About that sketch…

Many of you could have guessed by now, but the sketch that leaked out [read, the NDO forgot to redact] in Saab’s business plan documents was far from final. So far in fact, that I can confirm it’s pre-Castriota. Meaning, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Literally. But it’s fun to dream isn’t it?

Just for the enjoyment of Kurt Schirm, National Dealer Council Chairperson at SCNA and SU Regular, I’m posting what it would look like in the same copper that Mercedes-Benz uses. While the general idea of this car will certainly be close, you can rest assured that the real thing will be way, way cooler. As a reminder of what Jason brings to the design discussion, enjoy his latest creation, the SSC Tuatara in pictures after the break.

Keep in mind that the SSC Tuatara is designed to cheat the wind in every possible way, and that it’s surfaces and volumes are purpose designed. The average SSC driver doesn’t usually have kids, groceries, or small pieces of furniture to stuff in their hatch like the next 9-3 will. So don’t expect such a completely stylized vision for Saab. What you can expect is what has been said in the past, a bit more Phoenix up front and a lot of traditional Saab out back.

A lot of commenters have chimed in that they think all the work of JC is crap. They’re entitled to their narrow opinions, but I am fairly sure they will be changing their tune when they see the 9-3 replacement. That said, I love this Aero SSC.

 

 

Red J
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I love the PhoeniX and this Tuatara has a lot of surfaces from the PhoeniX, but this is not my cup of tea. If I had to choose I would rather choose the red iduA in the Background of the first picture. 😉

This said, I also think that the JC 9-3 will look HOT!!

TM
Member
4 years 10 months ago

That`s a red VW :))

Red J
Member
4 years 10 months ago

No, the VW is the black one 🙂

zippy
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Audi? VW? Same diff…….. 🙂

moose
Member
4 years 10 months ago
The problem with Jason Castriota is that so far he seems to be that an ‘one trick pony‘. He has his own (somewhat unique) style which he does well, but so far that is all he has used that style in all of his past projects. I might not like all the stuff Chris Bangle has done, but he got it spot on when he asked from JC in Geneva 2011 something along the lines of: “I can see the Jason Castriota in Saab Phoenix, but what makes it a Saab?” In case someone has not seen the video in… Read more »
Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 10 months ago
That is exactly what I can fear most about the Castrota-design of the new 9-3: Style! Style is one off the greatest dangers for an Architect or designer. Style – in my opinion (and at least in the Danish meaning off the word) – is something to avoid. Style is to press a specific form-language over the given task. The best and most mature designers and architect are carefully and creatively analysing what a given situation are calling for. A very good example is Jörn Utzon, who did not repeat himself but gave very different answers to different situations. Or… Read more »
till72
Member
4 years 10 months ago

+1

maanders
Member
4 years 10 months ago
And I thought back when that video of Bangle and JC was first posted that many of us agreed with JC that you can see both JC’s style and also Saab design cues in there. He even said the PhoeniX concept was meant to be controversial and it sure drove more positive conversation about Saab in the auto industry than I had seen in a long time. JC also said that the actual new 9-3 design would not be nearly as radical as the PhoeniX…..so let’s wait and see what is in store before we start assuming the worst.
saabdealer
Member
4 years 10 months ago

For the dealers that have seen the ‘Castriota’ version in CGI, I can tell you as warm of a reception as this car is getting, the real thing will knock you over.
Frankly, this car looks okay but compared to Jason’s version it doesn’t hold a candle.

Nibras
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Actually I think the Tuatara looks nice.
And I didn’t really like the Phoenix; I hope they don’t use the rear pontiac looking tail lights.

gustaf
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Look again. The Tuatara looks quite ok until you reach the rear. There it is, some kind of pontiac-stealth-rear-end. I liked to the 9-3 scetch, I thought it was rather nice, especially when I noticed they’d kept the SAAB front. This article erased that hope. Take a good look at the scetch post where SU compare the scetch to the previous photoshop… Please SAAB, don’t do it! What scares me is that Jason only designed one type of cars before and they pretty much look the same (in the design language). I do hope he consults Padian. A lot!

SPG900NY
Member
4 years 10 months ago

>>The Tuatara looks quite ok until you reach the rear. There it is, some kind of pontiac-stealth-rear-end.<< Exactly. WTH is going on there? What a mess… I also quite liked the front of the Phoenix, hated the back. So it's good to know that the new 9-3 will mostly be the Phoenix front and a Saab back.

