their new cars in 2001.

Click to enlarge.

Back in 2001, of course, the 9-3 Sport Sedan range was still in the final stages of its development. The 9-5 was only a few years old and isn’t referenced in this image, which seems to reflect only cars that were in development at that time.

It features four 9-3 models that we did get to see (eventually) and one that we didn’t.

You may also like


  1. Look at the current 1-series hype, and you can imagine how well that 5th 9-3 would sell.

    Too bad somebody stoped the car many people were asking for.

    1. Swade, Is there any way to get to see pictures of these cars?
      I read a rumour that one of the platforms Saab and Fiat were designing during this period ended up in only one car; The Alfa Romeo Brera. Is it any truth in that?

  2. What is the story behind the disappearance of the hatchbacks?  Hatchback and Saab were synonymous for decades.  I can’t help but think Saab wouldn’t be in the dire straits it is in now if it had also produced hatchback variants of the 9-5 and 9-3 for the past 10 years.  I read a rumour that GM decreed only Opel be allowed hatchbacks. 

    I’m holding on to my 2001 9-3 like grim death.  I love the practicality and sporty lines of a hatchback – I refuse to own anything else.  Although I would gladly buy one of the prototype 9-3 ePower combis.  I look forward to the return of the Saab hatchback…

  3. Thought an old head banger like you would appreciate the 11/11/11 Spinal Tap reference Swade.Hirsch should offer a Nigel Tufnel Stage 11 tuning kit.

  4. BBTH!

    Why was it ever deleted.

    When will there be another.

    I want the Hatch!

    (Failing that I may consider a Turbo-X, but I’ll still be wishing it was a hatch)

  5. The small hatch-back here is absolutely not bad at all… – But still, it is far from the design-level off the 9-XBH !

  6. I have to say that if that little hatch version of the 9-3 had been built, I’d probably own one by now.  For me, it would’ve put a lot more fun in the current 9-3 range.  Just imagine a 2.8 Aero version!  Frankly I’ve purposely stuck with older Saab hatches as sedans and wagons are a bit-ho hum for me.  Regrettably the 9-3SS has to accept a lot of the blame for Saab becoming a bit too conservative and conventional under GM’s tenure.  With that hatch as part of the range, It might have been seen it in a different light?  Anyway, time for that to change.  BBTH!

    1. Haha, this is what happens when I post a comment without reading the others. This is basically what I was thinking right here. +1!

  7. Okay, I REALLY like that little 9-3 or possible 9-1 right out in front. It looks like a shorter wagon, which is just fine by me. A sweet little sporty hatchback–it’s got Saab written all over it! Sure, it would be a little ‘dated’ by Saab’s design standards, but I don’t care.

    I’m still excited to see what’s coming up!