SR P4 West publishes images of 9-3 Phoenix *Updated

February 1, 2013 in Jason Castriota Design

Swedish Radio P4 West (original story here) has published two images of the Saab 9-3 designed by Jason Castriota. The Swedish magazine Auto Motor & Sport has also published an image of the convertible*.

Phoenix 9-3 4-Door

These images are screenshots of an computer model made in the beginning of 2011, it is an accurate although earlier version of the design. They originate from a copy of a business plan called Viking presented in May of 2011 which describes the future plans of Saab Automobile and the future products which were planned for. We’ve had a copy of that business-plan since august 2011, but out of respect for Jason’s work we agreed not to publish any material until such time he felt was right.

The very reason these images are of such poor quality is that if the business plan is leaked out, it’ll show the car without giving away important details. The images show the general theme, a 5 door hatch-back, of the car are true but not much more.

While speaking with Jason he told me that the final design was much more athletic and we’re doing and yesterday we launched the first teaser of a story together we’re doing together on how his car was designed from the first day all the way up until the day of the bankruptcy.

154 responses to SR P4 West publishes images of 9-3 Phoenix *Updated

  1. The back of this car looks like a GM cutsheet… Awful

    • +1
      Maybe better as a SC.

    • This is a VERY poor representation and you shouldn’t judge it from these images, from the ones I’ve seen it looks very cool!

    • +1,
      Interesting concept, but it should stay in the past, side view is totally wrong. Back is interesting, old 900 look, this car would have being great 25 years ago.

      • The back is nice, very SAAB family feel ….. the front you cannot really see it, although from the side the front grille/bumper looks like a OVLOV … the side profile similar to the old 900 ….

  2. On the P4 story you can find a second picture of the rear, from the back it looks very much like a modern classic 900.
    My question is, would all the classic 900 fans buy such a car?
    I’m not sure about that, but I think than with this car Saab would have been able to convince some non- Saab drivers.

  3. Is this the announced news we’re all waiting for? The rear end looks like a skoda superb , not my taste.

  4. The rear-angle view is quite simply, awesome. It reeks of Saab. The side profile is fair–I wish it wasn’t fuzzy and I definitely wish they chose to model another color besides white. Now let’s see the front!

  5. it looks terrible, full stop…

  6. Well. The images is simply of a BAD quality. So it’s hard to comment really. BUT if the general shape is correct, them My vote goes to the earlier shown Concept images by Simon Padian. That said, I might have LOVED this car in the flesh!!

  7. The side profile somewhat resembles the NG9-5. I like the flat roofline. I am hoping the next 9-3 will more resemble Jason Castriota’s Phoenix X concept. I feel that NEVS needs a “home run” with their first launched vehicle.

  8. These images gave me the usual Saab two-step impression: first like hmmm, hmmmmmm, what’s that strange vehicle, and then it quickly grew on me. In fact I already love the rear-view on the second image. Dame Edna took me much longer to advance to step 2!

    • I completely agree with you but for me it took a few months to get used to the design and ultimately really like it… which is exactly the same time it took for me to fall in love with the new 900 when it was launched…

      • There is quite a few familiar elements that have long been loved, which saves time. :-) But surely this is not true love yet, only a feeling that this relationship may become serious someday. Now to the gourmet Phoenix story!

    • Just my take as well! On the first glimpse, the side view was a little too much NG9-5 for me. I waited some hours until I came back here to watch the second picture, the one from the rear – and I must admin I like it. A LOT! However, I will need to see the SC for a final judgement – if there already was a design for that one by JC at all. Tim, when will we get to see more?

  9. I don’t know the dimensions of this car, but if I compare the side view with the A5 sportback, the JC Saab would have had many details, like the flat roof, that would have made this car more practical.

  10. I’m stunned at the negative comments. When I looked at the image, the first thing that came to mind was “Yes. Oh yes. Oh DAMN YES! That’s a Saab I’m looking at.”
    The image makes it difficult to comment on specific design details—overall I love it. And the back end—-maybe can use some work, but maybe not. I disagree that it’s a generic GM rear end. I like the wrap-around taillights ending in a point. Is that “Too GM” (like my ’79 Monza 2+2 Hatchback)? I don’t care if it is. It looks cool.

