Monday Morning Motoring Missive (Feb 5)

We’ve previously seen that at least one Saab 9-4x was written off by Hurricane Sandy last year. Sadly, there’s at least one more to add to the list.

This 9-4x is currently available in a salvage auction in Brookhaven, New York. The auction finishes in just under 3 days from the time of writing and bidding is at $3,400USD.

Sad stuff. Remember, there were only 467 of these cars built. That number is now known to be down to 465.

Saab 9-4x

My thanks to Mark McCourt at Hemmings for the tip!


I had some interesting, brief conversations over the weekend.

One was with a former Saab guy, now working for a rising Korean manufacturer after spending some time with GM in Germany. He absolutely loved working for Saab Automobile and was sad to leave a few years ago but felt compelled for various reasons. He described the atmosphere at his current employer as being very, very positive and progressive – “a lot like how Saab used to be” were his words.

It’s amazing the difference a bit of security and an upward trend can make.


The second conversation mentioned the first company I’ve heard of that will use eAAM’s electric rear drive system – the one that would have debuted in Saab’s Phoenix-based 900.

The company is Qoros, a Chinese-based but very much Europe-focused branch of Chery. Qoros will be exhibiting their first products at the Geneva Motor Show next month. And indeed, their Geneva preview press release mentions the following:

The development of advanced engineering innovations is a core strategic activity for Qoros and the Cross Hybrid Concept features an innovative hybrid drive system. Intelligent control software ensures seamless transition between petrol-engined front-wheel drive, electric motor rear-wheel drive, and an all-wheel drive mode employing both power units together.

That description should sound very familiar to a Saab fan.

Qoros’ launch cadence:

The first model of the new brand, Qoros GQ3, will be introduced on the Chinese automobile market during the second half of 2013, and the first cars will be sold in Europe later in the year. Subsequently, additional models are planned in intervals of approximately six months.

Incidentally, it’s not the first time you’ve heard the Qoros name on this site. I mentioned Qoros here a few months ago as the company has around half of Saab’s PR division in its ranks.



Oh how I wish I was going to Geneva. I got my accreditation, but I couldn’t justify the logistics.

Catching up with Saab people would have been on the agenda and Spyker is on the rumour mill as showing a Porsche 911 class concept vehicle. Personally, I don’t expect that to be the case, but Spyker will be at the Geneva show and it’ll be interesting to see what they’ve got and whether the partnership with Youngman has progressed.


Also on show at Geneva should be the production version of the Alfa Romeo 4C – quite possibly the most anticipated production Alfa ever, given the critical state the brand is in at the moment.

The 4C won’t be as exclusive as the 8C. It’ll be accessible to a lot more people and it’s Alfa’s first shot at genuine re-establishment as a proper sporting brand. Consider it as Sergio’s last shot at Alfa salvation. If the product program headed by the 4C fails, a sale of Alfa might be inevitable.

The Alfa Romeo 4C was spotted in testing late January and is looking goooooooooooood. More images available at Motor Trend.

Alfa Romeo 4C in testing


And speaking of Alfa Romeo…..

I’ve been asked to take over editorial at the magazine of our local Italian Car Club. Expect to see more Italian car news on this site as I continue to stoke my interest and gather material for use in that magazine.

Two birds, one stone, etc.

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  1. The Qoros brand intrigues me. It will be very interesting to see if they can get to the market, find the right spot there, and then build brand awareness. I hope they forget about any “premium” BS, and instead go for up-do-date technologies, good-enough quality, and aggressive pricing. Aim for the spot where brands like Citroën, Ford, VW, or Opel are at the moment in Europe, and then wipe them out with 30% lower prices.

  2. There is up to $18,000 per vehicle in tax credits if you buy an electric car in China (data was in the Financial Times a couple of weeks ago), so its no wonder so many Chinese companies are trying to make them.

  3. If GM did what they did because they were afraid to give the Chinese Competitive power, they probably regret their actions today