If you didn’t believe that Saab is fully back on its feet again, here’s the proof! They’ve created this awesome concept to say that not only they’re back in business, they’re more powerful than ever. Thanks to Spyker.
The Saab PhoeniX Concept revealed at Geneva Motor Show is inspired by the brand’s roots in aviation industry and introduces the ‘aeromotional’ design: a visual evocation of the aerodynamic design principles and passion for innovation that inspired the creators of Saab’s first car, the iconic Ursaab.
The aerospace inspiration is clear to see with the jet canopy-inspired glasshouse. This design has an exceptionally low drag co-efficient of just 0.25cd and also explores the potential for airflow management through the use of distinctive, side-mounted ‘winglets’. The 2+2 cabin also features butterfly doors and has a minimalist, ‘stripped out’ feel, including a new expression of Saab’s driver-focused layout and a world debut for Saab’s innovative IQon infotainment and communications system.
The Phoenix is based on a new architecture which will underpin the next Saab 9-3 model. Its design and technical features will inspire future models as well.
The car’s is powered by a hybrid system with an electrically-driven rear axle mated to a sophisticated 200 hp, 1.6-litre petrol turbo engine driving the front wheels. That makes it an all-wheel-drive with projected eco figures of 56.5 mpg and 119 g/km CO2.
More details on the Saab Phoenix concept provided in the press release below:
The PhoeniX’s ‘aeromotional’ design theme is inspired by Saab’s aviation roots and draws expression from Ursaab, the prototype designed by aircraft engineers that spawned Saab’s first generation of cars.
The entire form of the PhoeniX is seemingly moulded by the wind. Tightly-wrapped by a liquid-like skin, the teardrop cabin resembles a dark ice block and appears to erupt from the center of the muscular bodywork. Two prominent ripples flow along the hood into the disguised windshield pillars, as if barely able to contain a powerful structure underneath.
At the rear, the dark screen also bursts through the outer skin of the rear deck, The tapering form hints at the teardrop rear styling of Ursaab, while the ‘sawn off’, kamm tail echoes a form from Saab’s first coupé, the Sonett.
The low, frontal styling features a stretched interpretation of Saab’s signature three-port grille. A body-colored central wing is now dominant and, in keeping with the car’s minimalist design, LED headlamps are almost invisibly located at its tips. The new grille and bonnet forms are among the styling themes likely to be seen in future Saab production cars.
Butterfly-opening doors provide enhanced access to the low-slung cabin. There are no visible door handles or mirrors to disrupt airflow, and small cameras on slim stalks provide rearward vision.
Roof-mounted ‘winglets’ enable PhoeniX to cleave the air as efficiently as possible. They channel airflow from the side of the car and direct it across the rear deck, reducing lift forces for greater stability without increasing drag.
In true Scandinavian tradition, the 2+2 cabin adopts a clean, minimalist look. It has the ‘stripped out’ feel of a competition car, with shell-like seats and metalised interior sections that mimic the exposed network of a rollover cage.
Fresh expression is given to Saab’s traditional, driver-focused instrument layout. A circular pod in front of the driver, shaped like the afterburner of a jet engine, presents data in tandem with the head-up display.
Angled at 45º to the driver, a separate module accommodates Saab’s advanced IQon infotainment and communications system. For good ergonomics, the 8-inch colour touch screen is as close to the driver’s finger tips as the steering wheel.
Saab IQon (see separate release for full details) is a ground-breaking car communications platform using Google’s AndroidTM operating system. Based on pioneering ‘open innovation’ with third-party service providers and applications developers, it comprises an embedded computer platform which seamlessly connects to the internet when the car’s ignition is switched on. The touch-screen provides access to audio and entertainment streaming, online navigation, on-board music storage and smartphone-like downloading of applications.
Red illumination for all instrument and ambient cabin lighting brings warmth and emotion to the cabin. This includes the floor, where LED light tubes are exposed by perforations in the black carpeting. It is all part of the new ‘aeromotional’ design strategy, incorporating ‘fire and ice’ effects.
The PhoeniX’s curvaceous rear deck disguises a deep-opening tailgate. It gives access to a flat cargo deck, including fold-flat rear seatbacks and a cargo track for adaptable load carrying.
Under its sculpted bonnet and beneath its cargo deck, the PhoeniX advances Saab’s rightsizing powertrain strategy. Its propulsion system combines a highly efficient, 1.6-litre turbo engine driving the front wheels with innovative, electric rear wheel drive technology.
The compact, all-aluminum petrol engine produces 200 hp (147 kW) and includes variable valve timing and lift control, as well as start/stop functionality, minimal parasitic losses and a fuel cut-off function. A stainless steel tank is fitted, which is lighter and less expensive than a conventional plastic design,
The engine is supported by Saab’s innovative eXWD system. It comprises a rear drive unit housing a 25 kW (34 hp) electric motor/generator powered by a small battery pack. Regenerative braking is used to sustain the battery’s charge.
Currently under development for the next generation of Saab cars, this hybrid propulsion system enables the benefits of all-wheel-drive while also reducing fuel consumption. Using a six-speed manual transmission, projected combined cycle fuel economy and CO2 emissions are 56.5 mpg and 119 g/km.
The driver can select one of three eXWD operating modes. The default Eco mode delivers optimal fuel and CO2 efficiency with power assistance to reduce load on the petrol engine at low speeds; Sport mode includes maximum power assistance with torque vectoring across the rear axle for greater chassis control; and Traction mode enables optimal grip at take-off and in slippery conditions.
Inside and out, the Saab PhoeniX showcases new design directions and technologies that will be part of forthcoming Saab products.