Although Saab doesn’t make cars anymore, the company’s spirit is still alive and well. After going defunct in 2011, Saab’s automotive assets were sold to National Electric Vehicle Sweden. Under financial hardship, the company is now closing product development activities – however, not before a new secret electric sports car project called NEVS Emily GT was revealed.
How Saab became NEVS
The Saab story and how we got to the secret NEVS Emily GT project is just as interesting as the electric car itself.
For those who don’t know, Saab, a Swedish airplane manufacturer, began producing vehicles in 1949 and expanded to the US in 1956. The company found early success in the States, with sales peaking at over 47,000 in 1986.
However, after General Motors acquired Saab in 2000 after experiencing falling sales, the relationship didn’t last long. The 2008-2009 global financial crisis was the final nail in the coffin as GM attempted a last-minute sale to Koenigsegg, which ultimately fell through.
In 2010, Dutch automaker Spyker bought Saab, but it was too little, too late. Saab Automobile finally declared itself bankrupt in December 2011 after several months of struggling to stay afloat.
The following year, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) – a Swedish car maker with its own struggles that eventually came under the ownership of Chinese real estate giant Evergrande Group (yes, that Evergrande) in 2019 – bought Saab’s assets.
Evergrande, becoming the largest dollar-debt borrower among Chinese real estate companies, infamously sparked China’s worst property crisis after missing several repayments. The fallout has caused NEVS to close product development activities in April 2023. But not before a secret project was developed.
Saab engineers develop a secret electric car, NEVS Emily GT
Peter Daul, former Senior Saab Engineer and current NEVS program director, headed the secret electric car project.
Daul revealed the car on his LinkedIn, saying, “Finally we can reveal one of all the secret projects that NEVS has been working on.” In the post, he shared an article from Swedish Auto Motor & Sport, in which the publication claimed to be the first to publicly test drive the new electric car.
According to Carup, the NEVS Emily GT is powered by four 120-hp electric motors, one on each wheel, for 480 hp total. Meanwhile, an updated version is in the works with a total of 653 hp and 2,200 nm (1,622 lb-ft) of torque, enabling 0 to 60 mph (0 to 100 km/h) in 3.2 seconds.
In addition, a 175 kWh battery will allow the electric car can travel over 1,000 km (621 mi) on a full charge. However, the early prototypes are equipped with a 52 kWh battery taken from the Saab 9-3.
When the prototypes were first introduced, Evergrande and NEVS had the money to launch it, but the pandemic-induced crisis in 2020 derailed the mission.
Daul says it’s the most rewarding project he’s had the privilege of running, with a team of about 350 engineers and technicians developing it in the span of roughly ten months.
According to Daul, the IP rights for the NEVS Emily GT (not so) secret project are up for sale by the company.
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