  11. I think it looks awesome. I love the look and (potential) utility of the hatchback. NEVS should be all over this.

    • Yes. In fact, the closer I look at the rear angle photo, the more I like it. Built it!

      • If you like it now, just wait until we get to show what other images and photos we have 😉

        • But if it’s never built, all we will have are pictures :( Build it, NEVS!

        • Tim: Such a tease…

          I’m absolutely stoked that there is more to come. The blurry pics look good enough. I cannot imagine what the real thing is gonna be. My mouth is watering…

    • me too – I hope it really is the 5 door hatchback and I could use a hybrid, but not an all-electric anything – where would I plug it in on the NJ turnpike? The Lincoln Tunnel? anywhere else I travel?

  12. What does it take for Saab designers to understand what worked on previous cars?
    Educated guess: They are too hung up on form not functionality.

    The only thing I didn’t like about the c900 was the fact the rear was way too steep. It left very little space in the back of the trunk so you had to leave the hatch too often open and tie it down somehow. Not very nice in the winter.
    Okay that was fixed with the ng900 but now they had messed up the floor so you couldn’t get anything in there in the first place. No wonder people started buying Ford, Opel, Toyota and all kind of crappy entry wagons instead of quality cars.

    Why not take the modern looking Padian design with a few tweaks and make a cut in the rear bumper to create the cargo space similar to the 9-5 SC and NEVS would have an instant winner if both CC and SC variants came out simultaneously.

  13. I have seen it live and I can assure you that it looks very nice and more like a Porsche 911 from behind than a Skoda. What is even better.. I thought the Linear version was the Aero version as it looked so agressiv…and the super sporty seats sooo cool…and the one I saw had individual sportsseats in the back as well…

    • I actually thought the same thing, I think the silver stuff where the fog lights usually are, looked a bit too nice to be an aero =)

      • The Porsche 911 comparison—-when I saw the rear, that was the first car I thought of. Not bad company. This is the type of design (the entire car) that can be around for 10-15 years, with evolution—-not a 3-4 year throwaway product cycle. This is what Saab (and Volvo) used to be. I refuse to believe that car buyers have become so fickle that they are only interested in a cycle of “throw away the sheet and start over” every four years. There are enough people who are mature enough to go with an older design that is better—and keeps getting better.

  14. Nevs, when can i buy one?

    • Well, creating a new platform from pretty much scratch: If you have hundreds and hundreds engineers starting tomorrow and a complete set of devoted suppliers, this car will hit the road in late 2016

  15. I simply love it even if we can’t see the front at this moment .
    But the rear is awesome !

  16. i love it. i hope to God NEVS makes this and sends it across the Atlantic.

    The only thing I’m not crazy about its the bottom contour line that stretches from the front doors to the rear bumper -Looks a bit overstyled for my taste, and much rather prefer the simplicity of the 9-5’s sideview. But other than that little detail, this car would be an instant hit.

    Hopefully I can buy an Aero one day.

  17. I would like to see it from a more frontal angel before I “judge”…
    I like the back of the hatchback, but I am not sure that the whole car has kept, what I see as the most important SAAB-design-Character (of which the hockey-stick is only a part) : The “one-line-design” where one can almost draw the whole car in one singe movement: The curved front of the bonnet, the undersidewindows-line, the curve in the “hockey-stick”, returning in the roof-line (side then front), the window in the other side and finally back to the bonnet-front-line and so on…….

    • Agreed. As far as this illustration shows, the side-profile is definitely lacking a certain Saabness. That’s not to say it isn’t attractive, because it certainly is, but from the side, I do not immediately think “Saab.” However, the rear has Saab written all over and hopefully the front does too.

    • Just what I thought.

  18. I LOVE the five-door hatchback in pictures at P4 Väst and AMS! Please, put that image in the article here so people don’t miss it! I would be very happy if NEVS chose to continue with this design for their new mid-size model – it bears a strong resemblance of the classic 900, my favourite Saab model of all time. :)

  19. I hope a new 9-3 based on the Castriota designs goes into production and makes it to the States….PLEASE!

  20. I like it in this sight, apart from the back. It is too flat for my taste in comparison to the striking front. But I´ll wait for more images.

