Now that the CGI images from Jason Castriota have had chance to circulate a little more, we’ve had time to really start to study what Saab details he chose to celebrate. For me, my favorite part is the side profile and back. I even love the controversial ducktail and its connection to the 900. To start out, I wanted to see what would happen if we put a set of my favorite black Hirsch wheels on it to see what it might look like.
After the break we’ll see have some more fun with photoshop and Jason’s 9-3.
When I look at the rear profile of Jason’s 9-3 more, I can instantly see a connection to the model it replaces with the shoulder line and its proportion to the tail light which also has a NG 9-3 shape, which leans back. To show you more, I took the rear spoiler off.
I actually like both spoiler and non-spoiler versions, but obviously the downforce that the spoiler adds is welcome at high speed. When you look at older Saabs next to Jason’s, you can really see how he not only applies the light bar of the NG 9-5 and NG 900 refresh, but spaces the spoiler further away and tricks the eye into seeing the proportions of the original 900, all while integrating the new shoulder into the back. It’s pretty fantastic in my opinion.
Keep in mind this is a near-premium priced car, not a 911 fighter, so an electronic spoiler isn’t exactly in the budget. If it was you might have the best of both worlds, NG 9-5 and 9-3 trunk look with a spoiler that activates and reminds you of older Saabs. You’ll also see the LED headlights I adapted from the last exercises, and I moved the hood/bonnet line over to hide it towards the middle of the car. After seeing them, Jason told me that they were actually part of the plan, but expense was keeping them out. We’ll have more from Jason later this week at the New York International Auto Show. Here’s another image from a different angle.
And one more without the red light bar from the NG 9-5 and 9-4x, seeing as they won’t be around much longer and just for fun and out of curiosity. Again, I don’t have a favorite, just trying to see options.
At this point, I remembered an image I had worked on that was actually an adaptation of someone else’s photoshop way back in 2011 when Jason’s Phoenix concept first came out to guess the form of the 9-3. When I put the two side by side again, it was pretty amazed how well they fit together, and the chopped one could actually make a great little 9-2 to sit aside Jason’s 9-3 and the UrSaab for size and formal comparison.
One reason I was so happy to see the back of Jason’s 9-3 was it meant the return of what I feel are the only proper modern tail lamps, as I mentioned, ones that lean back. Here’s a graphic that explains it.
The green lines that are backslashes in the image are the traditional Saab angle, and the red forward slash of the NG 9-5 made a break with that tradition, which also meant that the bumper panel met the tail light at a new awkward point. As much as the new 9-5 received buckets of praise for its design, I have to say this back area has always looked clumsy to me.
Now, I know that detail doesn’t seem like that huge a deal in the scheme of things, but for someone scrutinizing every detail of these cars and really looking for Saab DNA, I have to give Jason’s car the clear nod. If you want to see what a 9-4x looks like with the lights turned the right way, here’s a quick but crude photoshop. See any 9-5 wagon in there?
Finally, in case you missed it in the other thread’s comments, I slapped an NG 9-5’s face onto Jason’s concept. You’ll notice I moved the hood line too to a more 9-X biohybrid line where it bifurcates the headlight. It reinforces the fact that I’m happy to see the Aero-X face retire. I hope NEVS can embrace a new front graphic design, and I hope Jason’s is the basis for it.
We’ll have more insight about the design process from Jason as I said this week from New York. As you can see from the images above, dissecting all the details of his 9-3 reveal an intense connection to Saab’s core DNA, and I certainly hope that we can see this car adapted to NEVS’s future for Saab.