Simon Padian’s vision for a next 9-3

Today we got two images that show Simon Padian’s vision for a next generation 9-3. Those drawings are said to be from the pre-Spyker era, most likely around 2008.

The shown features echo what (in addition to the core Saab characteristics) had been needed to make that car a real competitor for not only the Teutonic Three. Design-wise the sedan drawings seem to be closer to the final thing than those of the combi, which is kind of close to the 9-x concept. The more you look at it the more you get all the quotes from the several concepts that Saab had shown at that time.

While I also liked what I saw of the Castriota 9-3 I have to admit that Simon was on a good track to develop the Saab design language one step further. Especially that top left drawing on the Sedan image is something I had surely bought.

As with many things, it’s too bad those never saw the light.

Carlo A
Member

WOW …. well done Simon!

PS. could you post the Castriota’s 9-3 please, as only a few lucky ones, saw that? 🙂

tobbe
Member

Yes, put it up! 😀

Joel
Member

+1 please! It is (or just was) Xmas after all…… Late present? 🙂

Fredrik
Member

Strange number plate, APD540. That one belongs to an old Volvo;

———————————————————-
Fordonsidentifikation
Registreringsnummer: APD540
Fabrikat: VOLVO 131341 M
Färg: VIT
Fordonsslag: PB
Fordonsår: 1967
I trafik första gången i Sverige: 1968-01-18
Motoreffekt, kw: 55,0
———————————————————-

Maybe APD540 was some SAAB internal identification for this project?

putte
Guest

Recycled numberplates….

phermansson
Member

Most likely just a made up registration number…

Baracuda
Member

540 is/was the internal Codename for the new 9-3. Don’t know what the APD means. But that all might be coinscedence.

JH
Member

Please NEVS, contract Hareide Design (where Simon Padian and Einar Hareide, both former Saab designers, work) for your design needs.

Daniel B
Member

Agreed 100%!

900 classic cab
Guest

Here’s a guy who understands SAAB design

Troels, Denmark
Member

+

Tani
Member

I think i like that better than JC’s version.

Donald North
Member
I don’t like the upper SportCombi concept. Looks like a mix of a Mini Cooper Clubman and Volvo C30. Just as Porsche has retained the basic form of the 911 and evolved it over the years for better and better performance, SAAB should have gone back to the classic 900 and brought it to the 21st century. It sickens me when a see a BMW GT on the road – to me this is their version of the 9000. Why SAAB decided to abandon the hatchback and make also-ran sedans is inexcusable. Reminds me of Apple back in the 90s… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member

It really wouldn’t have been costly/excessive to offer a hatchback version of the 9-5. The people in charge simply didn’t have the desire or will to build a true Saab hatchback. It sickens me too. Lots of things about how Saab was handled in the final decade are inexcusable—-idiots.

MarkS
Member

Agreed…that’s GM for you!

JasonPowell
Member

I love that sedan at the top left, kind of puzzles me as to why they would scrap this and go with a new JC design when this looks better in my mind.

maanders
Member

Not sure if these designs were based on the PhoeniX platform or not. JC’s 9-3 replacement design was actually built on the PhoeniX platform so that may be the reason. His PhoeniX concept from the Geneva show was more radical than the actual production concept, but it would be nice to see a picture or sketch of that to compare these from Simon that also look nice.

phermansson
Member

Remember that Phoenix was already being developed in 2007-2008. Long before JC came into the picture…

Mark
Member

In the last couple of years of GM ownership, GM was planning to shift the 9-3 replacement onto Delta II like the Chevrolet/Holden Cruze and Opel/Vauxhall Astra. Even if available, I’m not sure Saab would’ve been allowed to use it’s own Phoenix platform with GM economies of scale prevailing. Remember the trouble Saab got from GM when it drastically modified Epsilon for the MY2003 9-3.

Bernard
Member

The new Buick Verano is basically the embodiment of this GM vision. Strangely, it doesn’t get any better fuel mileage than my 2002 9-3, nor does it perform any better or offer any more usable space (less, actually). I can see why Saab didn’t consider it a suitable platform.
The press would have had a field day calling such a 9-3 a dressed-up Buick…

maanders
Member

Not sure what is going on, but these images are loading *very* slowly. Much slower than photos in other articles here.

phermansson
Member

Because they are full size, several mb per photo

JH
Member

I’d suggest you use thumbnails in the article and link to the full versions. Think about those with slow Internet connections…

Ross
Member

I LOVE the sedan, but make it a HATCH!!!

joachim
Member

Yes, the sedan as a hatch would be perfect…
imo, i dont like the styling of the combi
anyway the sedan shows us perfect saab styling..