  21. It’s a shame this car, never saw the light of day. A damn shame. Shame!

  22. Wow! I was expecting a vomit fest here. I certainly think it’s terrible. But, I’m glad we’re such a multi faceted community :)

    To me, Castriota seems to design cars by focusing very hard on exquisite details, one by one. When the complete picture is unfolded, it looks like…. a joke. No harmony, completely powerless stance and no “wow! just look how beautifully that line is complemented by that line” moments.

    • Do you like Peter Schreyer’s designs?

    • Well, I tend to fully agree with you regarding JC’s designs hitherto. The images are just to blurred to tell if that is also the case with this car. From the side line, it really resembles an A5, which woud not be bad, and the back looks, as mentioned above, like a mix between an old 900 and an old 911, err. Also not bad.

      But wether the details will spoil it, which might very well be the case, I just can’t tell from the images (and generally prefer seeing cars in nature).

  23. Well, I had a look at AMS meanwhile and saw some more images. The car above could be the attempt of the “American/Italian way” of Saab with a slight feeling of BMW 3 series. 😉 But something is missing …
    For me Simon Padians concept is the eyecatcher, the Swedish car.

  24. I totally agree with Angelo V, the amount of negativity on the site with regards to this design in astonishing. Anyone who has grown up from the 99 and Classic 900 era surely cannot be disappointed with this first glimpse (and it is only that) to this potential new model.

    We have waited so long for this moment and for me at least, this is a quantum leap in the right direction although I cannot see any trailing power lead in the pics so maybe this is a good sign.

    Tim, I am sure you are glad that the media has launched this (at least) fuzzy pic so that you don’t need to breach the disclosure agreement and from what you implied i.e. the actual clear images will do the car even more justice.

    Naysayers………..wait until you can actually make out all the lines before you get the knives out please.

    • I think the “problem” is that the JC car looks like an Audi. Just google up the side profile of the white A5…
      Personally I wouldn’t have a problem with a design like that but I thought the idea was to have the quirkier (smarter) solutions that makes the owning experience better.
      Small doors, smaller cargo space and sloping rooflines so the rear passengers will bump their heads stepping in and out of the car is not progress to me. Only starring at drag figures won’t work for family cars when fuel consumption is mostly determined by the engine and the weight of you right foot anyway.
      SP was as guilty of this approach as anyone.

      • “Small doors, smaller cargo space and sloping rooflines so the rear passengers will bump their heads ”
        Unfortunately, you may be right. The A5 does have all these deficiencies. To the point that being a hatchback is of no use, since removing the trunk cover gives no additional cargo space.

        • At least you can put a dog in the back without it being in the trunk. Not that I would put a dog in the trunk but then it’s not scratching up the interior in the back seat.

  25. Now granted the lines are vague and anything black blends into the black background, but seeing the fuzzy rear shot brings to mind the 1992 Infiniti J30.

    The side view, as well as the shot of the convertible, look good, it’s just rear that’s keeping me from getting excited. Hopefully we’ll get to see better pictures soon.

    • Probably shouldn’t have tried linking a pic in my first ever post…

      Tried to say it reminds me of the ’92 Infinity J30.
      Try #2

      Would be nice to be able to preview my comment prior to posting to make sure things look/work correctly…

  26. The back-end looks like a 911?
    For me it looks like a 96, with a C900/99 taillight treatment, and the 9-5II rear light-bar.

    And in the front, look at the gap lines of the bonnet, and tell me in which direction can you open that bonnet?

    On the side you have the same 3 window design of the 5-door 900, with a flat roof, that bring the rear head room back.

    All in all, I like what I see.

    • Red, may I disagree about the roof. This looks very much like the NG 9-5 with the dropping rear windows and compromised headroom. Non of the c900, 9000, ng900 or og9-5 had that.

      • I admit that the roofline is not as straight as in the c900, but if you compare this roofline with the roofline of the Audi A5 or the BMW 3 series (even the GT) or the Padian design, you will see that the roof is quite “horizontal” for a modern car.

