Saab PhoeniX concept car – press release

Saab press release from February 2011

Overview

Saab PhoeniX concept: The Future is Already Here

  • Aeromotional’ design inspired by Saab’s aviation roots
  • Design and technical features to shape next generation of Saab cars
  • Minimalist cabin with ground-breaking Saab IQon infotainment system
  • Rightsized turbo engine and innovative Saab eXWD for electric rear drive
  • Showcases technologies in all-new vehicle architecture

Sleek, innovative and exceptionally efficient: the Saab PhoeniX concept car showcases design features and technologies which will shape the next generation of cars from Saab. Based on an new architecture which will empower the next Saab 9-3 model, the PhoeniX introduces ‘aeromotional’ design: a visual evocation of the aerodynamic design principles and passion for innovation that inspired the creators of Saab’s first car, the iconic Ursaab. The PhoeniX embraces teardrop, ‘liquid metal’ forms and a dramatic jet canopy-inspired glasshouse that gives fresh expression to Saab’s signature ‘wraparound’ and translucent ice-block design themes.

The clean, muscular shape enables an exceptionally low drag co-efficient of just 0.25 and also explores the potential for airflow management through the use of distinctive, side-mounted ‘winglets’. Butterfly opening doors give easy access to a 2+2 cabin that blends simplicity with technology. It has a minimalist, ‘stripped out’ feel, including a new expression of Saab’s driver-focused layout and a world debut for Saab’s innovative IQon infotainment and communications system. In true Saab tradition, there is also a surprisingly versatile cargo deck.

“The PhoeniX establishes a new reference point for the future of Saab product design,” says Jason Castriota, Saab Automobile’s Executive Design Director. “It symbolizes a renaissance of the innovative spirit and passion that drove Saab to build its first car. We’re now taking the visual DNA forward with what we call ‘aeromotional’ design, adding emotion, power and fluidity. This design aesthetic will shape and differentiate future models in the Saab portfolio.” Under its rippling bodywork, the Saab PhoeniX deploys an innovative driveline, with an electrically-driven rear axle mated to a sophisticated 200 hp, 1.6-liter gasoline turbo engine. The result is an intelligent, hybrid all-wheel-drive capability that enhances driving pleasure while reducing fuel consumption. Combined cycle fuel economy and CO2 emissions are projected to be just 5.0 l/100 km and 119 g/km.

Aeromotional design

The PhoeniX’s ‘aeromotional’ design theme is inspired by Saab’s aviation roots and draws expression from Ursaab, the prototype designed by aircraft engineers that spawned Saab’s first generation of cars. The entire form of the PhoeniX is seemingly molded by the wind. Tightly-wrapped by a liquid-like skin, the teardrop cabin resembles a dark ice block and appears to erupt from the center of the muscular bodywork. Two prominent ripples flow along the hood into the disguised windshield pillars, as if barely able to contain a powerful structure underneath. At the rear, the dark screen also bursts through the outer skin of the rear deck, The tapering form hints at the teardrop rear styling of Ursaab, while the ‘sawn off’, kammtail echoes a form from Saab’s first coupé, the Sonett.

The low, frontal styling features a stretched interpretation of Saab’s signature three-port grille. A body-colored central wing is now dominant and, in keeping with the car’s minimalist design, LED headlamps are almost invisibly located at its tips. The new grille and hood forms are among the styling themes likely to be seen in future Saab production cars. Butterfly-opening doors provide enhanced access to the low-slung cabin. There are no visible door handles or mirrors to disrupt airflow, and small cameras on slim stalks provide rearward vision. Roof-mounted ‘winglets’ enable PhoeniX to cleave the air as efficiently as possible. They channel airflow from the side of the car and direct it across the rear deck, reducing lift forces for greater stability without increasing drag.

Minimalist interior

In true Scandinavian tradition, the 2+2 cabin adopts a clean, minimalist look. It has the ‘stripped out’ feel of a competition car, with shell-like seats and metalized interior sections that mimic the exposed network of a rollover cage. Fresh expression is given to Saab’s traditional, driver-focused instrument layout. A circular pod in front of the driver, shaped like the afterburner of a jet engine, presents data in tandem with the head-up display. Angled at 45º to the driver, a separate module accommodates Saab’s advanced IQon infotainment and communications system. For good ergonomics, the 8-inch touch-screen is as close to the driver’s finger tips as the steering wheel.

