Tag Archives: concept car

Saab's Future Design "Form No Longer Follows Function"

Posted on 08. Apr, 2010 by .

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It has been a while since I’ve covered a topic so dear to me, and that topic is design. Design is an area that I’ve personally spent a decade working in professionally prior to the launch of Saab History.

When it comes to Saab design, not the past or present, but specifically the future as illustrated with the all new Saab 9-5 , I’ve had a significant challenge in interpreting this new vehicle as a continuation of Saab’s historical “form follows function” design approach. It took me a while to realize that there must have been a very good reason for this.

However, today, I had one of those “ah hah” moments, after watching one of the best design documentaries of our time in my opinion, a film titled “Objectified”. This film highlights the design of many companies including Apple, the company that Saab has indicated that they aspire to be like in the car business.

This new design approach that Apple has applied to their latest products involves “form not following function”, a complete departure from Saab’s historical “form follows function” approach as previously indicated.

As we continue to see new products unveiled from Saab, one can easily guess that the design will include many design elements and cues that may not specifically serve a functional purpose, but should serve as a unique Saab way to express the new design language that began with the Aero-X concept car all the way back in 2006.

The success of Saab’s future design will depend on the complete execution of this new design language in parallel to the continuity of traditional “form follows function” design in the key Saab areas that we’ve all come to expect.

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Saab 9-3 TX Edition & New Concept Car At Geneva Show?

Posted on 26. Feb, 2010 by .

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Saab History has recently learned from the folks at the Geneva Motor Show that while the Saab stand will have products we know and recognize, Saab 9-3x, all new Saab 9-5, it’s supposed to also have the Saab 9-3 TX edition as well as a concept car?

Anyone have any guesses as to what this concept car could be? I’ve tried contacting Saab Switzerland to no avail: I wonder if this is entirely accurate? It’s showing on their website, so maybe it’s a surprise? I would like some clarification from Saab on this, if they are reading this post.

Here’s what Saab History has recently learned from Dimitri in Switzerland, who will be kindly providing photographs for us at the event.

This is the only information we have from the Geneva Salon website:

concept

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The First Ever, Saab 9-3 Convertible Built In Sweden!

Posted on 12. Jan, 2010 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab Automobile AB

The first ever Saab 9-3 convertible to be built in Sweden rolled off of the assembly line yesterday at the Saab factory in Trollhättan.

The Saab Convertible has historically been built in Graz, Austria from 2004-2009, and previously it was built in Uusikaupunki, Finland ever since it’s introduction in 1986.

This is a huge day for Saab Automobile and a big milestone in the history of the convertible. This car being produced in Sweden now also means that all production is now entirely in Sweden. I think that Bob Sinclair, the man behind the idea of the Saab convertible would be proud if was with us today.

Here’s the press release below:

Saab Automobile Produces its First Convertible in Trollhättan

* Production of iconic Saab Convertible begins in Trollhättan
* Increased utilization of Saab Automobile’s Trollhättan production facility

The first Saab Convertible to be built in Sweden rolled off the line at Saab Automobile’s production facility in Trollhättan today. All previous Saab Convertibles have been built outside of Sweden, first at Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland and latterly at the Magna Steyr plant in Graz, Austria.

During 2009, the decision was made to concentrate all Saab car production in Sweden and as a result the Saab Convertible is now being built alongside the current 9-3 and 9-5 models, plus the next generation 9-5, at Saab’s state-of-the-art manufacturing unit in Trollhättan.

Saab Automobile revealed its first four-seater Convertible as a concept car in 1983 and the production version followed in 1986. Since then, more than 250,000 Convertibles have been produced. Designed as a true four-season, all-weather soft-top, the Saab Convertible has achieved iconic status and in 2008 it accounted for 12% of sales in the European premium mid-sized convertible segment. The latest vision of Saab’s future direction in convertible design, the 9-X Convertible Concept, was shown at the 2008 Paris Motor Show to great media and public acclaim.

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Saab Automobile To Unveil Another Concept Car?

Posted on 06. Nov, 2009 by .

