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The Saab EV-1

Saab ev1Saab's Experimental Vehicle No. 1 was shown in public for the first time this year. It is designed to enable Saab to test and studyin detail various components and systems that may be of interest to the styling and functional features of tomorrow's production cars.

There is futuristic body styling, with a glass top; a turbocharged engine delivering 285 bhp and a top speed of 168 mph; lightweight seats with a range of adjustments; automatic ventilation of the interior, powered by solar cells; high power headlamps of an entirely new type and upgraded instrumentation and information systems.

The car took only six months to complete from the design drawings, and is a two door 2+2 sports coupe which, nevertheless, can accommodate four adults and luggage. The car will be used as a "rolling' test bed, but there are no plans to put it into production.


Saab ev1One of the attractions at the Los AngeIes Auto Expo motor show in May was the first showing of a sensational experimental car : the Saab EV-1 (Experimental Vehicle No.1).

A small team of stylists and engineers were given an almost free rein to implement some of Saab's ideas for the future, and the whole project took Only six months from the first drawings to the finished car. It was designed also to enable Saab to test and study in detail various components and systems that might be of interest to the styling and functional features of tomorrow's production cars. There are no plans to put the car into production.

EV-1 is based on the Saab 900 Turbo 16 and is a 2+2 sports coupé which, although compact, has generous interior space. "The EV-1 can accommodate four adults and a vast amount of luggage," says Björn Envall, head of the Saab design centre. "The latter is unusual on this type of car."

Some of the features include futuristic styling of the body, with the top made of glass, in which are 66 solar cells. They power an electric fan, and the stronger the sunlight the faster the fan turns, so the interior is ventilated automatically whenever the car is parked in the open on a hot day. This means the air-conditioner will have less difficult temperature conditions to cope with when it is needed.

Saab ev1The turbocharged engine has been developed to produce 285 bhp., giving a top speed of 168 mph. There are high-power headlamps of a new type, with separate light sources for full, dipped and day beams, so that all can be used at the same time without problems of overheating. There are also upgraded instrumentation and information systems; for instance, the speedometer is fitted right in front of the driver and showing of a sensational experimental car: the unique light-conductor illumination means that only the speed range at which the car is travelling will be visible on the instrument.

There is collision protection in the doors that weighs less than half that of a conventional steel member. The doors incorporate composite reinforcing members of glass fibre, with a layer of carbon fibre, to provide side-collision protection.

All windows, with the exception of the glass roof above the front seats, are bronze-tinted and heat-reflecting. To quote Gunnar Larsson, technical director of the Saab car division: "We consider the Saab EV-1 project to be an important step in vitalising the traditional innovativeness at all levels of our organisation. So the effects will not be confined to the small team working on the project."

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