Ross
Member

Def agreed, also looks like a hatch as it is anyways!
I don’t mind the combi at all, I just prefer the hatch 🙂

Belfast_Saab
Member

I do not like the top left sedan ( we’ve seen that before, don’t like the rear arch). Much prefer the cgi mock-up of the sedan, very sleek. The combi concepts echo the biohybrid, not practical, heavy and clumsy looking.

And yes, can we see Castriotti’s effort please?

Troels, Denmark
Member

Very interesting sketches, indeed!!!

GerritN
Member

Stop the masochism!
This is water under the friggin bridge.
The ball got dropped….and picked up by others….Hyundai Veloster Turbo anyone?

GerritN
Member

I’m just grumpy because my Viggen needs a new clutch again 🙁

Mark
Member

Try one of these: http://www.partsforsaabs.com/product_info.php?cPath=86_227_600_604&products_id=4240

I’ve got one on the wish list at the moment………..

GerritN
Member

Hm, any idea about the drivability and the extra noise?

Mark
Member

No I haven’t bought one yet and I’ll be buying for a BSR stage 1 9-3SE HOT not a Viggen.

Angelo V.
Member

Love it, and you’re right.

Dan P
Member

You must be hammering that clutch! From everything i’ve ever heard, the Viggen clutch/pressure plate are good to Stage 3+! Maybe not stage 5, but that seems fair enough. Proper Saab over-engineering!

GerritN
Member

That the clutch holds the torque doesn’t mean that it doesn’t wear out.
The Viggen torque is addictive, especially overtaking is way too much fun.

Carlo A
Member

Yap, you must have a “heavy foot” … 🙂

My 9-3 TID clutch has 224.000 Km on its shoulders ….

kochje
Member

For me the next generation 9-3 Sedan is more a drawing based on the actual 9-5 NG.
Let NEVS look at this while we have to stop dreaming about a car like this with an athmosphere turbo engine; that era is over now.
However the design is perfect Saab.
Would have an impact when launched this way !!

Bravada from GMI
Member
Not overly impressed, I must say, especially with the 9-3 “concept”. The drawings essentially show many different vehicles, either totally not production-ready or dull. The “shortened 9-5” is horrendous to me, the big-wheeled conceptish drawings irrelevant, and the lowest sedan picture looks quite promising, but conservative, like an introduction to a 9-3 facelift (hint hint, NEVS!) All in all – a 9-3 SEDAN? I was hoping Saab Automobile AB was more adventurous and actively campained to bring back the liftback body style. The wide-hipped / narrow-shouldered SC is simply bad. It is hard to believe this team eventually came up… Read more »
Dan P
Member
As usual I find myself in agreement with you, Bravada! Can’t say I’m a fan of these explorations. There are some things I like but I can’t imagine a lot of these styling elements would ever make it to production. Agree the squashed 9-5 doesn’t quite work, the tapering window just means too much metal and no visibility, the squat roofline means no space in the back. And the SportCombi is awful. I don’t feel bad saying this because I’m sure to SImon these were just one set of many many drawings, and only the beggining of feeling out the… Read more »
adams
Member

Generally speaking, I am a fan of Simon and his work. But, not this. The haunches over the rear wheels are cliche, the overall shape of the sedan feels Mazda/Ford, and — although this probably isn’t Simon’s fault because of safety regulations — can’t anyone do a fully horizontal belt line anymore? I’d love to lock Simon, Envall, Kjell ac Bergstrom, and JAJ (and maybe even CvK) in a room and tell them not to emerge until a real Saab was on paper …

Red J
Member

can’t anyone do a fully horizontal belt line anymore?

The designer of the Range Rover can. 😉

Angelo V.
Member

All excellent points—great observations.

RS
Member
adams, the next time they design a new 9-3 I sure hope they apply the ‘Apollo 13 method’ where a solution needs to be created from what’s available. Meaning a car that not only drives and look good but also transport 5 tall guys and stuff like fridges, tables, drivable lawn movers, cases, good sized dogs… Saabs got bigger and bigger but the cargo space smaller and smaller, the only exception being the 9-5 wagon, what was that about? Most of the concept drawn in the last 15 years would have been useless in real life to most of us.… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member

+9000

Red J
Member
We saw the top-left picture of the 9-3 Sedan in October 2011. SVD was telling the world at that time that this was the first picture of the new 9-3. Jeff already told us 3 days later that this sketch was pre-Castriota. Now we have the final confirmation about that, and a better picture of that sketch. I saw that sketch earlier on, and I was somehow happy that somebody else took charge of the design at Saab. Maybe it is unfair towards mr Padian, but this design was simply a evolution of the concepts Saab had presented during the… Read more »
Bernard
Member
I like some aspects of the design but not others. The belt line is all wrong. I understand why automakers love this type of “mail slot” greenhouse, because pressed steel is cheaper than glass. Still, Saab should stand for active safety, and that means preserving the driver’s sight lines (among other things). I will forgive the ridiculous wheels. I’m sure that Saab would have offered something with a bit more meat, that you don’t have to scrap every time you hit a pot hole. The logo is a blue oval, which is appropriate since it looks like a Ford. I’m… Read more »
Red J
Member

this are for the turbulent air in the rear wheel arches. Normally this air escapes to the sides of the car, destroying the flow of the air going along the sides of the car. In this case you would redirect this air to the back, “filling” the slipstream with high impulse air, once again reducing the drag.