Saab IQon (see separate release for full details) is a ground-breaking car communications platform using Google’s AndroidTM operating system. Based on pioneering ‘open innovation’ with third-party service providers and applications developers, it comprises an embedded computer platform which seamlessly connects to the internet when the car’s ignition is switched on. The touch-screen provides access to audio and entertainment streaming, online navigation, on-board music storage and smartphone-like downloading of applications.

Red illumination for all instrument and ambient cabin lighting brings warmth and emotion to the cabin. This includes the floor, where LED light tubes are exposed by perforations in the black carpeting. It is all part of the new ‘aeromotional’ design strategy, incorporating ‘fire and ice’ effects. The PhoeniX’s curvaceous rear deck disguises a deep-opening tailgate. It gives access to a flat cargo deck, including fold-flat rear seatbacks and a cargo track for adaptable load carrying.

Efficient propulsion

Under its sculpted hood and beneath its cargo deck, the PhoeniX advances Saab’s rightsizing powertrain strategy. Its propulsion system combines a highly efficient, 1.6-liter turbo engine with innovative, electric rear wheel drive technology. The compact, all-aluminum gasoline engine packs 200 hp (147 kW) and includes variable valve timing and lift control, as well as start/stop functionality, minimal parasitic losses and a fuel cut-off function. A stainless steel tank is fitted, which is lighter and less expensive than a conventional plastic design. The engine is supported by Saab’s innovative eXWD system. It comprises a rear drive unit housing a 25 kW (34 hp) electric motor/generator powered by a small battery pack. Regenerative braking is used to sustain the battery’s charge.

Now under development for the next generation of Saab cars, this hybrid propulsion system enables the benefits of all-wheel-drive while also reducing fuel consumption. Using a six-speed manual transmission, projected combined cycle fuel economy and CO2 emissions are just 5.0 l/100 km and 119 g/km. The driver can select one of three eXWD operating modes. The default Eco mode delivers optimal fuel and CO2 efficiency with power assistance to reduce load on the gasoline engine at low speeds; Sport mode includes maximum power assistance with torque vectoring across the rear axle for greater chassis control; and Traction mode enables optimal grip at take-off and in slippery conditions. Inside and out, the Saab PhoeniX showcases new design directions and technologies that will be part of forthcoming Saab products.

Design

Lift Off: Saab PhoeniX Launches Aeromotional Design

  • Aeromotional’ design inspired by aviation roots and passion of early cars
  • Establishes themes for next generation of Saab cars
  • Minimalist cabin with new driver-focused layout
  • Ground-breaking Saab IQon infotainment and communications system based AndroidTM
  • Surprising versatility with adaptable cargo deck

Rippling bodywork sheathes the Saab PhoeniX like the skin suit of a speed skater. It is ‘aeromotional’ design, a language inspired by Saab’s aviation roots and the passion that forged its first cars. “Our company is being re-born and the PhoeniX is a celebration of the pioneering spirit and enthusiasm that took Saab into the automotive business,” says Jason Castriota, Saab Automobile’s Executive Design Director. “It ushers in a new generation of Saab design. We call it ‘aeromotional’, adding passion and emotion to cool Scandinavian aesthetics.”

Picking up the design baton of Saab’s 2006 Aero-X concept, which helped shape the cars of today, the PhoeniX will play a key role in molding the Saab cars of tomorrow. A central aeromotional design theme is the juxtaposition of complexity and simplicity, of technology and organic purity, of Scandinavian fire and ice. This is demonstrated by the way the upper cabin area is presented as a black, translucent glass ice block. The whole shape appears to burst through the tight bodywork as part of the inner structure that lies beneath.

“We’ve encapsulated the cabin in a teardrop-shaped ice block and then shrink wrapped the whole structure in a liquid-like skin,” adds Castriota. “It’s as if we’ve blown mercury over the car in a wind tunnel. The liquid skin wraps around the nose and stretches rearwards, clinging to the car before detaching very cleanly at the rear. “This concept also shows there is great heart and technical substance just underneath bodywork. We wanted to communicate a connection between the outside and the inside of the car and this large, translucent ice block, housing our passengers and the mechanicals, helps us to do it by creating visual depth and interest.”

Flanking the roof are wing elements resembling the vestigial wings of an aircraft. They are shaped to collect turbulent air and direct it onto the Phoenix’s rear deck, enhancing high speed stability by reducing rear lift forces. Aerodynamic efficiency is key to the design and the PhoeniX is projected to cleave the air with a Cd value of just 0.25. At the rear, the glass screen seamlessly sweeps down from the roof through the tailgate, while appearing to erupt though the car’s rear flanks. The shape hints at the teardrop-like rear styling of the first Saab car, while the ‘sawn off’ and aerodynamically efficient kamm tail was inspired by Saab’s first coupé, the Sonett.