I too wish JC would use a few more Saab cues and fewer of his own. Perhaps when Pang Da and Youngman have full ownership they will bring in a new designer. And hopefully it won't be whomever designed this:
http://www.cartype.com/pages/2716/dong_feng_d120__2006

welshwizard645
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I was right in thinking the sketch was pre-JC…

I’m not going to comment on JC until I see the new 9-3 in the metal… There were those that hated the 9-3SS when it was introduced nearly 10 years ago, personally I think the 9-3SS Aero of 2002-2007 is the most stunning piece of design since the 99 was signed off on April 2 1964….

Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I like it very much as well – AND I find it very Saabish!

Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I meant the 2002-2007 9-3SS Aero..

zippy
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I totally agree, that original design has that perfect amount of lagom that has been a trademark of Saab (indeed most Scandinavian design) that makes it timeless. Take a look at the 2004 BMW 5 series as an example of somethng that looked cool 7 years ago but looks hideously out of date now! I have Bang & Olufsen stero system that was designed in the early 1980s that still attracts looks of admiration.

Here is an example of Scandinavian design that is 50 years old and still looks totally modern

gustaf
Member
4 years 10 months ago

+1
I love my family’s old B&O as well for the same reason. I really hope stays this way. Believe me, many people like SAAB´s because of the Scandinavian design.

James
Member
4 years 10 months ago
The original 9-3ss was a nice piece of design for what it was: GM’s effort to go after the A4 and the 3 series. It is a beautiful Scandinavian take on the things that made the A4 appealing, while holding on to some Saabisms we like (mainly on the interior)… that said, I prefer the 2008 facelift aesthetically (and even more the 2011 facelift) as they bring back more Saab (grill, clamshell, etc) in a more edgy way… The original 9-3ss was a design failure in the context of the generations of the 99/900/9-3 series in that the form is… Read more »
theSandySaab
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I find the “sketch” really nice, can’t wait to see the real thing. In any case I’m absolutely in the market when it arrives!

Khrisdk
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Just build the d*mn thing .
Everybody hated the longnose 96, everybody hated the 99, everybody hated the 900, everybody hated the 9000, everybody hated the NG900/OG9-3, everybody hated the OG9-5,,As far as I know everybody hated the NG9-3, and a lot of people hates the NG9-5

At least at introduction time.

Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Good point – We will have to see if JC are able to avoid his own style in a sufficient degree.

Marque
Member
4 years 10 months ago
To me it’s not about that. To me cars are something like love at first sight. Second and third attempts almost never work for me. At first sight I truly loved the classic 900 in a way (and a kid’s reactions are the most honest! :). At first sight I went MAD about the NG900 like I never did to any car. At first glance I was very much impressed by the og9-5. At first sight I was disappointed by the PhoeniX, but now I’m a bit relieved that this Aero SSC is somewhat stunning. What it takes to convert… Read more »
MarkoA
Member
4 years 10 months ago

You are so right on this one! I really hated 9-3SS when I saw it first time and I hated Dame Edna 9-5 even more. I like them both now…

Mark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

At first sight I really liked the C900. At first sight I quite liked the NG900/OG9-3. When the coupe and convertible arrived, I liked it more. At first sight I was somewhat disappointed in the NG9-3/9-3SS, At first sight I found the NG9-5 a bit disappointing too. The 9-3SS hasn’t ever grown on me and I still have mixed thoughts on the NG9-5. I like the interior pretty much, but I still find the exterior somewhat stodgy and conservative.

Marque
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Fully agree. 9-3SS at first sight was a great disappointment to me, and still am very much averse to it today. The facelifted convertible was the only one to save the day, finally.
NG9-5 is a mixed bag, but I tend to like it. But here again – no significant change of perception since it’s introduction.

900_S
Member
4 years 10 months ago

+1 to both Marque and Markac.

spacy
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

.
The last picture, has something about Batman’s Batmobile, about it……

Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

The SSC Tuatara holds on the pictures because it is white and (black) and seen in relatively soft light. In other colours and/or in light with more contrast, one would see that too much is happening. I am NOT saying that JC are bad at all in sculpting the details. But he is doing it a little too much and by that he is hurting the wholeness off the design, I think… – If he could just be a little more modest and concentrate about sculpting the whole overall-shape with the same care as he does with the parts.

Khrisdk
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I would argue that since this car is build to compete for the title of the fastest supercar in the world, thus makin the closest competitors the Veyron, the old SSC Aero, Koenigsegg Agera, that the aerodynamic solutions are very subtle, and that in this type of design God/the Devil is is the details, not in the overall design.

