More photos and video from Geneva 2011

Well, let’s start with the fun stuff, shall we?

From Swisstroll, we have our inimitable host, Swade, along with Jason Castriota and Golfhunter.  Looks like they’re having a good time!!



I laughed out loud at the photo from Golfhunter. It’s certainly not the Saab 9-5, which I may add, looks absolutely magnificent in this color — Java Brown. Can you guess why I laughed?

That’s right! I chuckled at this picture because one can clearly see the Opel and the Subaru logo and banner, respectively. They both had a shot at being closely related to Saab, and neither was able to make it work. There, right in front of them, is this gleaming 9-5, full of potential and energy. I guess that you could call it schadenfreude. (Of course, Subaru is on a roll of their own, but it’s still an odd juxtaposition.)

In another bit of fun at someone else’s expense, check out the write up over at Autoblog on the Chris Bangle/Jason Castriota confrontation as noted in these pages yesterday. Hint: one of the designers was called out for “hassling” the other. I’ll let you be the judge.

We’ll wrap up with a one-minute long review of the new Saab 9-5 as posted by MotorsTV France.   Good capture.

Well, it turned out that it was all fun stuff. Who knew? 😉

Saab 9-3 Griffin – a closer look

UPDATE added at the end (Red J)

Saab had a 9-3 Griffin SportCombi at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and I thought it’d be good to share a few images illustrating some of the new details on this car.

The car on display was a TTiD with big labels showing the sub-120g/km status of the vehicle – a real plus given that it’s the practical SportCombi model. Prior to the Geneva show, this favourable emissions status was only available with the Sport Sedan.

There’s a little confusion with this car as to which model it actually is. It’s badged as a regular Griffin rather than as an Aero model, but has a mix of both regular and Aero features.

The very attractive wheels are from the Aero….

…. as are the sports seats. Note the new textured look on the seats with the horizontal lines (it looks a bit like a horizontal bamboo). It’s a small change that makes a very nice difference.

The front foglight surrounds have the same shape as the Aero model, without the bling. Of course, the shape of the foglight surround is closer to the 9-5 shape now and the bottom of the air intake is colored the same as the car.

The rear features a prominent Saab wordmark in place of the Griffin badge.

The interior of the car does feature the Titanium instrument panel which is only available for the Griffin as an option and not for the Griffin Aero.

I’ve made those two pictures, but they are not that good, sorry. At least you can see the surface material and the missing silver line around the instrument panel.

Video: Jason Castriota talks to the press

This one has been posted in comments several times but I haven’t had time to get it on to the front page until now.

Jason Castriota had a meeting with various members of the press (no, I wasn’t there) during day 1 of the Geneva Show and talked about the Phoenix Concept.

The audio isn’t that great, but it’s still worth watching.

The guy complimenting Jason at the beginning of the video and then leaving the room is Dan Neil, formerly of the LA Times and now of the Wall Street Journal. Jason goes on to speak about how much of the PhoeniX concept we’ll see in future Saabs, specifically the front end going through to the Saab 9-3 replacement (“the new 9-3”, though I don’t think that name is confirmed).

He goes on to talk about the fact that three body styles have been confirmed and that he wants to do at least two more. The Convertible is one of them and there will be a hatchback, too.



Video: Saab IQon system

Christopher McKinnon was kind enough to give me a walk-through of the Saab IQon system today at the Geneva Motor Show.

There’s no working system in a car here in Geneva (there are some being tested in Trollhattan at the moment, as you’ll hear) but Chris was able to use the video posted yesterday to give a brief explanation as to how the system will work.

It might pay to watch the official IQon video first…..



And here’s Chris to help explain what all that will mean for Saab owners in the very near future…..



Day 2 at the Geneva Motor Show

Good morning from a very chilly but pleasant Geneva.

I’ve just shot an iQon video with Christopher McKinnon and I think you will like what you hear about the iQon system. It’s very exciting indeed. I’m processing that now and will have it up on Youtube and here at SU as soon as possible.

RedJ is getting detailed shots of the Saab 9-5 SportCombi and will bring you all those details later on today. I’ll be working on the Independence Edition 9-3 Convertible.


The Saab stand had a distinguished visitor here first thing this morning. “Radical” was his description, and he meant that in a very good way.

For those who are more recent arrivals to Saabs United, that’s Christian Von Koenigsegg taking a look at the PhoeniX Concept. The Koenigsegg Group were the first to negotiate a purchase of Saab from General Motors before the deal was cancelled in November 2009.


More to come later today.

Day 1 at the Geneva Motor Show – the summary

It’s only around 6 hours until day 2 starts, but I can’t help but sit back in wonder at everything that happened today.

I know some people are keen to hear about the other vehicles on the Saab stand, but today really belonged to the PhoeniX Concept and I can’t apologise for the constant coverage of the car.

I will get to the other vehicles tomorrow, including more detail on the Saab 9-5 wagon.


We finished the day with a great dinner in central Geneva. It was a great dinner because of the collection of people gathered there. It nearly wasn’t a great dinner because of the traffic in Geneva, which made us around an hour late.

So much for Swiss planning and efficiency. We rarely travelled more then 40 meters before having to stop for a red light somewhere in the distance. Incredible.

The great thing about dinner – there were eight people present, and between us, the collective Saab ownership count was 28 cars 🙂


I got a look around some other exhibitions at the Geneva Show today and I refuse to let the traffic in the city dampen my enthusiasm for what is an incredible car show. It is without doubt the classiest and best motor show I’ve ever attended. So many great manufacturers in a perfectly proportioned space.

Some points:

  • Matte finishes are the new black, or white, or whatever the latest thing is. They were every where and in all sorts of colors, too.
  • I think the Alfa Romeo 4C will end up being best-in-show. It was absolutely outstanding and like it’s bigger brother, the 8C, the new 4C will see production. Ray Wert from Jalopnik did his entire day’s work sitting next to me at the Saab stand today and he couldn’t help but sing love songs about the 4C all day.
  • I will try to get photos tomorrow, but the Koenigsegg Agera R also looked awesome (also finished in matte – white). CvK and Bard Eker had matching white “Speed Racer” uniforms 🙂
  • Lars Carlstrom from the Genii group, who also tried to acquire Saab, was present at the show today. It was great to meet him.
  • US sales data was released today and it met their current target for this month (just over 700 vehicles delivered). Too low.
  • Sentiments from the various national executives I met today were what I would call realistically positive. They are seeing a genuine upswing in interest, but they know they have a long road to climb in order to win back the attention of customers. New products are going to be key to this.
  • If you haven’t seen the Chris Bangle vs Jason Castriota video yet, it’s must-see viewing. I think Jason handled himself exceptionally well.
  • ——

    Thanks for all your comments throughout the day today. We had so much interaction here, the server blew up and had to be reset by my incredibly supportive host in Australia – a 2am Aussie time. is their name and I’m not shy about thanking them or recommending Andrew’s services.


    I fully expected to hear some negative sentiment in comments and we definitely got some of that.

    It’s a beautiful thing, too. This PhoeniX concept is meant to create discussion about what’s going on, what are the reasons for it, etc.

    The more I’ve looked at it and the more I’ve absorbed the feedback on it, the greater the pride I feel in Saab’s efforts and those of Jason Castriota, the Saab Design team and the Saab executive.

    Make no mistake, people. Pledging to complete and show this design so early was a very courageous decision and I comment all concerned.


    Some photos from today, around various parts of the Geneva show….. lots of matte colors there.

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