Inside the 2+2 cabin, simplicity and technology come to the fore. Fresh expression is given to Saab’s driver focused instrument layout; Saab’s innovative IQon infotainment and communications system is installed, and touch-screen functionality eliminates many visible buttons and controls. The cabin design strategy adopts a minimalist, ‘stripped out’ feel, with slim competition-like seats and metalized interior sections that mimic the exposed network of a rollover cage. A red color theme for instrument illumination, seat decor and ambient lighting adds a feeling of warmth to the cabin – with echoes of the turbocharged fire that burns inside the PhoeniX. Surprising versatility is revealed by a deep opening tailgate which gives access to a flat cargo deck, including fold-flat rear seatbacks. The floor is fitted with a cargo track for adaptable load carrying, as seen in the 9-5 range.

Exterior design execution

The shape of the PhoeniX appears to be molded by the wind, just like its iconic Ursaab forebear, the prototype for Saab’s first generation of cars. Coupé proportions are defined by clean and curvaceous bodywork that wraps around 20-inch alloy wheels in a signature Saab ‘turbine’ design. The frontal styling features a bold, stretched interpretation of Saab’s signature three-port grille in which the central wing form is now dominant. Wrapped by the car’s outer skin, the chrome-less opening encompasses the full width of the nose, including a deep middle portion and extremely narrow outer sections. Saab’s traditional central grille bar is evolved into a body-colored wing form. At the tips of the wing, nestling almost invisibly, are powerful LED headlamps and indicators. This new frontal styling theme is likely to be seen on future Saab production cars.

Below the grille, the main air intake area features active shutters which close up at speed to improve aerodynamic efficiency when less engine cooling is required. Slim, body-colored ‘winglets’ carry front fog lights. The long hood features two prominent ripples that flow from front to rear into the disguised cockpit pillars, adding muscularity and hinting at an underlying structure tightly wrapped by the bodywork. A ‘cut-out’ in the center of the hood where it meets the base of the windshield reveals part of the engine bay, and is presented in the same black glass as the upper cabin and roof area.

Re-introducing a design feature from the classic Saab 900 series, the hood is front-hinged and has a semi-clamshell closure with the car’s muscular front fenders. The stretched look of the bodywork is emphasized by a flared side sill line which rises rearwards from air outlets at the base of the front fenders. Like the cabin glasshouse and roof, the dark, translucent sill reveals structure beneath the outer body. The design motif also echoes the exposed sills of Saab’s first open-topped Sonett sports car. Butterfly-opening doors, remotely-controlled or touch pad operated, provide enhanced access to the low-slung cabin. There are no visible door handles or mirrors; tiny cameras are mounted on slim stalks to provide rearward vision for the pilot and minimize airflow disturbance.

The PhoeniX’s distinctive wing elements are also focused on aerodynamic efficiency. These roof-mounted profiles explore the benefits of channeling air from the side of the car across the rear deck to reduce lift forces for greater high-speed stability without increasing drag. They are a visual extension of aluminum-colored beams inside the car, which are part of the exposed DynaCage inner structure. The glass roof and rear screen flow down as a single panel into the tail of the car. This tapering graphic echoes the teardrop shape seen in Saab’s first prototype, the iconic Ursaab, and its descendents. The sharply chopped, kamm tail, with a near vertical face, is also redolent of Saab’s first coupé, the Sonett II of 1966.

A distinctive rear lighting zone extends across the rear of the car, continuing the full-width light motif already established in the 9-5 and 9-4X series. The tail, brake and indicator lights are housed within an arch of dot-like ‘perforations’. To extend the PhoeniX’s outer and inner body design theme, the rear face of the car and its venturi underside are also black, like its upper cabin and deep side sills.

Interior Design and Features

In true Scandinavian tradition, the PhoeniX’s 2+2 cabin adopts clean, minimalist forms. Multiple buttons and controls are largely replaced by flush mountings and touch-screen surfaces. Like the car’s exterior, the cabin also features design elements that seek to reveal the car’s underlying structure. And, like all Saabs, the layout of the instrument displays and controls is driver-focused. The interior’s DynaCage concept gives itthe ‘stripped out’ feel of a competition car. This effect is created by the use of aluminum-colored metal elements which form a network of exposed ‘beams’ through the center, sides, front and rear of the cabin. It represents the roll-cage of a competition car, reflecting Saab’s rallying heritage with its early cars. Body-hugging shell seats and a short, high-mounted gearshift add to the purposeful effect.

