In the beginning, Saabs were sleek, teardrop-shaped machines that sliced through the wind. Behold the SAAB 92001, or Ursaab. It’s the product of postwar aircraft designers, pure form following function. And it’s gorgeous.
The Ursaab was designed in the late ’40s by a team of engineers at aircraft manufacturer SAAB, led by the incredibly named Gunnar Ljungström. The thing had a monocoque chassis, 108-inch wheelbase, and 50-percent less drag than any other car produced at the time. It was powered by a transverse mounted two-stroke engine driving the font wheels. Seems run-of-the mill today, but this was 1946, a time when most cars rode on ladder frames and bullied their way through wind.
The original 92001 clocked 329,000 miles in testing, mostly on rutted forest roads in Sweden. Three years and several prototypes later, the Saab 92 went into production.
Saab savior Spyker says that they want to return to those streamlined roots for the upcoming Saab 9-2 luxury compact. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.