IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The liquid metal paint and thin seats of the Saab PhoeniX

If you have checked out my page dedicated to future Saab car, then you know that in addition to loving my Saab 9-5, I also take an interest in future Saab cars and technology. And so I would like to share with you a few points from an interview the Norwegian newspaper VG did with Jason Castriota at the Geneva Motor Show.

First of all, in the interview Castriota tells us that the fantastic paint used on the PhoeniX concept will be available for the public in six months to a year. I assume that it will be a very expensive paint (the PhoneX needed fourteen layers of paint!), and maybe this will be part of a customer individualization program by Saab? The Spyker sports cars are tangible proof that Victor Muller knows exclusivity and premium feel.

Secondly, in the interview Castriota reveals that Saab is working on developing thinner seats. Seats that not only will be lighter, but also will give better leg room for the rear passengers. Doesn't that sound like a typical Saab "invention" that is both practical and smart? And please, if the seats will look anything like the ones in the PhoeniX, then bring em on!

Click below to read the full interview in English.

This smart is the new Saab

The grille on the new Saab 9-3 will look very similar to this polished sports coupe concept.

The new Saab 9-3 is expected in about eighteen months.

- The car you see here is a provocation, a sporty car in which we have further developed the aero inspired design, but at the same time have pushed the limits. But yes, much of the front on the concept car, including the round shape and the grille, will be recognized on the next Saab 9-3, says chief designer Jason Castriota.

“Aeromotional” design is what Saab calls the design language used on the shiny concept car PhoeniX, which has a world premiere at the 81th Geneva Motor Show taking place on to 13th March.

The shiny aluminum sports coupe with room for four is made of carbon fiber, and is pitch black. Fourteen layers of chrome paint are needed to get the car to shine like polished aluminum.

- The paint is not available for production cars yet, but we keep on developing and testing it. In about six months to one year from now, it can be purchased by regular customers, Castriota says.

Minimalist design
Inside the PhoeniX has a very minimalist design. It has shell chairs and parts of the interior are in metal to give the feel of a safety cage.

- Thin seats are coming. That’s one thing we are working hard on to achieve. The current seats are heavy, and it will also be more legroom with thinner seats. It is also in accordance with Scandinavian design, says Castriota.

He is most pleased with the interior of the new concept car.

- Not least the infotainment system that we have developed with Google, and based on their operating system Android.

When the ignition is turned on, the system starts. Via a touch screen in the instrument panel, which is located right at the driver’s fingertips, it is possible to operate the audio system, climate system, download from the internet or use apps.

- This car is a wireless hotspot, and the system has saved us a lot of buttons in the dash, says Castriota.

The instrument panel is angled towards the driver. All data is displayed in front of the driver in a round instrument that is designed as the afterburner nozzle of a jet engine, and in a head-up display in the windshield.

The instrument lighting is red, and through small holes in the floor mats, red LED lights are shining.

The car is a slightly practical as well. Behind there is a large trunk with a low loading height and the rear seat can be folded into the floor to provide more space.

Electric rear wheel drive
Saab Phoenix has four wheel drive.

The power supply comes from a 200-hp 1.6-liter turbo engine in the front. In the rear there is an electric motor. Consumption is 5.0L/100 km, and the emissions is 119 grams of CO2 per kilometer.