In most of the cases nowadays such air-scape-holes are fake, because they are not easy to implement, but I think Saab really meant it when they decided to be best in class in aerodynamics.

Bernard
Member

I think that Saab came up with a much more effective rear light treatment on the NG9-5, so I doubt that they would have stuck with the “blue oval” treatment that we see in these sketches. It’s not like the car(s) that we see here had been approved for production.

dcpattie
Member

Very similar to the NG 9-5. I never understood the whole “right sized” 4-cylinder mumbo-jumbo. Saab used this tag line on the NG 9-5. The Automatic 2.8T with XWD got 17 city, 27 highway while the 2.0T in FWD was rated at 18 city, 28 highway…I’ll take the 80 additional horses and the 1-MPG penalty.

Bernard
Member

That may have been a transmission issue. The manual 2.0T got 5 mpg better than the V6 (20 city/33 highway). You would expect a modern automatic to be almost as efficient as a manual, especially in the highway loop where the torque converter should lock-up.
Perhaps Saab did not have time to tune the 2.0T/Automatic powertrain to the EPA test.

melvin
Member

Personally I see some non-functional styling elements I am no fan of. For example the rear arch. My idea of Saab is a bit less musclecar and bit more intelligent and social consious.

3cyl
Member

Even to the socialy unconscious, the supposedly muscular wheel arches are kind of silly on a car of relatively modest power.

Tommy
Guest
Tommy

I can see those concepts becoming electrical cars.

Joel
Member

Oh. My.

That is fantastic. Such a shame it may never see the road (cough, listen up NEVS, cough)

Mark
Member

The coupe/3dr looks okay. The sedan/5dr a bit ordinary. The combi/wagon somewhat ugly. All looking definitely GM era unfortunately.

It would be nice to see J.C.’s 9-3 post GM design if NEVS has decided it’s definitely not going to use it? Then perhaps J.C. is hoping another manufacturer might pick it up? Then I guess we’ll never get to see it unless it appears under a different brand?

Angelo V.
Member

Oh well, while we wait for reality from NEVS. And wait. And wait…I had a full synthetic oil change and ATF flush today for my 2004 9-5. Hope it keeps on keepin’ on.

saabboy1
Member

Not sure I am a fan of the sport combi version. Something about it doesn’t appeal to me. On the other hand the sedan looks fantastic. Both J.C. and Simon are pretty close looking at the top rendering. They both appear to be a hatchback with NG 9-5 design cues.

Daniel B
Member
All kudos to Simon Padian! This would IMHO been a very natural evolution of the NG 9-5 and implementation of the Aero X/ 9X/ 9-x BHD and Air designwise into production-cars. Remember that these are design visions so the final production car would have (would have/ if only…) been not so extreme maybe. Anyway. I love the air-outlets in the back end of both the sedan and the combi, as well as the reversed hockeystick of the combi. I never liked the PhoeniX so this is more Saab to me personally. If only, if only… I cannot agree more on… Read more »
JoPlSe
Member

+1

Trued
Member

+100000

JoPlSe
Member

🙂

Eric DH
Member

You can see what happened to the PhoeniX here….

http://www.swadeology.com/2012/12/phoenix-winged/

I guess most of us will have seen this by now…

I was not really a huge fan of the JC design, but it deserved better than this.

Ralph
Member

I like those air-outlets in the back end too (but only as long as they can be technically justified 😀 ).

zippy
Member

Seeing all these drawings saddens me of what could have been. Simon really does understand what makes a Saab a Saab. I still stare at a 9-5 everytime I see one. So sad.

saabyurk
Member

Probably too late to ask in this thread, but is that perhaps an active spoiler on the rear of the sedan in the first image. In the rear view showing the airflow, it looks like the spoiler is integrated into the trunk (boot) lid and is rising as the car increases speed. I know one of Saabs concepts (The 9-X BioHybrid maybe) had one that extended rearward at speed.

leriksso
Member

Lovley !

JoPlSe
Member

Simon, you’re the best!

Fantastic work!

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