Different world of cars. Different demands.
For the record I like the Tuatara. But I would rather buy a Koenigsegg.
Not for visuals, but for what the cars are build for

Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

God is in the detail, Yes – in the sense that it should always be a part off the wholeness – at least in my understanding – and if you look at the works off Mies van der Rohe – from who the statement origins – I am sure ho would have agreed… 😉

Khrisdk
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Yes I know his works

That’s why I also mentioned the devil in the detail the same context
Miss one detail at aerodynamic design and the thing will crash.

Different main objective.

But I agree that the perfect design is that which combines the necessary details into a complete consistent overall design

saabworker
Member
4 years 10 months ago

The new 9-3 is awesome!

Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Have you seen it ???

RS
Member
4 years 10 months ago

It’s probably too difficult to work on it with your eyes closed 😉

Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

ok – so you know that Saabworker is working on this project… (?) Interesting!

MK
Member
4 years 10 months ago

+1

saabni
Member
4 years 10 months ago
ALL sounds good, now reality check: it has come way to late for dealers and their long suffering employes, my work is winding saab down , as are a lot of other uk dealers , it has lost money hand over fist trying to sell same model of car from 2002, new 9-5 might have lifted it as it is a great car, but unfortunate urged don’t bulb them anymore!!! As from tommorrow we are all paid off! Saab were always slow to the party, 9-3 is toatly dated and they expect to sell it for at least another year?… Read more »
JoPlSe
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Ohhhh. Now I am really worried again. I finally thought Castriota had understood the scandinavian design concept. This means that we still may face an overdesigned armerican showcar like the Phoenix. I really hope the real thing will be more scandinavian (less os more) than the Phoenix.

I am so dissapointed, I really, really liked the version in this add. Once again mr Padian has done a great job! I hope he is still around when the Chinese have taken over!

maanders
Member
4 years 10 months ago

JoPISe, I think JC does understand the scandinavian design concept of Saab. This car is not supposed to be a Saab. It is being designed for another client and another purpose. I think everyone is jumping to too many conclusions about something they have not even seen yet.

JoPlSe
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Yes but, I was referring to the Phoenix which is job made for Saab. I am still really worried. Saab has a unique design which does not fit all. but it is clean, and definitely not vulgar. We have to wait and see what the final product is like. He may have got it……..

Ben
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Great! Interested to see what the back will look like.

Coke is it
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I really like this sketch done by Padrian and I think it would have been a success as it is but I’m still looking forward to see the real JC designed 9-3.

Steve C.
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Earlier in the day when I was looking at my ’10 9-3 SC and thinking about this leaked photo, I concluded that the front is current 9-3ish with new 9-5 elements with the windshiled, greenhouse and roof with a nice flow to the rear giving a fastback/hatch look. Given that we were told the front-end would have more resemblance to the PhoeniX concept, I didn’t think this was current plus the date when the related document was given to NDO was also a clue.

saabman
Member
4 years 10 months ago
My first Saab was a 2007 9-3 SS which I recently traded for a 2011 9-3 SS. So I am rather fond of the current design. I think it’s sleek, elegant, and sporty. It took me a while to get used to the 2008 face lift, but when I did, I really started to like it, hence my recent purchase. But I am keeping an open mind on the NG 9-3, knowing that I won’t be in the market again for quite a few years, probably. So that will give me time to get used to it, too. As I’ve… Read more »
maanders
Member
4 years 10 months ago

What you can expect is what has been said in the past, a bit more Phoenix up front and a lot of traditional Saab out back.

Jeff, I had to laugh when I read that phrasing! I know this is essentially what JC said in the interviews, but the way you put it reminded me of the way people describe the “mullet” haircut…..business in the front and party in the back. Let’s hope the new 9-3 design is more classy and timeless than the mullet!

Toby K
Member
4 years 10 months ago

So there are some folks here that couold clear up a point that has been rasied tme and again…and without giving away any secrets.

Does the new JC 9-3 look like a Saab? Does it look like it has evolved?

or does it look like its just fallen out of JC’s head on to planet earth?

Khrisdk
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Government regulations and NCAP will assure that it will never look like it has fallen out of JC’s head and onto planet earth.
Do not expect wings 😉

spacy
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

.
Those wings etc, would not last 2 minute around our way [East London]. They would be off & fixed to the go faster fiestas, etc…

This sort of design is maybe good is you work for Spyker….but JC dosen’t.

