Saab PhoeniX has made its first flight

The PhoeniX is out there.

I’ve been scouring the comments and it seems the car has created some controversy, which is just what a design concept should do.

My lesson, as always – try to see it in person.

I’m processing a whole heap of photos and there’s more to be taken. In the meantime, here’s the obligatory hug, as well as some video from Victor Muller and Jason Castriota, about 2 minutes before the press conference…..

Someone actually tries to stop the hug, but they were quickly educated πŸ™‚



59 thoughts on “Saab PhoeniX has made its first flight”

  1. The more I look at this, the more I pick up some little details that make it magnificent …. the care/attention for detail on Jason’s part has been outstanding …

    fantastic using the old plane SAAB logo

  2. I think it’s a little too busy, and the beltline should be lower to improve visibility (or the greenhouse taller), but it’s good overall. Concept will always be a little cartoonish.

  3. I like it alot… theres many detalj i like in it..
    especially the structure, for example the windshield, how its more vertical and gets flat on top, look at the video!
    to give some critics, i think the grillparts could needed some more work.. but i like the way the hood are rounded in front down to the grill.. its like our old saab 95 i remeber from childhood πŸ™‚

  4. The new concept is amazing. And the new 9-5 Sportcombi is hopefully my family’s next car.

    But, all these new cars aside;

    Swade is a freakin’ rockstar! πŸ˜€

    • yes, a rock star…. but now he will have to clean the windscreen from his own fingerprints ….. shame on you Swade

  5. “…you could anticipate this (PhoeniX) car turning in in a production SONETT…”

    This should help those who are shocked by the design to put this concept car in a certain perspective.
    It’s a SPORT CAR design study.
    We should keep calm, the next 9-3 will be more acceptable for those who are panicking right now πŸ™‚

    Love your coolness btw Swade ! You really had a calming effect on those two little excited nervous boys just before presenting our new toy πŸ™‚

  6. If this baby (PhoeniX/Sonett) ever comes out Daddy will get himself a new toy. No need to look at SLK’s, Boxter’s and the likes ever again.

  7. …something i have always thinking about in the subjekt cardesign, is how it have been so important with the grilldesign (RR have its tempel, volvo theres diagonal… for ex)
    Saab have always struggle with this, i never liked the one strarted on the 900, i think they finally get it right on the 9X- concept, but basically i think theres no need, i think the form of each car should be there for itself.. and one of the singnificant designpersonallities of a saab can be the lack of an similar grilldesign.. πŸ™‚

    This car schould really benefit from not have that mouth

  8. I’m still in shock!

    Great video, Swade. That picture of you hugging it shows how similar the front end is to the new 9-5 – i.e. it looks like a Saab πŸ™‚

  9. Geez…how on earth could you want to give this stuff up, Swade??

    A brilliant design. Well done to Jason and team πŸ™‚

  10. Nice concept indeed, it gives Saab a new design way and a real “shell hood” that reminds 99.

  11. Goodness me, that looks like a TRUE concept and I love it. So daring and so controversial. The paint job is exquisite!

    I need to see a video of the actual unveiling, I would love to see the crowd/press reaction!

  12. Daring and dashing!!!! I know it is a real SAAB by the reactions of the meat-and-potato gang on Autoblog’s “leave a comment”, they are horrified of course.

    Of course it is cartoonish, but look closer and you will recognize many SAAB features, even some AeroX stuff.

    Love it for an elegant showpiece, production models will of course have significant changes mainly to improve
    visibility and avoid bystander impalement by the roof protuberances:)

    • It almost seems like they are built on the same car. They say it is based on the nng9-3 but it could also have been based on the Spyker.

      I’m sticking with my previous verdict; I hate this design study…

        • To be fair to Dejjo, there is some similarity in overall shape and mass, but not sure how much this is coincedence. Doubt JC would model on a Spkyer deliverately and doubt VM would interfere with his design other than in a general sense.

    • Come on, Dejjo! Check out this picture of the AERO-X. You think that Victor was involved in that as well? :-/
      You can hate it or like it… But I refuse to believe that Jason Castriota was instructed by Victor Muller to design this unique concept!
      By the way, did I mention that I love the Phoenix ? πŸ™‚

      • While i do respect everybody’s opinion and do thin that some bits of the car are very nice it’s not a SAAB its Spyker design with a SAAB badge. I’m sorry if people get mad at that statement but it’s just the way I feel. Just look at the inside, I don’t see any green just Dutch orange (You can’t convince that’s red) No doubt that Jason is very talented, but that has Victor written all over.
        There is not comparing the Aero X with this. The Aero X is clean and really shows what SAAB is about, clean lines, Scandinavian design and SAAB DNA with a rear that I could not confuse with anything else.
        I’m really happy that you like it, but I and many others just don’t see the connection with SAAB DNA. I must say that I love the way that they don’t go retro, but still you have to keep the SAAB cues even if it is a concept.

          • Sure, the Phoenix could, according to Jason, be a new Sonett and according to Saab the front of the Phoenix pretty much is the front of the new 9-3.

            But at the same time it’s not about muscular lines or about a hole in the hood, it’s about the return of the hatchback, about driver-oriented cockpits, about aerodynamics, about innovative technology and about interesting LED-techniques.

            The Phoenix shows Saab’s conceptual future – it doesn’t show the look of future Saabs.

