SAAB Concepts

The “Saab Fjord” Concept based on the Saab 9000

Here’s another interesting story about the concept cars based on the Saab models. And the main character in this Saab story is Aldo Garnero. Aldo Garnero is little known to the general public even though he was one the lead designers behind the legendary Lancia Beta HPE under Piero Castagnero.

He was hired by Pininfarina in 1966 and, three years later, joined Bertone alongside Gandini. In 1971, he settled at the Centro Stile Lancia and was there until 1980, when he joined Open Design, Aldo Sessano’s studio where Paul Breuer was already working. The important thing here is that in 1986 he founded his own company, Euro Design Engineering, with Joël Brétécher, the Frenchman he met at Pininfarina.

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To promote their new studio, that same year they presented a concept – or rather a demonstrator – at the Paris Motor Show that was able to highlight their expertise. The Fjord Concept (Fjord 9001) was a small 2 + 1 shooting brake also presented in coupe form and based on the Saab 9000 (Saab 9000 Coupe). And to prove that the project could exist, the epowood mock-up presented on their stand had fully-functioning mechanical parts.

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Euro Design Engineering headed by Joël Brétécher and Aldo Garnero presented a 2+1 sports station wagon on a Saab 9000 frame (the sketch of the epowood model displayed with working mechanicals).

In fact, this study is interesting for more than one reason. On positioning, it offered Saab the chance to downsize without losing its dynamism or part of its DNA. But above all, it could have been viewed as a Volvo 480-killer. (The latter having been unveiled just 6 months earlier at the Geneva Motor Show) It was an ingenious plan for the nascent studio to make a name for itself.

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Alas Saab didn’t take up the idea at that time, a fact that wasn’t really surprising given their financial difficulties… But the idea of a compact Saab model in the 80s would have been very attractive. Here’s another one of their work, dashboard for Saab:

Saab dashboard

Sources: Aldo Garnero, Paul Breuer, Auto&Design, Car Design Archives

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Source by OIivier Guin / Car Design Archives 

Goran Aničić
the authorGoran Aničić
For over 10 years, Goran Aničić has been passionately focused on Saab automobiles and everything related to them. His initial encounter with Saab cars took place back in 2003 when the first Saab 9-3 and sedan version were introduced. At that moment, he was captivated by the car's Scandinavian design logic and top-notch engineering, and everything that followed stemmed from that first encounter. Later on, through his work at the editorial team of the Serbian automotive magazines "Autostart" and later "AutoBild," he had the opportunity to engage more closely with Saab vehicles. In 2008, he tested the latest Saab cars of that time, such as the Saab 9-3 TTiD Aero and Saab 9-3 Turbo X. In 2010, as the sole blogger from the region, he participated in the Saab 9-5ng presentation in Trollhättan, Sweden. Alongside journalists from around the world, he got a firsthand experience of the pinnacle of technological offerings from Saab at that time. Currently, Goran owns two Saabs: a 2008 Saab 9-3 Vector Sportcombi with a manual transmission, and a Saab 9-3 Aero Griffin Sport Sedan from the last generation, which rolled off the production line in Trollhättan in December 2011.

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