        • Red, the form is not the problem in itself. What the NG Saabs have struggled with is the height in the cabin.
          An A5 Sportback is some 7 cm lower than a ng9-5 yet it has 6 cm more headroom in the front seat and bit more even in the back.
          My take on the compact looking Padian 9-3 is that if it has around 100 cm to the sealing in the front the backseat folks would do fine. Less than that and the roofline needs to be straight like on a 9000.

          • RS, I was not talking about the Padian 9-3. I also think that it has the same problem as the 9-5 II.
            The A5 SB has 5cm more headroom in the front and 1,3 cm in the back, compared to the 9-5 II, this means that the form of the Audi is worse that the form of the Saab.

            Nevertheless, the problem with the headroom in the back seat row is a general problem of modern car design.

  27. The way I see it, old time Saab fans will like it. Personally I prefer the most recent 3 volumes models lines.

    • Agree +++ The current 9-3 is a nice car anyway !!! Absolutely no old-timer. Could be modern over 15 years. A bit like Bmw 3 series, but nicer. The Aero look from behind, and the clean lines. Beautiful +++ 😀

  28. With better pics, I might like it.
    For me there is a huge difference between copying the design elements from a prior success and evolving those design element to fit a modern design

    But, as usual, a new saab design for me often starts as very….VERY, sceptical and then just grows. And then it lasts. Lets se how this design plays out

  29. I really like it and can’t wait to see it in person – but where? does anyone seriously think that the old Saab dealers are going to sign on again? And new dealers who don’t understand Saab? No thank you.

    • Have you asked them?

      Seriously, when I ask the worst answer is, why not. I’m not saying that all the old Saab dealers are willing to sell Saab cars once again, but I don’t think that most of them would say no.

  30. Dare I say it looks like a Chevy from the early 90s. I would go so far to say its hideous and not a car Id want to be seen in.

    • It does have some traits of an older GM desigh that drove into the back of a Volvo.. .

    • A Chevy from the early 90s? Which one Zippy? Maybe a Corvette from the front to the “B” pillar. Not bad at all for a 4 door hatch, wouldn’t you say? I think it looks really good—-will need to see better pictures and closer details to know for sure, but it looks like a Saab to me—and that’s a really good thing.

    • Agree with Zippy, I’m very glad this is an early deisgn that didn’t make it to production in this form. Excited to see the “real” design soon, but this one is a generic (bar a few design features) and bland sedan that I don’t think would have sold at all well. I was hoping for somethign much more sleek, sporty and dynamic looking.

  31. You can NEVER make this community happy.

    And that’s the problem with Saab fans, too headstrong and always ready to swing the hammer.

    Let’s wait until we see more of this car before we hammer away at it please.

    • If a new saab design doen’t stir up, then it fails!

      At the same time, some of the commenters is upset by a negative respone. But at the same time, some of the exact same connenters has been very negative of nevs without even letting nevs try.

      So you are right, the crowd is very hard to please. But as long as the crowd reacts, it a good thing.

      • I’ve been very critical of NEVS and of the Receivers who decided they should own Saab. I love this new car design. One thing doesn’t have anything to do with the other. And in fact, if NEVS builds some great Saabs and sells them in the U.S., l’ll be very happy to say how wrong I was about the Receivers decision and about NEVS. I’m hoping that happens in fact. As for people who don’t like this design—-that is up to them. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

        • Exactly my point.
          Why be astonished by the negativiness when at the same time be all over the place convincing as many as you can that nevs is handeling this saga bad.
          Accept every ones point of view, not just the one you feel is the right

  32. the back looks fantastic ,even though the picture does not show much,I felt in love with the care the moment i saw it,also i like the padian’s design too.Build it and they will come

  33. Hi,
    I don´t like it. Sorry but I don´t. Simple as that. I think saab can do much much better.
    Best regards M

    • What makes you so confident that Saab can do much, much better? Are you familiar with NEVS team enough to know if they have people in place and designs cooking that are better than this one? Just curious.