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Saab Automobile to unveil a new concept car? This is the headline that hit the news media today according to Edmunds Inside line.

Apparently, this concept, will define the new Saab. This makes me wonder though, if this new concept defines the new Saab, what are the 9-X Air, 9-X BioHybrid, 9-4x BioPower, 9-5 BioPower e100, 9-3 BioPower Hybrid Convertible and Aero-X doing? I thought all of these previous concept cars were built to define the new Saab, so the question is, how will this new edition to the concept car lineup be so significantly different that it defines the future of Saab?

Anyone want to guess at the name of the new concept car model designation?

Here’s the piece below by Edmunds Inside line.

Saab’s Next Concept Expected To Be a New Small Car

Published Nov 5, 2009t

TROLLHÄTTAN, Sweden — Saab is working on a new concept car — believed to be a new small model — that will “define the new Saab,” says Director of Global Operations Knut Simonsson. “It’s going to be very important and will indicate what the Saab message is going to be.”

The concept, which will appear within the next 12 months, will take Saab into a segment in which it is not currently present, although Simonsson would not be drawn out on what that would be. However, it is thought that the company is once again considering a smaller model, positioned beneath its aging 9-3.

But a new small Saab is a long way off right now, as the company regroups following its yet-to-be finalized breakaway from General Motors. More pressing, in product terms, is the need to replace the 9-3, although that’s a good three years away. Between then and next spring’s 9-5 launch, we will see a Combi version of the 9-5 with a tailgate and the Mexican built 9-4X SUV launched.

The 9-3 replacement, which was originally to have been built on a shortened version of the GM Epsilon platform that the 9-5 rides on, may be built on a Saab-derived platform that uses the front-end structure of the Alfa Romeo 159, which at one time Saab worked on with the Italian company as part of a failed cooperative venture.

In the near future, Saab is busy consolidating its activities around its Trollhättan factory. The production line for the 9-5 is currently being lifted and shifted from Opel’s Rüsselsheim factory in Germany, where it was originally to have been built, an exercise requiring the movement of 56 truckloads of machinery, says Simonsson.

He adds that the split from GM has delayed the launch of the 9-5, “which we really had to fight for,” by six months.

The company is also transferring production of the 9-3 Cabrio, currently made by Magna in Graz, Austria, to Trollhättan as well. Further out, Simonsson talks enthusiastically about what he calls the “electrification of the turbo,” which can be interpreted as the development of a hybrid model using bespoke Saab technology.

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Students At Umeå Create Koenigsegg-Saab Concepts

Posted on 01. Jul, 2009 by .

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SVT reports that there are students at the world famous transportation design school in Umeå, are creating design charettes on what the future of Koenigsegg-Saab products will look like for course credit.

Let’s keep in mind, it was Daniel Forsgren of the same school back in 2003 that interned with Saab Automobile and created the Saab 9-CX concept car as seen in the video here.

These students, some speaking in English for the camera, have some very interesting ideas as we can see here. Enjoy the video.

Here’s a brief translation of the coverage from SVT below.

How will the future of Saab-Koenigsegg look like? Yes, the answer to it is perhaps on of Design in Umeå for just minutes after the news of the acquisition of Saab Koenigseggs started the students on transportation design line at Design School in Umeå to sketch out the future car.

-Just when we heard the news, we received a mandate to draw a car, “says Juan Pablo Barnal Parbon in English with his Spanish accent.

“We said at once that this might be a chance for us new designers to show us and maybe get a job at car maker, says Pablo with ill-concealed delight.

The challenge is to find the lines that combine the two makes. The strong front of the Koenigsegg with the clean lines Saab describes a student’s sketch.

-I have looked a little more on the Saab 80’s models with the old 900: an and the like from that period. Not so much retro but more trying to keep the old lines, “says Niklas Palm on its yellow sketch of the car.

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The First Next Generation Saab 9-5 Rendering?

Posted on 08. Jun, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Autocar.co.uk

This appears to be the first rendering of the next generation Saab 9-5. I have run the photo by some experts in the last 24 hours, many internal that have seen the real thing in the flesh and have confirmed it’s authenticity.