  13. Oh my God I love this concept! Sorry…. I LOVE THIS CONCEPT!
    Even my Volvo-loving collegues are impressed by the PhoeniX and my Apple-loving collegues are impressed by the iQon! Btw, Can I order a NG 9-3 today? πŸ˜€

  14. Very interesting design, not sure I like it 100%, though. Some things I like – semi clamshell hood, front, rims, break light with old logo, iphone (!?) app…. Some I don’t – If there is a real aerodynamic difference with the “wings”, clean scandinavian design???, Saab DNA???, red (why?) interior lights, the 80’s rear…
    Again, a concept will test reactions and keep us curious, so all-in-all, well done…

  15. I like elements of it, absolutely. But as a whole…I’m not sure. Maybe if I see it in person some day. And yes…I’m aware it’s a concept. πŸ˜‰

    It will be interesting how future cars will look from this.

  16. “Saab has stated already they don’t plan to build this concept. Which is a shame.”

    From Jalopnik

  17. I’m not particularly moved by this design. And no, I wont bring in the whole “this is not what Saab is all about argument”, because frankly at a time like this Saab should be daring and pushing the envelope even if it means overstepping it at times. But back to the design itself, I am pleased with the grill, the rear is pretty “cool” for a lack of a better description (reminiscent of the AeroX and Sonett) as well as the silhouette and stance of the car. However, there are way too many tacky features, bells and whistles that make it seem bulky and busy. The worst are the wings on the side of the car, which are a true design travesty. I hope this is not a sign of things to come. Personally I was always worried about the relationship between Castriota and Saab, since Italian design has always been somewhat flashy and eye catching whereas Saab’s focus has been more on the smooth and subtle.

    Now I really have my fingers crossed for the unavailing of the new 9-3. Hopefully one design aspect does not overpower the other and the 9-3 is given the invigorating thrust it needs, but not to the point where it is unrecognizable.

    • However, there are way too many tacky features, bells and whistles that make it seem bulky and busy. The worst are the wings on the side of the car, which are a true design travesty.

      I couldn’t have said it better myself. AeroX was also a concept car, but a very SAAB concept car, which made it a SAAB even if you covered up all the SAAB logo’s. This is too much batmobile. I can’t figure out how this can be the result with all the “true SAAB DNA”-talk. This is true Night Rider DNA. Honestly guys, if you removed all the SAAB badges on Phoenix (isn’t that the hood bird on a Pontiac btw?), can you really tell thats a SAAB? Sorry for all the complaining. Everything else around SAAB is going so well πŸ™‚

  18. Question for Steven, Red and maybe even Robin M πŸ˜‰ How has the press reacted so far?


  19. All my congratulations to Saab and their hard working teams making such amazing efforts!!! πŸ™‚ (in all fields!)
    And then: Hopefully this concept-car are showing some (to many) ways to go in the sense that only some off them will be chosen and followed up in future cars.

  20. I really want to like this concept car, but I just can’t. This design isn’t Scandinavian at all IMHO and I hope the production 9-3 will get much cleaner lines. The Phoenix doesn’t even have a proper “hockey stick”.

  21. AWESOME, AWSOME!!! AND……..

    GREAT VIDEO!!! I am ready to hire you as a director! You will have to learn to keep you hand out of the shot before you can be a shooter!!!

    The content awesome…..good work!

    And the car!!! Stunning! CAR&DRIVER has it on line already and it is stunning! I like Jason… I love his work for Saab. VM was certainly brilliant in signing him up, and he is a yank, New Yorker Saab enthusiast….what more could we want!!

    Have fun over there mate and stay warm.

    take a look at our new launch


  22. It’s got really nice eye-lashes! πŸ™‚ Actually the car seen from the front speaks volumes.

    Much more can’t really be seen/drawn from other angles on a teardrop design like this. I mean, come on, it doesn’t have a real c-pillar. Saabs *after* the Ursaab IMO basically *are* beautiful c-pillars – after Saab followed (?) other car makers away from the teardrop design. And yet…

    This concept has … wings, and a bird tail! It brings the UR-Saab tail-and-“c-pillar” back together, and imho shows that in the Saab language (from now on?) it’s the whole behind that is important – back to the hatchback in other words, but back even more, to the roots.

  23. I not only like it, but am happy we have a design to talk about a year after the acquisition.

  24. I have a rightsized garage for this baby! πŸ™‚

    Can’t wait to see the new 9-3 – and I noted that VM called it exacly that, so there…

    I agree with those who says that the PhoeniX design is too busy to be truly scandinavian, but I trust that the production cars will be more focused. Oh and they will turn heads πŸ˜›

  25. VERY promising indeed (for a new Sonett) πŸ™‚ I like that interpretation of the teardrop – so surprising and talented.!

    I would like to have the wings explained – do they have a function or is this solely a design feature?

  26. So many details in this car that I really love, the lines on the hood and the design of the front end is fantastic!

    Although not a fan of the pontiac like styling of the tailights, i love the shape and the integration of the little lip spoiler and the overal sonnett shape.

    There are a lot of great things happening here, I can’t wait to see how this language translates into production.

    There is no ignoring this car!

    • With that said I’d like to see a production car a little cleaner but this is a concept and it should be bold.

  27. What an AWESOME picture of you hugging the PhoeniX, Swade! πŸ˜€

    Great mini-interviews, too!

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