Khrisdk
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Correct

In this case he worked for Shelby (Or SSC), and I think that it is fair to assume that they did not want a subtle scandinavian expression

Khrisdk
Member
4 years 10 months ago

really niothing subtle about a car at 1300+ Hp

spacy
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

.
You can count out the UK & Spain [was there last week] as the speed humps will eat it alive…

Khrisdk
Member
4 years 10 months ago

No Problem
I would expect the main market for SSC to be Dubai

ryanonsrc
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I have been in contact with a Digital Sculptor that works under Jason Castriota, and my impression is that the next 9-3 (which may be called something else) will definitely hark back to Saab’s heritage — but with some interesting modern twists. That sketch that we saw is probably quite different from what the end result will be but the overall muscular motifs, and possibly even the general profile of the car will likely be consistent with the sketch. One part that seems very likely to change is the visibility of tail-lamps, when looking at the side profile. Honestly, this… Read more »
Trued
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Saab has never used the historical rear mirrors much through the years.
99 had nothing in common with 96
9000 same in relation to 900, as well with NG 9-3 to OG 9-3
The spectacular NG 9-5 is truly unique, everyone taking à look at my 9-5 says it is stunnning!
Saab should be stunnning make The next 9-3 à smaller combicoupe with some 9-5 looks.
That Will be a winner!

ryanonsrc
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I strongly agree. As you saw me posting on FaceBook: I saw a NG 9-5 yesterday and it definitely stands out in a crowd (in a great and big way).

I can certainly understand being a bit worrisome about how the new 9-3 will look but stay tuned … I think we will all be impressed!

Trued
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Interesting that so many people here at SU in The previous NG 9-3 thread saw the Phoenix in The picture.
And there is NONE!
It is all Simon Padian et.al. Just look at the roofline and You see à NG 9-5.
Must say The picture looks so much better than The ugly phoenix design study.
Go Padian! Padian up! Saab can not risk any crazy design stunts!

Tripod
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Saab can not risk any crazy design stunts!

Not in the final car, at least.
I think there was some comment from Saab, can’t remember if via Swade or someone else; about the Phoenix; they couldn’t afford several concepts, so it had be a little of this, a little of that etc. It certainly drew some attention. And as some have said, and as you know, concepts are most of the time something completely different compared to production cars produced at the time.

Tobias-A
Member
4 years 10 months ago

+1 🙂

gustaf
Member
4 years 10 months ago

+999999999

JoPlSe
Member
4 years 10 months ago

+1

guy55
Member
4 years 10 months ago

the new 9.3 for me the new porche of china

saaburban
Member
4 years 10 months ago

what gave it away for me was the large overhang of the front n back from the position of the weels. It has been widely published that castriotas first achievement as design director was to modify the existing platform architecture to become the phoenix where the weels are moved out further to give a sportier look. Ive said it before Saab needs a revised design identity n Jason is the right man for the job. The new Saab buyers might not be the ones that worships saabs of the past.

OliverH
Member
4 years 10 months ago

At any time designers comes to the point where the meet the engineers. So both have to discuss wish/ dream and reality.

saaburban
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I hope jason has challenged the engineers to match his cool new design with technical content. The question is not what mr castriota do to Saab, but what Saab might do to castriota. Saabs heritage, people n customers n fans will have alot of impact on his design process. Let’s forget the input of the boss / self-proclaimed spyker designer mr muller.

OliverH
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Castrotia should design sports cars. He doesn’t know anything about usability or “form follows function”. Let the real Saab people let design that Saab. The new 93 should be a Saab and not only a car.

Tripod
Member
4 years 10 months ago

So, as I said in that other blog post thread, 31 Oct, with 180+ comments:
Should that be “First photo of the new 9-3” or “First photo of the new 9-3?”?

It was not, and we knew it more or less, a photo of the new 9-3; so a question mark would have been suitable.

On the other hand that wouldn’t change much, since there is no other subject that can drive comments as car design…

Mark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

That fuzzy picture never looked right and the proportions were out for a car that’s meant to be slightly larger than the 9-3SS. It seems like a lot of people got excited about nothing? Here’s hoping the real car is a whole lot better! Hatches, wraparound curved windscreens/windshields and clamshell bonnets/hoods please!

Anders_Sweden
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I read somewhere that the next 9-3 should be only 4.45 m long (or something like that). I havn’t read all the comments, but I think it’s strange that this fact get so little notice.

Red J
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Its not true.
It is quite strange that the sizes given by Mr Fröberg are the very same sizes of the PhoeniX prototype.

saabdog
Member
4 years 10 months ago

To JC, or whoever does the design of the next 9-3…PUSH THE ENVELOPE!!! I want to push Saab forward. To be a world player, Saab has got to move forward. Do it!

Frank Wulfers
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I wish Saab would just shrink the 9-4X a bit in all dimensions and it would make an awesome 9-3 hatchback. The lines of the 9-4X are just perfect and timeless. Same for the interior. I always liked Saab’s understated design and hope VM and JS don’t mess too much with that. And no, I don’t care much for the PhoeniX either. It just doesn’t say anything Saab to me like the Aero X does.

