What happened to IQon?

In march 2011 SWAN Saab presented themselves on the Geneva Motor Show as a new company with lots of ideas and new pieces of technology that they wanted to implement in their future cars. For those nostalgic among us, you can review the press conference here.

Jason Castriota showed with the PhoeniX concept car, where the post GM Saab design was heading to. Now, two years later, SaabsUnited is bringing to you the design of the first offspring of that design language. This car will never hit the road, but from the comments on this side on designs that still do not show the final product, my impression is that this car had the potential to help Saab get back on its foot.

One of the technology pieces that would have put Saab back ahead of other companies is the eAAM electric rear axle. From their presentation on the Geneva Motor Show we learned that the Chinese Qoros will be using it but not on its full potential, as we learned that Qoros will not implement torque vectoring in its car. I don’t like the idea of Audi telling the world in 2014 or 2015 that their eQuattro system is the first electric rear axle with torque vectoring, as we know that eAAM could have been today ready for production.

The other piece of technology that Saab demonstrated at the Geneva Motor Show was the IQon infotainment system.

IQon was an Android based infotainment system. It was like the flexibility of a modern Smartphone or tablet combined with the car integration of a legacy infotainment system. Being this such a promising system, what happened to it after the Saab bankruptcy?

Not much is known about it, but in December of last year an article appeared on the Swedish car industry publication Automotive Sweden about a company called Swedspot.


Swedspot was founded in February 2012 by 6 guys that worked at Saab Automobile on the IQon system. And since then they’ve been working on the system.

According to a recent interview from Ttela.se with Helen Falkås, business developer and founder of Swedspot, they have contacts with both suppliers and car companies. And TTela adds that they had seen the names of NEVS and Volvo on a whiteboard, and yes they also had contacts to Qoros.

IQon is not dead, but it will not be called IQon anymore, and we will se it or parts of it in some brands in the next car generation (in 3-4 years).

We have seen that in march 2011 SAAB presented what the future of Saab could have been. The creators of that have managed to continue their visions in a self-founded company, and now we have proof, that the car industry have interest in those vision.

This shows us, that Saab people have never been a company man, and where able to do more in a small organisation rather than on a global corporation like GM.

I wish all those small companies that have been created in Trollhättan in the last year all of the luck, and wish that part of this knowledge and quirkiness finds its way back to the Saab cars of the future.

9 thoughts on “What happened to IQon?”

  1. Am I the only driver in the World who thinks that playing with a touch screen whilst trying to drive might not be the best of new ideas?

    • jond,
      that is the reason why people like Sweedspot create a system based on Android and do not just use the tablet OS as is.

    • Nope, you’re not alone!
      Eyes one the road, not on your touchscreen.

      I also wonder how many cars will be bricked when the touchscreen stops working.

      • You know, the point isn’t anymore if you like a touchscreen or not, I think you will find those more and more in cars in the next years. But how the human interface is designed. Will you be able to use simple functions without even looking at it? Will the software inhibit some kind of apps that demand to much attention from you? Will it be able to delay information, so the driver isn’t overloaded with less important information?

        This is the task from Sweedpoint, and I think they are doing their Job right. But as always, we can only judge the final product.

        • Absolutely.

          And it can be combined with a HUD as was the case with the 9-5. When driving into unfamiliar territory, nothing beats getting those directions up on the windshield. My eyes rarely leave the road these days.

          Take away the touchscreen and people will get distracted by their mobile phones instead. Take away their mobile phones, and before you know it they will cover their entire dashboard with a fold-out map. That is, if they are even into navigation. If they’re simply bored they’ll whip out the newspaper and start reading that instead.

          Technology saves lives when used correctly. Just as some folks refuse to use seat belts, some will refuse to give up their morning newspaper. I strongly doubt a touchscreen is going to make the situation any worse.

          • Most touchscreen functions on my factory Toyota navigation system become disabled when the car begins to move. Manufacturers are petrified of being sued. Now, there are many times when I’ve had a passenger in the car who could have input the information into the system while I was driving—-but it seems Toyota isn’t taking any chances. With litigation so easy—-it’s low hanging fruit to sue an automaker for an accident that kills someone, if they’ve equipped the vehicle with an “infotainment touch screen system” that distracted the driver, leading to the accident that killed someone.

  2. Good writing RedJ. That is what we hope to see again in the future Saab cars.
    It is indeed the mentality and inspiration of the employees at Saab which made these cars special and hope the future Saabs will be special as well.
    It is a must to survive in the world of the biggies where all cars do like more or less the same.

  3. Probably too late. I believe that Apple will be heading in a same direction. After they did not buy Saab (:-( ), I still believe that they are interested in a better car integration. This will probably not be a built-in system like IQon, but a refined interface to their existing iOS devices. Plug an iPhone into a dashboard mount, and have the data transferred back and forth between the car electronics and the iPhone (or iPad). I strongly believe that people will prefer this approach over having to learn, support and update two different devices (iPhone _and_ built-in control device).

    (I acknowlegde that there are other smartphone operating systems out there. It is just that Apple is the only company of which I had heard corresponding activity).

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