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Identity Crisis on Wheels: From Nissan Sentra to “Nisaab” – A Tale of Automotive Transformation

Nisaab Chronicles: When a Nissan Sentra Embraced Saab Identity with a Playful Twist

One of these two cars is not a real SAAB, but a NisaabOne of these two cars is not a real SAAB, but a Nisaab

In a world where car enthusiasts often find ingenious ways to express their love for their favorite brands, one Malaysian auto aficionado has taken the concept of a brand identity to a whole new level. Meet Theottle, a name familiar to those who frequent automotive websites for his exquisite renderings.

But this time, Theottle has stepped away from the virtual realm to embark on an extraordinary real-world design adventure – turning his old Nissan Sentra into a car that identifies as a Saab, humorously christened the “Nisaab.”

Saab, the Swedish automaker known for its distinctive designs and innovative engineering, may have faded from the automotive landscape, but its legacy remains alive in the hearts of devoted fans worldwide. For Theottle, this connection went beyond admiration; it became a driving force behind his creative endeavor.

The “pièce de résistance” of the Nisaab is undoubtedly its custom grille, born from the creative prowess of a 3D printer. This bespoke grille boasts Saab-inspired intakes, a nod to the brand’s classic design language, all set against a sleek black backdrop with a shining chrome finish. This subtle alteration already creates a striking transformation, evoking memories of Saab models from the ’90s. A squint of the eye may even reveal hints of the Saab 9000 sedan in the headlight arrangement, while the taillights carry a touch of the smaller Saab 900’s charm.

The transformation goes beyond aesthetics, with the Nisaab emblem serving as a tongue-in-cheek announcement of the vehicle’s dual identity, a blend of Nissan and Saab. Passersby in the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur are in for a treat, as they encounter this automotive enigma rolling down the road. But the playfulness doesn’t end there – the “fudger edition” badges adorning the car’s profile allude to Theottle’s additional moniker, adding another layer of quirky personalization to the Nisaab.


Behind every car, there’s a story, and this tale has its roots in nostalgia. The fourth-generation Nissan Sentra (B15), originally introduced in 1995, may not have been an automotive legend, but for Theottle, it held a special place. The car was originally purchased by his father in 1997, serving as a trusty companion during his college years.

As life moved forward, the Sentra became a constant for the family, even after their Sentra N16 met an unfortunate fate at the hands of thieves. In 2022, fate brought the B14 Sentra back into Theottle’s hands, as he purchased it from his father with an ambitious goal – to restore its former glory.

This is how the genesis went from Nissan to Saab, into NiSaab
This is how the genesis went from Nissan to Saab, into NiSaab

The path ahead for the Nisaab is one paved with dents and rust spots, challenges that come with years of loyal service. The plan involves a complete respray, a rejuvenating makeover that aims to recapture the car’s original charm. However, the practical constraints of daily life loom large – the Nisaab has been a faithful companion for over 200,000 km (124,274 miles), its reliable 1.6-liter engine still purring with vigor.

Nisaab after transformation
Nisaab after transformation

While Theottle’s creation might raise eyebrows and elicit chuckles, it isn’t entirely outlandish. A brief trip down memory lane reveals that Saab itself once ventured into such brand blending with the Saab 9-2X, a car that saw a Subaru Impreza WRX sporting a revamped Saab-like façade in the early 2000s. The automotive world has seen its fair share of unconventional collaborations, but Theottle’s Nisaab takes this idea to a whole new level of personalization.

As Theottle’s transformation journey continues, enthusiasts and curious onlookers alike will undoubtedly be following the evolution of this one-of-a-kind creation. In a world where conformity often rules, a quirky Nisaab reminds us that sometimes, embracing individuality and defying norms can lead to some of the most intriguing automotive narratives. After all, what’s better than a car that proudly declares, “I’m not just a Nissan; I’m a Nisaab!”

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