The driver-focused instrument layout introduces a fresh execution of a long-established Saab tradition. It features a single pod in front of the driver – shaped to mimic the afterburner of a jet engine – where all driving data is digitally presented in tandem with a head-up display. Either side of the pod, images from the exterior door cameras are shown. A separate unit is pulled forward of the front fascia and inclined at 45º to driver to accommodate Saab’s industry-leading IQon infotainment and communications system For good ergonomics, the 8-inch touch-screen is as close to the driver’s finger tips as the steering wheel.

Saab IQon (see separate release for full details) is a ground-breaking car communications platform using Google’s AndroidTM operating system. Based on pioneering ‘open innovation’ with third-party service providers and applications developers, it comprises an embedded computer platform which seamlessly connects to the internet when the car’s ignition is switched on. The touch-screen provides access to audio and entertainment streaming, online navigation, on-board music storage and smartphone-like downloading of applications.

The angled positioning of the white IQon module also creates potential for additional cabin storage space between its rear face and the front bulkhead. A raised spine runs through the cabin between the front and rear seats. Positioned on top and next to the driver (where else on a Saab?), is the stop/start button, a short gearshift lever and touch-screen climate controls. The PhoeniX cabin also breaks new ground with the introduction of red for instrument illumination and ambient cabin lighting, even including the floor. Flexi-glass sheet under the close pile carpeting carries LED light tubes, which are exposed by perforated holes in the carpeting. Combined with red seat linings, the red-on-black interior theme is warm and engaging. It also reminds occupants that a fiery heart lies at the center of the PhoeniX.

That fire also burns in the surprisingly spacious cargo deck. The floor features the cabin’s ambient lighting effect and is extended by flat-folding rear seatbacks. The luggage compartment is accessed by a wide and deep opening tailgate, its closure lines ‘breaking though’ the tapering rear glass/body form. The floor is fitted with a cargo track, similar in principle to that seen in the 9-5 range. Following the shape of the rear screen above, it carries a telescopic dividing rail that can be moved to multiple positions for the convenient stowage of different sized items. Inside and out, the PhoeniX showcases new design directions that will be part of future Saab products.

Drivetrain

Rightsized Propulsion: Efficient Gasoline Turbo Backed by Electric Power

  • Innovative Saab eXWD adds hybrid functionality through an electrically powered rear axle
  • Efficienct turbo engine meets intelligent all-wheel-drive system
  • Enhanced chassis control with torque vectoring

The PhoeniX concept car carries forward Saab’s rightsizing powertrain strategy by combining a highly efficient, 1.6-liter turbo engine with innovative, electric rear wheel drive technology. The result is an intelligent all-wheel-drive system that enhances driving enjoyment while reducing fuel consumption. The compact, four-cylinder engine packs 200 hp (147 kW) and includes variable valve timing and lift control, as well as start/stop functionality and a fuel cut-off. It is supported by Saab’s innovative eXWD system. This comprises a rear drive unit housing a 25 kW (34 hp) electric motor/generator powered by a battery pack which is charged through regenerative braking.

Projected combined cycle fuel economy and CO2 emissions for the PhoeniX are an impressive 5.0 l/100 km and 119 g/km. Apart from providing enhanced traction, handling, stability and acceleration, the use of eXWD does not incur a fuel penalty. It gives fuel and CO2 savings compared to both a mechanically-driven AWD system and a gasoline-only front-wheel drive car of similar power. Deploying a total of 234 hp with instant torque from its eXWD motor/generator, the PhoeniX is projected to sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 5.9 seconds. And when the road ahead starts to wind, torque vectoring across the rear axle ensures sporty, responsive handling. Both gasoline and electric power packs in the PhoeniX are being honed for use in the next generation of Saab cars.

Advanced 1.6-liter gasoline engine

In addition to a high specific power output of 125 hp per liter, the lightweight, all-aluminum engine generates impressive torque of 250 Nm between 2,000 and 5,000 rpm, which is briefly raised to 270 Nm by an overboost function for safe overtaking. The engine is transversely-mounted and drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. Sophisticated features include variable lift control for the inlet valves, as well as variable timing for their opening and closing on both inlet and exhaust sides. This is in addition to direct fuel injection and the use of a twin scroll turbocharger. Instead of using a conventional throttle butterfly housed in the engine’s inlet manifold. the volume of air entering the cylinder is controlled by altering the degree of intake valve lift. This is achieved via an electric stepper motor which adjusts the movement of an eccentric, secondary camshaft on the inlet side of the engine.