      • As a matter of fact I do! Just kidding..I don´t! Well,I HOPE that they can do much much better cause in my opinion this design …(don´t want to use bad word). Sorry Angelo but that´s just how I feel and from what I can see I am not the only one thinking/feeling like this. You like the design and that´s OK, I don´t and even that should be OK without you criticize me (I got the feeling that you did or that you got your feelings hurt because I wrote what I wrote, and if you did,well then I apologize.

  34. How can people be so quick to dismiss this from one blurry image?? For me, the hood line evokes my gone but much loved 9000 Aero–total SAAB lust from the C pillar forward. Can’t tell about the back–but it’s a hatchback, another huge plus. Can’t wait to see some clearer representation. Really hope something similar to this makes it to the US, unlikely as it seems right now.

  35. What an utter shame that this design is probably never going to be implemented.

    • Let’s not give up hope. It’s one of those designs that could easily be dusted off and produced—and still look completely fresh—because like most things Saab, it’s comfortably ahead of its time.

  36. It looks okay, but I need to see the ‘athletic’ final version to make a proper comment. Nobody should judge the design on this fuzzy image. Anyway to me it looks more NG900/OG9-3 than it does C900. Perhaps not a bad thing though? I hope there is a 3 door hatch concept because that was what I was planning to buy.

  37. Personally, I really like the look of this car.

  38. Wow! Was it something I said?

    • Brian, I’m sorry for editing your comment but what you basically did was to take the image from this website (without asking permission), make some extremely small alterations, publish it on your own site and then link to your website, here in the comments section.

      That’s not what the comments is for. The comments section is for you to express your opinion and discuss the article which our writers have spent a lot of time creating. If you have any ideas, tips, make alterations to a photo etc, you are welcome to send it to the SU Crew and we’ll consider posting it here. Otherwise your comment was better suited for the forum in which you can start your own topics and discuss more or less whatever you like.

      • Apologies for not considering those points Tim. I simply thought that was a simple way to post a better image, which everyone here seemed to want. I didn’t think I’d need permission since only forum members would see it. It wasn’t made available to anyone else. Anyway, I appreciate your view, and I have removed the image from our site. I’ll try to be more thoughtful in future.

        • Thanx Brian :) we have some photos and great images that we will be publishing over the next 4 weeks, stay tuned :)

  39. At first i thought “oh no! Massive anticlimax” but then i looked again….. This car really grows on you the more you look (especially the back shot). Wasnt there supposed to be a 3 door version as well though? And could this be the design that was “thrown out” and changed heavily?

    From what reviews i remember reading just after the pheonix had been shown the 3 door as more of a swooping coupe that (to quote top gear) “would give the audi TT and peugeot RCZ something to worry about”. Now THATS the car i want to see!

    • Heres the actual quote:” OK, but a few minutes later, I’m with Saab’s chairman Victor Muller who can’t resist getting out his smartphone and showing me an image of a 9-3 coupe he’s had Castriota design. It’s basically the PhoeniX without the wings and the lower-body layering, and it really does look like a car to give the TT and RCZ pause.”

      Now i dont know about you guys, but i cant wait for Tim’s phoenix article!!!

      • I think the image he showed that reporter was a bit early perhaps. The 9-3 is not a phoenix without wings. You have to consider that it’s not a sports-car but a family-car… Although it looks cool and it has details I’d love to have in my future car its no sports-car like the phoenix concept is.

        • Ah it all makes sense now, cheers Tim (still on the edge of my seat for your article though!)

          Oh, and this is almost exactly the image i had in my head after our brief messages a while back. If this ever makes production hatbwould just be awesome.

          Does it look a bit like the new lexus IS (side profile of the rear) to your? Or does the new IS look like it…………….

          • What we’ve decided to with Jason is a video interview in which he talks about the car in his own words. I suspect it’ll be another +1 hour video from SU but I don’t think people will mind. What we’ve decided so far is that we’ll talk about how he was recruited to Saab, what his “mission parameters” and how the design work progressed. We’ll go over most parts of the car and he’ll get to explain how he as a designer was thinking.

            Any person can have opinions about a car but even one does not like the design work as a whole, I’ve learned that one can come to appreciate the work more if you hear why the designer decided to do it the way he did. We didn’t want to make another written article where we say what he did, we felt it better that Jason gets to talk to you guys directly!