I am incredibly amazed how Autocar have received this photo, and surprisingly others in the blogosphere have overlooked it, presumably in a quest for quantity over quality?

I think this looks really good and cannot wait to see the entire car’s photos, and ultimately in person once it has debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.

In addition to this photo, please take a look at their writeup on the next generation Saab 9-5, it’s quite good!

By the time the new 9-5 is launched, Saab will have waited 13 years to replace the original version of the car. Saab had a new 9-5 for launch in 2005, based on the ‘Premium’ platform (used on the Alfa 159), which was engineered by Saab. But when GM and Fiat ended their partnership, GM insisted that Saab shelve the car.

So next year’s 9-5 (due on sale next Spring) is all new. Although it shares the Insignia’s Epsilon 2 platform, it has a 100mm longer wheelbase, most of which is used to improve rear leg room. The boot is also said to be particularly big.

Unusually, Saab will offer two front suspensions; a standard McPherson strut and the more sophisticated HiPerStrut from the Insignia VXR, which offers better refinement and more accurate steering.

At the rear there’s a four-link suspension and all models have the all-wheel drive Insignia’s more sophisticated axle design. All-wheel drive will be available with the option of a torque-vectoring XWD version.
[…]

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The Shelved Saab 9-5 / Fiat Premium Platform Of 2002

Posted on 27. Mar, 2009 by .

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The Saab 9-5 that debuted in 1997 as a 1998 model year involved many years of product development and testing.

As you may also know, the 9-5 was the successor to the Saab 9000 model that was developed through a joint venture with Fiat / Lancia / Alfa Romeo dating back to the late nineteen seventies, with the Saab 600 as the first model launched from this joint venture.

There were many designers & engineers responsible for the development of the 9-5 such as Tony Catignani to Einar Hareide to Dan Chasins as well as now President of Saab Automobile AB, Jan-Ake Jonsson.

What’s interesting is that the next generation 9-5 which was supposed to debut around 2005, was planned to be developed off of a joint venture Saab 9-5 / Fiat “premium” platform. That was the original plan as Saab history has come to find out. Of course we know that original plan was shelved back in 2002 by General Motors and now the 9-5 continues on wrapping up it’s 12 year tenure with the 2009 Saab 9-5 “griffin edition”.

I would like to know if there are still any lingering products in the future that Fiat & Saab Automobile have developed, who knows, maybe there is a future between them in some fashion?

Here are the some additional details from what someone entered in WikiPedia:

GM/Fiat Premium platform
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Premium platform is General Motors and Fiat’s high-end automobile platform. The architecture debuted with the Alfa Romeo Brera. Even after the dissolution of the GM/Fiat partnership, both companies retain the rights to continue developing Premium-derived models, though no GM versions are known.

The platform was mainly developed in Sweden by Saab, with input from Alfa Romeo, Holden, and Opel/Vauxhall. Saab stopped development of its Premium automobile in late 2002; the Saab models (the 9X sports car and the replacement for the 9-5 sedan) would have used an entirely different suspension than the Alfa Romeo vehicles, which would have proved too expensive. The platform debuted in 2003 with the Opel Insignia concept car, thought this vehicle was not produced. A planned Buick model was also dropped. In the end, only the Alfa Romeo models moved forward.

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Another Spy Photo Of The Interior Of The Saab 9-4x

Posted on 10. Feb, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Motor Authority

The Saab 9-4x interior was spotted yet again with Motor Authority, this time Saab changed the steering wheel to one of an Opel, to confuse us, well it’s not working given that it was within the shell.

The interior is completely different than what we saw on the 9-4x BioPower concept in terms of first look appearance. I think that this interior, needs to be more two-tone for contrast, and I also think that the “clear zone” needs to be represented here like the concept car. What are your opinions?

Did you like the interior of the 9-4x BioPower conceptas shown in the video at 8 minutes 30 seconds, or the production version of the 9-4x as shown above?

Which interior do you like better?

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Production Concept