The result is more efficient and responsive engine performance under transient throttle loads. The elimination of butterfly mechanisms in the manifold considerably reduces the disturbance of intake airflow, and this allows the fuel/air mixture to be even more precisely regulated. Other efficiency measures include: fuel-saving start/stop functionality, alternator load removal for reduced parasitic losses, and a fuel cut-off under deceleration in combination with regenerative braking. During engine warm-up from cold, or when cruising on the highway, the water pump is also disengaged to further restrict parasitic losses.

An innovative, stainless steel fuel tank is fitted. It is made from HyTens® steel, up to five times stronger than standard carbon steel, which allows the walls to be as thin as 0.5 mm, making the tank 3 kilos lighter than a conventional plastic tank of the same volume. Developed by Saab and steel manufacturer Outokumpu, the tank is 100% recyclable and has a production cost about 50% less than a plastic one.

Innovative and multi-talented eXWD
The PhoeniX’s electrically-powered rear axle adds an intelligent all-wheel-drive capability to match its rightsized gasoline engine. Innovative eXWD technology delivers drive torque to the wheels as required through a 25 kW electric motor/generator , neatly located under the floor within the rear suspension members. Energy is supplied by a slim, 1.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which is installed under the cargo floor behind the rear seats.

The PhoeniX’s eXWD system functions in tandem with gasoline power and is fully integrated within the car’s electronic throttle, chassis and braking systems. Operating under Saab’s patented hybrid management control, eXWD offers many driving benefits. For the PhoeniX application, a choice of three eXWD operating modes is provided via select buttons in the Saab IQon touch-screen display. The default Eco mode uses hybrid functionality to deliver optimal fuel and CO2 efficiency; Sport mode includes maximum torque vectoring for a fun-to-drive experience and Traction mode enables optimal grip at take-off.

Eco-mode: hybrid functionality for improved fuel consumption, reduced CO2
Compared to using conventional mechanical all-wheel-drive, the eXWD system delivers an estimated CO2 /fuel consumption saving of 15% over the combined cycle. Power assistance from the electric motor is programmed to compensate for the gasoline engine’s less efficient transient phases. It reduces load on the engine, for example, at low speed in moving traffic when the driver is on and off the throttle.

Sport-mode: Torque vectoring, increased acceleration
The PhoeniX’s eXWD system ‘trims’ the chassis’s yaw characteristics for optimal handling. In milli-seconds, a touch of more or less torque is applied to either rear wheel in order to keep the car stable through bends and corners. Sending – or vectoring – more torque to the outside wheel, for example, helps the vehicle turn in or execute a high speed maneuver. The car is more responsive and the driver is required to make fewer steering inputs.

At full throttle up to 80 km/h, eXWD also contributes extra power and grip, cutting zero to 100 km/h acceleration by 1.5 seconds compared to front-wheel drive only. It also provides instantaneous ‘torque fill’ between first and second gear, giving smoother, less jerky acceleration.

Traction mode: grip as required
On muddy ground, in slippery road conditions, or on steep inclines, eXWD provides greater traction for improved safety and greater control.

In all modes, eXWD incorporates energy recovery through regenerative braking. The electric motor/generator in the rear drive module is reversed during braking and throttle lift-off to convert kinetic energy into electrical energy, which is then stored in the battery pack. Under braking, this process is also combined with a fuel-cut-off for the gasoline engine. The eXWD system is supplied by eAAM Driveline Systems AB, a company jointly owned by Saab Automobile and American Axle Manufacturing Inc. of the United States.

Specifications

Technical Specifications and Performance

Gasoline Engine
Transverse mounting 1.6 l, 4-cyl, aluminum head/ block, cast iron liners. DOHC, chain-driven, four valves per cylinder. Variable valve timing (inlet and out let), variable valve lift (inlet). Direct Injection. intercooled twin scroll turbocharger. Bosch electronic engine management. Stop/start functionality, regenerative braking during fuel cut-off.
Bore/stroke: 77/85.8 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.5 : 1
Max power : 200 hp (147 kW) / 6000 rpm.
Max.torque : 250 Nm (185 lb.ft) / 2000-5000 rpm

