saab: phoenix at geneva motor show 2011 saab: phoenix at geneva motor show 2011
mar 04, 2011

saab: phoenix at geneva motor show 2011

the saab ‘phoenix’ concept car

on display at geneva motor show 2011, the saab ‘phoenix’ is a hybrid sports vehicle, sculpted in a wind tunnel and engineered for optimum aerodynamic efficiency. the minimalistic interior is serviced by the company’s android-based IQon infotainment system, the first open platform service environment used in a commercial vehicle.

the prototype concept car on display at geneva motor show 2011 image courtesy of car

based on a highly aerodynamic, ‘aeromotional’ design that highlights the aviation roots of the company, the car features a low front and cabin, which flows into a hood and tapered rear deck. side and roof-mounted winglets, modeled after the flying buttresses of architectural planning, channel airflow from the sides of the vehicle across the rear deck to reduce lift. a small segment of the hood is cut away at the base of the windshield to reveal part of the engine bay.

the 2-seater concept model features vertical butterfly doors, so that neither door handles nor mirrors disrupts the airflow around the vehicle. a newly designed three-port grille at the vehicle’s front is flanked by LED headlamps.

front view

profile view

rear view

the saab IQon service platform, based on android by google, automatically connects to the internet when the car is turned on, interfacing with a range of customizable third-party applications to provide expansive user functionality. the system, which is already in onroad beta testing, also facilitates regular updating.

the first car company to move towards an open platform operating system, saab plans to develop a vehicle API to provide access to 500 kinds of vehicle sensory data, from speed and location to steering wheel angle, temperature, and the sun’s position. all applications will be evaluated by saab before becoming available in the company’s IQon app store. the platform will mark one of the most immersive opportunities for application development open to the public domain.

elaboration on and demo of the IQon infotainment system

the ‘phoenix’ is designed as a hybrid, all-wheel drive vehicle, with an electrically driven rear axle pipelined to a 200hp gasoline turbo engine. the combined cycle fuel efficiency is projected to be 47mpg (5 L/100 km), with carbon emissions at 119g/km.

according to jason castriota, saab’s executive design director, the ‘aeromotional’ aesthetics of the ‘phoenix’ will continue to characterize the design of future saab models.

the car was engineered for aerodynamic efficiency, and its sculptural details determined through wind tunnel testing

detail on winglets

the IQon infotainment system is based on google android

screenshot of IQon infotainment system in use

history of the concept, elaboration of the features, and process footage of the ‘phoenix’

design director jason castriota describes the design process of the ‘phoenix’

  • Right in line with brand identity, BEAUTIFUL rear end and love the functional winglet air accelerators. Hybrid drive is almost exactly like the one I worked on at AC Propulsion for VW, excellent. The only thing I might change is to make the side windows a little taller, even though I get they must follow the function of the winglet form. Well done!
    Does anybody know if Jason is an Art Center grad?

    KWarren says:
  • Jason attended Art Center but he didn’t graduated , needles to say, his design pedigree comes from years at Pininfarina. Good looking car though, I am not sure about the winglets even though I understand the reasoning behind them. The proportions of the car are very well executed and despite of Chris Bangle’s ambivalence towards its Saab brand identity I agree with KWarren, right in line with it.

    DsgnCrit says:
  • the wheels are particularly nice – hope this is one of the things that goes directly onto production models

    dbkii says:
  • …someone tell SAAB they need to trim their eyebrows.

    sassark says:
  • @dbkii

    I hate to tell you, but the wheels are the only things that CANNOT be put into production. If you’ve ever rotated a car’s tires, you’ll understand why.

    sassark says:
  • It seems a student’s prjoect it’s overdesigned and too complicated. the top of the tail is the same of the birdcage.
    In my opinion Saab is technology and aerodynamics. I don’t think that put wings on a car could reflect the real essence of Saab.
    Sorry but I agree with Chris.

    pol says:
  • @dbkii

    “I hate to tell you, but the wheels are the only things that CANNOT be put into production. If you’ve ever rotated a car’s tires, you’ll understand why.”

    Actually the Saab 9000 came with directional wheels. It has been done and can be easily done again!

    Ian Glenday says:
  • I’m not industrial designer but I can easily say its over designed. You know this cars designers don’t think that in future everything will be simple, like Apple’s designs. And they forgot that this is not the time where people pay more when you decorate more. Vice versa people would pay if you minimize the form but maximize the function.

    Iskender says:
  • Very much another industrial design cliché. You can see the whooping lines and fat coloured inking shining trough it.

    Very disappointing.

    Where is the car industry in the age of simplicity?

    Mks says:
  • i ilke the sideview but please ditch the wings!

    cj says:
  • Saab automakers gives very nice hybrid sports vehicle.By using advance technology they produce optimum aerodynamic efficiency and environment used in a commercial vehicle.

    Martin says:
  • it looks to fat and short from the side

    caid says:
  • Right guys! But this is a show car. Simplicity and usability is not prior. It’s about attracting media at shows! And I believe it does.
    What I don’t really like is the aeroplane sign at the back and on the s.wheel. This is just too direct reference to Saab’s aircraft history. And car designers shouldn’t think that way…

    Have a good Idea!

    Spiderman says:

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