On the scene just one year after the launch of the Saab 9000, and another product of the small but perfectly formed design department at Trollhättan, the EV-1 was a sports coupé based on the 900 Turbo 16.
But the EV-1, or Experimental Vehicle Number One, was never destined for production; it was developed as a fully functional and roadworthy future design study.
Incorporated into Björn Envall’s futuristic styling are solar cells. Mounted inside the glass roof, their purpose is to power an electric fan for ventilation to prevent the cabin from overheating.
The high-efficiency headlamps, despite their diminutive size, illuminate the road better than the (already excellent) standard units.
The front and rear sections of the EV-1 are constructed from Aramid reinforced glass fibre and have the ability to resume their original shape after impact.
The toughest safety standards are satisfied with the lightweight carbon-fibre side impact protection within the doors. Continuing the lightweight theme, the front seats are half the weight of conventional seats but retain fully electronic functionality including the ability to adjust the side supports.
Excepting the modified chassis, front suspension and rear axle, the components of the EV-1 come direct from the Saab 900 Turbo 16. With the 0-100kmh dash over in just 5.9 seconds, the performance of the EV-1 is comparable to some of the best sports cars.