            • Sounds cool, would be nice to hear from Jason again after the bankruptcy mess is now over.

              …… And we might finally get to see his 9-3 replacement in all its glory? Hmm? Hmm? Pretty please? 😀 haha

            • Yes, it would be very interesting to hear his explanations and opinions.

    • Everyone will really enjoy hearing what Jason has to say about the design and how certain lines pay respects to certain previous models, which are very obvious when you look closely. In brief conversations with him about the car, I can honestly tell you that he really went after respecting the heritage of Saab and bringing Saab into the future. I have had a great respect for him since watching the exchange in Geneva where he was respectful and knowledgable and he is the real deal. Everyone has said that Saab needs to respect their history to bring fans back to the fold and for me, Jason would be the guy to do just that. I really hope NEVS taps his shoulder and brings him on board. The alternative would be to start all over from scratch and I don’t see that to being the right idea, but what do I know.

  40. Rear looks as a saab should but that side view on the front to me looks like a Ford Focus, perhaps a little wrong there! Shame there is not a front quater view.

    • Hmm, I don’t see much focus… 😉

    • You’ll have to wait to see the real pictures……

    • Actually, I saw a bit of the Focus in this “unfocused” photo too! There’s nothing wrong with that at all—-the Focus is a well designed car. Believe me, if NEVS ever builds this, it won’t look like a Focus in the flesh—-and cars often resemble other cars in drawings and blurry concept photos—in this case, resembling the Focus is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. It’s a strong profile to begin with. Wasn’t it the Porsche 928 that looked like a slimmed down AMC Pacer?

  41. This is no saab, but a chinese skoda superb or something.

    • Actually Peppie, it’s nothing right now except a drawing/concept. So I guess you’re right—-it’s not a Saab. It’s not a Skoda either. And it’s not a Chinese anything, at least not that I’m aware of. What’s a Saab in your world?

    • I wonder how you can claim that after only having seen a very small fuzzy image that isn’t even the final version?

  42. Padian is my man! I liked almost all of his design as with and Lo was good as well. I truly enjoyed Simon explaining the design cues on the 2008- 9-3 available on YouTube.
    Castriota was a brave man taking up the assignment with the new Saab at the time, but me personally find his details intersting but a bit lacking as a whole. Neverthless i did find the Phoenix concept growing on me so maybe with time we might see his final 9-3 design as good as previous models, once more detailed photos are revealed.

  43. That looks suspiciously alike last 9-3 hatchback if you continue rear window down until spoiler.

  44. I guess maybe I’m too easy to please. If the “newest” design looked like a 1988 Saab 900, I’d be thrilled—ditto a 9000. Based on some of the comments, if the next Saab looked anything like those models, we’d have a whole lot of unhappy people. For those of you who want something sleeker, sportier, swoopier, rounder, more flowing, etc.—-in all seriousness, Hyundai’s current Sonata is just the car for you. Great value too—-lots of gadgets and technology, powerful engine, the design you seem to be craving if you hate the Phoenix at the top of this page. I think some of you might have grown out of liking Saabs.

    • Please!
      That is just plane stupid.
      Just yesterday you put in writing “everyone is entitled to there own opinion”
      Accept others opinion, and they will accept yours, even if they don’t feel the same way!

      • Of course they’re entitled to their opinion, and I to mine! My opinion (not fact) is that the core of Saab enthusiasts who used to be very pleased with utilitarian hatchback designs—are clearly asking for more now. Read some of the comments. The disdain for this design could easily apply to previous Saabs if taken literally. It’s one thing to say it’s “somewhat disappointing—-maybe they should have tweeked this or that” but to outright hate it and pan it—-would seem to indicate that some people are in a new mode now, looking for much flashier stylings than Saab has ever offered. I have no problem with a person feeling that way—-just pointing it out.

        • That the same if I told you that you most likely would feel better by folliwing a brand that communicate more, a brand with long experience with building cars and a brand that “is building” brand.
          That would be unpolite in my mind.

        • Angelo, your interpretation of the past sounds like something coming out of a brainwashed GM marketing department; i.e. ”Saabers only want bland hatchbacks”.
          Not true. Saabs sold the most when they stood out of the crowd thanks to innovative thinking. The cars of the past were no wallflowers. Someone could even make the statement the turbo models were extremely flashy and the owners loved them for it.