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Well, irrespective of any particular desginer, I would be glad if they recognised that a car has:

no “DNA”, since it is not a living being
no “muscular stance”, since it is not propelled by muscles, but by a internal combustion engine, and maybe an electrical motor
no “face”, as it is no human being
no “evil eyes”, since it has no eyes at all. These two thingys on the front are called headlights
no “agressiveness”. That is reserved for its driver (or _hopefully_ not).

900_S
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Oh, you’re no fun 🙂 Haha, no I get what you’re saying though. But that’s what a lot of people enjoy hearing about, when reviewers, advertisers (or whoever) personify the product. It becomes endearing to the consumer. Also, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch of your imagination to view a car as a living creature. It has a front, back and sides. Most have headlights like eyes, and a fairly animal-looking face… kind of 🙂 As far as ‘evil eyes’ or ‘aggressiveness’, this has to do more with the lines and contours of the car. Distinct lines and… Read more »
Thylmuc
Member
4 years 10 months ago
When I was a little boy, I always felt that also unliving matter had kind of a soul. It really hurt me when something broke, even worse of course with my beloved cuddly toys. I still have that feeling to a certain extent. But still, a human is a human, a horse is a horse, and a car is a car, each with its own attributes. I think you get sub optimum results in car design when you try designing a car as if is was a human; as you would get sub optimum training results with a horse, when… Read more »
900_S
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Oh I completely agree that function should always come before ‘style’, especially with something as expensive and potentially dangerous as a car. I don’t think engineers should design a car with humanoid qualities (or any other animal) especially if they detract from its function. I’d like to think that most designers have maximizing functionality in mind, and that stylistic approaches are all supplementary/complementary. With that said, I think it’s just human nature that talk like this comes up on the consumer side of things. Especially when the consumer has little to no idea why this particular design was chosen and… Read more »
900_S
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Haha, I THOUGHT that wasn’t Jason’s work. It looks too inspired from the Aero-X/9-X Air. Definitely looking forward to what Jason does with it.

Juerg_U
Member
4 years 10 months ago

And somehow I can imagine how the convert will look like (remember the 9-x Air 😀 ) can’t wait!!

James
Member
4 years 10 months ago

re the tuatara: I can’t imagine driving over some of our rough roads on those carbon fibre wheels!! recipe for disaster! they’d better be engineered damn well – a wheel failure at top speed of that car would be absolutely catastrophic!

I know carbon’s a good high performance material, but even on a mountain bike (that goes an order of magnitude slower), there’s just some things you probably don’t want carbon for safety reasons!

James…

Saabheart
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I think that VM was smart to get JC on board with Saab. He is widely known, young and popular. Unfortunately Saab needs that right now. His designs are all very much his own. You’re allowed to disagree of course, but I really think the people that have already mentioned it are right. You can tell a car was designed by JC just by looking at it quickly and the Phoenix is no exception. The good thing is generally, they’re really pretty cars. This Aero SCC is completely bonkers and out of place for a Saab enthusiasts website, but, it… Read more »
Thylmuc
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Funny thing is though, while I am rather sceptical of Jason Castriota for Saab’s design, it is not at all for fear of loosing the previous attributes. If they do something completely new, that’s fine for me. I get easily bored anyway. In the end, unfortunately, design is about personal taste; you either like it or you don’t. So far, I did not like what I saw. Very personal, indeed. There are designers the work of which I liked even before I knew that the objects all derived from one individual. E.g., I liked the Alfa 156, a bit later… Read more »
Alex740
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Wow, if that’s what they started with, combined with Jason’s edgy design talent and VM’s history of fantastical designs and details with Spyker, we are in for something really unique and spectacular. This car needs to rock the automotive world to rescue Saab and I have to say, I’m confident that it will.

hilmar
Member
4 years 10 months ago

My 2 cents: I think the main problem is that Saab has to be back “in the head of people”. With an awesome but
not excessive design you´ll win the first step on the road outside. An eye catcher. It is the first contact to a potential customer. Times where Saab cars were described as quirky should be ended. Although they should not been followed by playful and egocentric designed or indifferent cars. Not an easy task. So I wonder how the new 9-3 will be designed. Which range of customers will be the target ? 🙂

biritter
Member
4 years 10 months ago

If its going to be “a bit more Phoenix up front and a lot of traditional Saab out back” has anyone sketched up a mash between a Phoenix front and a c900/ng900 rear (that’s my guess on what “traditional Saab out back means)?

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