Wednesday Night Quick Snippets

Jetlag and workload have played their part in tiring out this puppy. I’m bushed.

There’s still some more to come, though. I’m on my way to Sweden tomorrow, where I’ll drop in some more Tim Tams to Peter at the museum, then I head back home. I’m processing one more video now (a quick look around the Geneva Show) and the next entries about PhoeniX and the Independence Edition will come over the next few days.

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There’s a poll over at Autoweek, asking which show car is your favourite. In an exhibition of pointless sentimentalism, the VW Microbus is currently leading the field (the Microbus looked pretty average to me, not at all reminiscent of the real deal).

Feel free to cast your vote.

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A little more press coverage on the PhoeniX…..

From Spiegel Online:

The Swedish brand Saab, which fought a year ago for survival was in Geneva a real surprise: Revealed was a spectacularly styled coupé with the evocative name Phoenix. “We want to provoke,” says Saab’s designers Jason Castriota.

And there’s a glowing study of the PhoeniX at Expressen (yes, a Swedish paper getting excited – woohoo!):

On one level recalls Phoenix, this extremely muscular, aerodynamic sports car, the manufacturer’s model 92 001 in 1947, designed by Sixten Sason when SAAB began to broaden its production from airplanes to cars. But on another level carries its evocative curves promises of a future science fiction world.

At the same time nostalgic and futuristic Phoenix is an incredibly bold demonstration of Saab’s confidence in its brand name and its future success in the market.

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Hemmings ponder the rise of the airplane logo – yes, it was very much noticed.

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Video to come later.

SW

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.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeJ_QMcIsuE

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More Saab ink from the Geneva Auto Show 2011

Once again, to augment the very capable and welcome coverage from Geneva by our own Swade and RedJ, I bring you the following links and information from around the internet.  Enjoy!

 

Via MusicforaNurse on Twitter:  I think the Saab PhoeniX hit the mark!

 

Take a look at the excellent photos from our good friend Golfhunter.  Well done, Jeff!

 

I am glad to see a little love for the new 9-5 SportCombi from Autoblog.  They call it “one sharp cargo-hauler”, and I tend to agree:

Autoblog photo of 9-5 SportCombi in Geneva

More 9-5 SportCombi photos from Autoblog may be found here.

 

Venerable auto media giant Motor Trend weighs in with a reminder that Phoenix was a Pontiac compact in the ’70’s and ’80’s, but certainly gives credit where it is due, saying, “The car may be a bit busy, but it is gorgeous…”

 

Wired magazine has a great post entitled “Saab’s Surprisingly Slick PhoeniX Hybrid” that, not surprisingly, details as much about the Google-Android-based IQon system as does about the car overall.  I love this bit:

Saab floored a lot of people at the Geneva auto show with the Phoenix, a slick gas-electric concept that provides a glimpse of the automaker’s future now that Spyker’s taken over from General Motors.

 

James Bell, correspondent for USA Today, says this in a very short article:

Just 12 months ago, Saab was on the verge of liquidation. Today, they are a perfect example of the spirit and energy seen in people and companies poised for growth in the post-meltdown era.

USA Today also takes issue with the fanciful prose from the Saab press kit.  I might agree….

 

Britain’s What Car? goes under the skin to explore the underpinnings of the Saab PhoeniX with our Jan-Åke Jonsson.

Jonsson insists that the new architecture is essential to Saab’s independence (it was sold by General Motors just over a year ago) and, although expensive, will ultimately save money.

‘We will be able to use the same powertrains in all our vehicles and build them in the same plant (Trollhattan in Sweden), so there are lots of benefits,’ he said.

 

Cars.com likes the Saab PhoeniX overall, but they dislike the winglets on either side of the roof.  WARNING: “Q” word in use!

 

Swade, RedJ, Golfhunter, Robin, et al: enjoy Switzerland, keep sending information!

Press Reaction to the Saab PhoeniX Concept

Swade, RedJ and Golfhunter all in the same room with Victor Muller.  In Switzerland. Jealousy knows no bounds.  Hoist one for me, gents.  I’m headed to Green Bay, Wisconsin today, which could actually be the antithesis of Geneva.  For me it is, anyway.

For the rest of us, we rely on the word of others to describe what they see at events like this one.  Here are a few of the people writing about the Saab PhoeniX as unveiled today:

– From Car and Driver:   I love this new phrase coined in the C&D write-up:  “Saabnitive Dissonance”. This heading seems to describe the departures from the Saab norm; they point out that Jason Castriota’s roots at Ferrari signal a departure from history and that the design is not your typical Saab.

On the flip side, they, too, note the Pontiac-ish tail lights.

– From TopGear: “Think of this Saab as the T-1000 of concept cars, only with less duplicitous pointy-metal-finger death and more economy. ”

– From Car Magazine: “[Jason Castriota] called the new language ‘Aeromotional’.  But we see plenty of hallmarks of Castriota’s work at Bertone, mashed up with references to Saab’s past.”

Car Magazine also calls the PhoeniX “one of the few genuine surprises of the Geneva show”.

– From AutoExpress: “The future is looking bright for Saab. In the boldest statement yet of its new-found confidence, the Swedish giant took the wraps off this stunning sports car concept at the Geneva Motor Show”

– From TopSpeed: ” Back in 2006 Saab impressed the world with the launch of the Aero-X, a concept considered a piece of art back then. But now, five years later Saab wants to amaze us once again. And they did with the launch at the Geneva Motor Show of the new Phoenix, a concept car that previews the design language of next generation of Saab cars. You have to admit, if the future Saab models will look anything like this, then the company will really raise from its own ashes, like the Phoenix bird did.”

– From the New York Times: “‘We did it to show we could, to show that we are here to stay,’ said Victor Muller, Saab’s chief executive, in an interview.”

– From Motor Authority:  “clean, muscular shape” and “a 2+2 cabin that blends simplicity with technology”

– From Kilometer Magazine: “The Phoenix is simply stunning, and we expect that while a sport coupe might not be Saab’s first priority, the face, some of the surfacing, and hopefully the dot-matrix taillights will make it to future production models. While looking thoroughly modern, the PhoeniX also looks very Saab and it even evokes the Sonett with its short, stubby rear end. New design languages always need a buzzword and the one for this new look is ‘Aeromotional.'”

– From NetCarShow: A very no-nonsense, workman-like description.  Almost like they just copied the press kit or something. ;-).  Worthy of mention because of the fantastic gallery of Saab PhoeniX photos posted on the page.

– From Jalopnik:  They invite you to “check out the hot, sexy Swedish action of the exterior”.

Finally, from Swedish Radio, an excellent series of photographs from the Saab Phoenix unveiling are located here.

Saab PhoeniX Concept in pictures

OK. My camera blew up two-thirds of the way into today’s proceedings so I haven’t got a whole heap of photos. And guess who left his charger back at the house (here in Geneva)…..

But here’s a quick photographic tour of the Saab PhoeniX Concept. It catches some of the great little features on this car.

I’ll take a bucketload more tomorrow and I’m also doing a video tour around the car with Jason Castriota.

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The crowd reaction was interesting.

The crowd was pretty big. Opel had the press conference immediately before Saab and even while the Opel conference was still going, the crowd was building 5-deep at Saab.

I was expecting a large ovation when the car was unveiled but the reaction was a lot quieter than I expected. That’s not a bad thing. The reaction was very positive, but I think a lot of people were really having to do what we had to do – take it all in and get used to it.

The car was almost immediately set upon by the crowd and it’s been extremely busy at the Saab stand all day ever since.

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Read moreSaab PhoeniX Concept in pictures

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