          The Padian design looks bold and fresh (SAAB) but I admit it’s far from perfect when it comes to practicality. This JC version on the otherhand, and I’m sorry to say this, appears boring as a VW or some other VAG product. Something you can live with but do not crave unless you’ve fallen victim for their massive ad campaigns.
          It’s much better though than the naughty Korean road Volvo has chosen.

          • RS: Not sure where you live—-but in the U.S., in the ’80s, the most “in your face” Saabs were about the furthest thing from flashy that I could think of, in comparison to most other cars on the road. They had exclusivity going for them—-might stand out because you didn’t see as many of them as you would Pontiacs, Chevys, etc. Some of them had “flashy” wheels. That’s about it. Look at what Detroit was offering—and from a “styling” standpoint, the Detroit iron was far flashier, to the point of now looking very dated. Saab has never had conservative engineering—-but the styling was functional, not flashy. The Saab 9000, flashy? Hardly. Here, we seem to have a call for style above all else in some of these posts—-or if not that—-people are just implying that this design is boring—-and when I compare it to Saabs I saw in the 80s, 90s and into the 2000s, I am not sure why this one would be more “boring” than most of the recent past—-so I conclude that tastes have changed more than anything. Like it or not, we’re in a world of 3-4 year design cycles and more radical styling exercises, like the Sonata. They’re selling like hotcakes—-many people love the swoop and swagger. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with the JC design either, as far as I can tell.

            • We must have different meanings for the words ‘flashy’ and ‘boring’. A MY13 A4/A5/A6/A8… yawn.
              Every new car design seems to be a copy of what the Germans are doing which I don’t see in the Padian cars, so I don’t know where you’re getting at by saying it’s too flashy or radical. How, in what way? The lines could become classic.

              If NEVS would come out with a bland car I suspect not many new faces would come to the brand. SAAB 2.0 IMO needs to create some buzz by being truely Saab ones again.
              We can all easily name 20-30 car models that are very, very similar. I don’t want to buy an other bar of the same soap and have all the same flaws which were non existent in the c900 and 9000 hatchbacks.

              • I love the JC design—-I don’t think it’s too flashy at all—and I certaintly don’t think it’s boring. To me, it’s a hatchback in the Saab tradition.

              • Oh, and I made no comments at all (at least I don’t think I did) about the Padian cars. I’ve been commenting about the car at the top of the page. I like it.

        • As the A5 Sportsback has shown, there is more to a hatchback than a specific tailgate. People want utility and good aerodynamics. The a5 is compromised in the former regard, as the space above the trunk, and above the back seats is somewhat shallow. I believe that the similar layout of the 9-3 concept above has raised some fears that this might become the hatchback that so many Saab drivers have pledged for, but without being a _hatchback_. From the images, I can’t tell yet.

          • Do you know what the drag coefficient is on this design is? I’m sure it’s plenty aerodynamic and my guess is that it has efficient use of space too.

            • The pictures from Autocar give you abetter impression of the cargo capabilities of the car.

            • Regarding the aerodynamics, I am pretty optimistic. That was the aspect the Phoenix was really impressive in, so evidently, JC has a good instinct for this. Space in a hatchback is largely defined by what happens when you remove the trunk cover. If there is enough space above the cover up to the rear window, you have kind of a “wagon effect”. If there is little space between the cover and the window, the space is increased only a bit (like in the A5).

  45. I think there is nothing wrong if some of us don´t recognize the JC concept as a typical Saab and prefer Simon´s concept. Not every car showing some design elements of a classic Saab with a hatchback is able to fascinate people nowadays. Perhaps a generation gap ? One should move forward and the 9XAir, AeroX and BioHybrid are some examples. I can imagine people watching those unique cars – wow, what´s that ? While the car above might get lost in the crowd. But let´s wait and see the next images.

  46. it Friends,

    I love Saab. I have been a faithful owner of many including my current 2006 9-5. My comment was erased because I didn’t feel it resembled a Saab. Not cool. I thought it resembled from some angles a es a late model Chrysler Cirrus and a 2005 passat… Why do you allow people comments if you don’t allow people to.comment honestly about it? Doesn’t make sense.

