More Aero-X

Curse that damn time-zone thing again.  i should have had these up 8 hours ago!

My thanks to John for permitting the re-publishing of these, originally shown at Saabscene.  Again, hot or not?  I’m thinking hotter.






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  1. Saabscene pics are better,I can see our badge with griffin now.The way back looks tells me that it’s a new Sonett.
    For public they need to change door.I like it if that is a sonett

  2. That asymmetrical exhaust pipe exit is some what odd.

    When you see side profile you notice that front is not so big like it seemed in front picture.

    And I remind here too that John’s pics are not quite same as was in autoshow gallery, like hood badge.

  3. That… is a beautiful car. I love how it’s so distinctive from every angle. There’s no confusing for anything else on the market from the side, back, or front. MAYBE the only thing I could see is some Koenigsegg in the wrap around windshield.

  4. The side and rear pictures are so much better than the frontal pictures. It looks more original from the rear and side angles. I really hope they put this one into production.

  5. No doubt for me, it’s the revival of the Sonett spirit.
    Furthermore, the opening of the door is a clear indication of the aeroplane roots.

  6. I like it alot. And after 20 hours or so…I did som fast research.
    This is a saab for sure. Plenty of dna in this automobile!

    Link to a slobby pic to se what I mean:

    * The lenght of the hood. (Some one whrote it was way to long)
    * The valved front window (no need of comments)
    * That agressive front from the 9x, with the headlights, the grille…Yepp, I can se where this front came from.
    * That back is soooo SAAB 92!! Love it!
    * The front seen in profile is almost a copy of the present 9-3SS and SC
    * Who did that scetch some mounth ago?!? That wasn´t all that way of was it?

  7. why not the engine as well, they were kickass engines back in the day and they sounded great.

    turbocharged V4 BioPower easaly 250hp, throw in another smaller turbo and you could go all the way up to 300-320hp

  8. Now that we can see the whole thing It would appear that the inital photo was done with the same fisheye -style treatment ( perhaps Stu can explain better swade? ) that Saab use for all models which gives them a pronounced “chin” thrusting out beyond its actual proportions.

    Seen like this, its an even sweeter little car. Can’t ever imagine owning something like this but it looks like it would be fun to drive. Great to see Saab challenging its own stereotypes really and taking the first bold step for a long time. All we need now is a hatch. And an AWD wagon, and a …..

  9. Napahim, it’s a misunderstanding. 🙂
    I mean, the old Sonett was a stylish and unique car, looks like a sport coupe, but it’s engine was not enough powerful to be a real sport car.
    The Areo-X has the power as well. 🙂

  10. Well seeing it from different angles is interesting and it’s a nice looking muscle car with a really nice back view. It has some Saab in to it, but I’m still disappointed because it’s too “heavy” for my taste. I was expecting a fresh light looking design like the Cayman or the z4 coupe.

    Maybe it will look better in real life? But until then…

    I really want to like it, but I just can’t

  11. I would just looove to own this car. Oh how nice it would
    be if they could keep that opening system, if they could make it work in the real world.

  12. Its a concept big deal, GM would have been better off spending the money making the 06 9-5 look more upmarket like a real Saab and less downmarket like a Chevy Impala.

    Id love some other company to take over Saab and inject some real passion into the company. If Saab were to change the 9-3, Id never look at a Saab ever again, regretfully.

    NOTE TO SAAB: Hire Swedes to design Saabs!!

  13. I added this comment to the last Aero-X post after this one was started so I’m afraid perhaps the points were wasted where nobody will read it. So forgive me for reposting it here:

    The more I think about it, that gimmick with the doors, top, and windscreen being connected and moving forward to open (obviously trying to evoke comparisons to a fighter plane) is a safety liability.

    First, it’s got to be made of a lightweight material to be opened by the average human. That probably means that the tradeoff was strength. The only way this could be AS STRONG as steel and light enough to open would be if the assembly was made of carbon fiber. But there’s no way a production car can have that much carbon fiber and still be affordable. SAAB is known to traditionally reinforce the top and A-pillars of their cars to protect the occupants in event of a rollover. I’m guessing that the top and doors assembly on this concept is a material like fiberglass or aluminum, which would not be very safe in event of a rollover.

    Also, in event of a rollover, if the car is resting upside down, how do rescue crews get in to rescue the occupants? Better hope there isn’t a fire in that crash.

    This is a sensational, but unsafe design, IMHO.

  14. Gripen,

    Your points are well made, but unnecessary I believe. This is just a concept. Should it progress any further towards production (and there’s only a very minor indication that it will) then I’m sure that the Saab people, makers of possibly the world’s safest car in the 9-3SS, will come up with a design based on this that incorporates normal style doors and all the safety that we’ve come to expect.

    It remains a concept, a design study, and I think it’s a bleedin beauty!!

  15. While I’m still 110 percent with ZIPPY on getting GM the hell out of SAAB, I have to be honest, folks, and relieved I tempered my initial disappointment yesterday with acknowledgement Aero-X wasn’t unattractive. Sorry, ZIP, my anti-GM partner, but I now see a modern and gorgeous SAAB! Damn, I of all people, with still and video imaging expertise, should have known better than to judge by one photo, particularly a wide angle one. Sure enough, I was wrong. Like ZIP, I want Swedes designing SAABs too and said as much yesterday, but I erred accusing GM’s designer of overlooking SAAB heritage and Swedish design. Now I see homage to the forever cars of my dreams, the Sonetts II and III! Congratulations to those who saw that from the first photo. