It's official maybe. Saab has been sold to Spyker kind of. That means we get many more years of the most underrated sedans and sportwagons on the planet perhaps.
How many cars does Spyker (its C12 Zagato pictured to the right) sell every year, or month for that matter? Saab sold 371 cars in November. That's a really puny number. Spyker, however, plans to build only 24 units of its C8 Laviolette LM85. Not just this year. Ever.
Saab was most profitable in the mid-1980s when it sold nearly 49,000 units in a year. A loaded TurboX already approaches the $50k mark; so I'm sure a hand-made TurboX would be just a bit more expensive.
Right now, I'm marginally more confident than I am about the real estate guru who plans to resurrect Studebaker. His last Web site update was two years ago.
Cheekiness about the Koenigsegg-Spyker-GM-Saab drama aside, I don't know why these cars don't sell better. Oh wait, it's the atrocious resale value and the stupid interior. OK, it's not altogether stupid on any car, just on a car that sells for nearly $50,000. But there's still no getting around how rapidly these cars depreciate. They depreciate so badly, Bank of America typically will not lend money to a potential Saab buyer. Of course, Bank of America probably wouldn't lend Warren Buffet $500 without the title to his Cadillac as collateral.
But here's where I give Saab the credit it is due. These cars are fun as hell, and you cannot kill them. Considering that, maybe I need to shut the hell up about the bloomin' interior.
My wife and I tried out a Saab 9-7x 5.3i before we bought our Flex. It handled much better than its Chevrolet cousin, and that V8 shot the SUV forward like debris from Bart Simpson's slingshot. It's a hell of a lot better looking than the TrailBlazer, too, but unfortunately, the 9-7x will be built no longer as the Moraine, Ohio, plant has closed.
Another thing to which we can look forward: the new 9-5 won't be rebadged as a Buick (rumored to be offered with a Prune Package). The new 9-5 is a sexy, sexy Swedish beast if I've ever seen one. Actually, I don't think I've seen one until now.
Those older 900 and 9000 models are everywhere. Expect the 9-3 and 9-5 cars to stick around just as long. I see almost as many older 9-3 convertibles as I do Chrysler Sebring convertibles and Miatas.
So, Spyker, you're in my thoughts. Keep making 'em well, keep making 'em fast. But please, do something about that stupid lattice-style air vent.