  47. Moreover this is a Saab enthusiast website. If this was a general car design site I could understand but most of us are loyal to what makes Saab unique: it’s familiar and loyal design architecture , etc. This rendering is no Saab. To ask Saab enthusiasts to roll-over and like this 9-3 rendering and then not allow people who are Saab enthusiasts to honestly comment on it is just plain wrong.

    • What is a Saab?

      • Tim,

        A SAAB- quite simply a car that doesn’t follow the mainstream design cues from mainstream manufacturers which is quite evient in this rendering.

        When you look at my 06 9-5 it is soo original that it does not connect to, or resemble other manufacturers. Yes it has an Opel/Vauxhall underpinnings but the design is so original. I do not mistake it for a Merc, Audi, or BMW, Honda, etc.

        A SAAB simply stands out in the crowd of “me-too” designs. It follows it’s own standard!
        The OG (2010-2011) 9-5 Aero is so sublimely and unmistakeably SAAB design. Unfortunately it drives like a Buick and has very lack of tactile sensation or steering feel like it’s Buick twin.
        The 9-3 estate does the same.
        The 9-3 saloon, well it looks like a Vauxhall/Opel minus the front SAAB grill.

        The blurry rendering of the 9-3 in this post looks like a mash-up between a 2005 Passat and a Chrysler Cirrus… Nothing original at all.

        • Well clearly Saab needed to do something different considering the low sales volumes?

          Wait until you get more details before you judge this car, these images show next to nothing

        • Seb: Whatever Saab has been doing, hasn’t been working well enough for them to stay in business. What they really need to do is sell cars. I always circle back to pricing that needs to be more affordable to reach far more buyers—-a smaller, less expensive Saab. But beyond that—-maybe Saab needs to compromise a bit on the “uniqueness.” They can, and hopefully will build a car that connects with Saab enthusiasts, but also creates some new ones.

  48. I’m a classic 900 fan and collector. These renderings look ugly to me and are a far cry from the original. Even the NG900 looks better to me… Saab needs to do MUCH better to be a contender.

    • This does look like the real thing however its from the very early stage of the design… lot of alterations were made after this one.

      • With all due respect Tim, I beg to differ. But feel free to enlighten us…

        • Why do you beg to differ?

          I mean Tim has already said many times, that we will present the final design, directly from the hands of JC, this means we know how the last loop of the design looks like.

          The pictures that Autocar is showing, are the same that P4West showed last week, but this time with a better resolution.

        • I agree with Tim after looking at all the details. Yes the form is the same, but details especially with lights and the articulation around the grille etc is different.

    • I think Autocar was a bit wrong in predicting a 4.5 Metre length. At least 4.75 M is probably closer. Autocar’s suggestion that the NG9-5 was only intended to have a very short lifespan was interesting. I guess when the NG9-3 debuted, the race would’ve been on to get a new 9-5 on Phoenix. Getting away from GM licensing fees was probably quite a high priority.

  49. Friends,

    Regarding the comment that Saab did not sell well because of its design, etc had nothing to do with the design of the vehicle. Many people hate the kidney grill and design of the BMW. But BMW sells well because it’s marketing has been brilliant over the last 25 years. BMW stayed true to its core principles whether you agree with it or not. . Saab, well that’s a different story.

    Saab’s marketing was not consistent. First it was based on safety and durability. Then the “Move your Mind” rubbish. Then the born from jets rubbish. Saab owners are some of the most educated and lettered folks around. Keep it simple with a consistent message on what Saab does well. Saab lost its way because of it’s marketing and bloated price structure which was diluted by GM’s mainstreaming of the brand.

    • Seb: BMW has also sold a lot of cars because they are fun to drive (I’m thinking of the 3 Series) and have a tremendous resale value (Saab’s resale has always been soft in the U.S., or at least is has been during the GM era). I don’t think there are any surveys that back up what you say about people hating BMW’s kidney grill—in fact, it’s iconic. And automotive publications consistently rate the BMWs at the top of their respective classes.