Saab eXWD, electric rear wheel drive system
Rear drive unit, differential, driveshafts, externally mounted between rear wheels. 25 kW electric motor/generator. 1.1 kW/h lithium ion battery pack, mounted under cargo floor, water cooled . Charging through regenerative braking. Electric power boost. Torque vectoring. Traction support. In-house Saab hybrid management system

Suspension
Front: MacPherson struts, aluminum lower A-arms, anti-roll bar.
Rear: 5-link independent suspension, coil springs, dampers. anti-roll bar

Transmission
Six-speed manual

Steering
Rack and pinion, electric power assistance

Wheels, Brakes
Alloy, 20inch, 245/40R20 tires
Discs: front 378 mm / rear 325 mm (all ventilated)
6 piston caliper front, 4 piston caliper rear

Performance Data (projected)
0 – 100 km/h (0-62 mph): 5.9 secs
80 -120 km/h (50-75 mph), 5th gear: 9.8 secs
Top Speed : 250 km/h electronically controlled
Fuel consumption (combined cycle): 5,0 l/100km
CO2 emissions 119 g/km
Cd 0,25

Dimensions
Length: 4416mm Width: 1868mm
Height: 1328mm Wheelbase: 2555mm

Images

Videos

9 Comments

  1. Stunning… although the taillights look a bit like a 90’s Pontiac, and whats up with the flippy-doos roof rails, or much “Saab Heritage”
    (comment from 2011)

  2. Stunning is one word. Outrageous is another.. I think Castriota went a bit over the top with his creativity. There is just way too much going on in this design. Not a step forward compared to the current designs and Aero X…
    (comment from 2011)

  3. But what concept car isn’t over the top? I was just hoping for over the top, with some Saab attitude.
    (comment from 2011)

  4. It’s just such a radical change from the previous concept car. But perhaps that’s what Saab needs right now.
    (comment from 2011)

  5. I thought the 9-X air was a little bland and weird. I did like the whole open roof thing though, just the rest of it was a tad empty and boring. The Aero-X is by far one of my favorite though. With those concepts, if you took off all the Saab badges, a Saab fan (even some regular car fans) could tell you it’s a Saab because of some of the design cues… but with this one, I think people might guess BMW or not even know.
    (comment from 2011)

  6. This is a great concept car! It captures attention and challenges conventional thought. In this way, very Saab.

    On the other hand, when tail fins were common on big American cars, Saab was designing the very practical Saab 95 and 96. Practical and functional design is the hallmark of Swedish design, or at least that’s the image of Swedish design. The small headlights can be good projectors but large lights do have an advantage in that they are easier seen by elderly drivers. (note: large light make the car seen, as opposed to a different requirement, shining light on something else). The side wing….seems like just as functional as the big American tail fin.

    This is not to say that revolutionary design changes are not good because they are so different. The Saab 99 was so much different from the previous 96 (which shared many design features as even the Saab 92). The 99’s fish bowl windshield and hockey puck shaped side rear window of the 99 and 99 Combi Coupe carried on to the Saab 900, arguably the most classic Saab ever.

    There are parts of the car that can be used. Keep the front, remove the wings, change the doors to safer, conventional doors, and modify the rear and you can have a Saab 9-7 Sonett! Instead of a square steering wheel or a conventional one (like “O”), consider a joystick or one line this |—-|. A |—| type of steering wheel was proposed in the mid 90’s.

    In short, a great concept car. A great exercise in unconventional thinking. However, still unsettled is whether this is a good pre-production car or not.
    (comment from 2011)

  7. There are parts that I love… like the wheels, and certain lines, but then there are things that I can’t stand… like certain lines and angles, and the “flying buttresses”.

    Like, the space between the top of the wheel and the top of the hood, seems like a large space… just awkward for a small car. Maybe it’s just the massive amount the hood bulges that gives me a weird feeling. And then from the front or rear 3/4 views, the rear wheel arch looks normal, but from the side, it looks completely weird and… idk.

    I’m just surprised that Castriota related it to the Ursaab, and called it a “tear drop” shape. I’m not seeing any of it…
    (comment from 2011)

  8. It looks really short and stubby from the side. And the side windows are tiny! This seems to be the trend with the Saab 9-5 and other manufacturers.
    (comment from 2011)

  9. Oooff, that is short. Didn’t catch that. I don’t see any thing similar to a Sonett, other than it only has two doors, and the back is pretty straight up and down.
    These are the taillights I see… took me a while to realize Firebird (Phoenix, the bird of fire… hmmmmmm)
    (comment from 2011)

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