My mate over at Auto Motor and Sport, Par Brandt, has trumped me with the Jason Castriota interview, speaking with him over dinner last night in Trollhattan. Hopefully, I’ll catch up with Jason next week and finish off our chat, then it’ll be a race to the presses *insert evil grin here*
Par’s been on the phone back to his office in Stockholm, however, and they do have some preview information ahead of their next issue.
Cue the Googletrans!
AMS: Hello! How are you doing in Trollhattan?
PB: Thank you, OK. Right now I’m in the new 9-3 since featuring 180 hp, and yesterday I met Jason Castriota, Saab’s new and actually very charming design director. He was extremely eloquent and probably the best PR man Saab could get. His value can not be overstated, especially when it comes to marketing Saab in the U.S. market. But Saab is aware of this and he will be used extensively in public relations context.
AMS: What did he say – he revealed some secrets?
PB: He said almost too much … He said among other things, that he currently is completing the next generation 9-3. It is in “wind-tunnel-stage”, they are therefore on the aerodynamics testing, which means that it will take about two years before it is available on the market.
Then we talked a lot about Saab’s new design language and how he sees the design. And about how his approach to the design suits Saab. The funny thing is that he is an extreme Saab geek. His parents drove a Saab when he was little, and when he had been driving his mother went out and bought a 900 for him.
AMS: What have been the plans for Saab?
PB: Yes, he’s actually almost already pushed through what he had set out – namely, to take back the rear hatch. So we can expect a hatchback and a halvkomib, but besides these he has two models for the pipline, but which ones I reveal in the story that comes in auto motor & sport for future issues.
AMS: Okay, but what do you have to say about the new 119-gram then?
PB: Well, it’s nice, it works just like a regular TTiD. Spontaneous do people find no difference, more than that it has a bit sweet time when starting the engine, but as soon as it starts rolling it is completely silent. It is therefore classified environment has a carbon dioxide emissions of 119 g / km, consumption is 4.5 litres/100 km. It is very comfortable on the highway, the 110 m/h stands at 1750 yards. It has a lot of torque to 400 Nm. On the whole it feels very relaxed.
Are there any exterior difference?
PB: No, it looks just as usual, but after the new year comes a face lift for it to survive two more years, before the next generation will come.
AMS: Why no [TTiD] for the Combi? (I think this is what it’s saying – SW)
PB: Saab’s very aware that this is a problem in our combi-loving Sweden, so they’re working really hard to get it out. Rumor I have heard that carbon emissions are now at 122 grams per kilometer, so there are 2 grams before they are ready.
AMS: What happens more today in Trollhattan?
PB: First, I’ll run some more, then I see Saab’s engineers to talk a bit more on the elaboration and the engine itself. But more on that in the test drive coming in the next issue. (No. 22 in stores on October 21.)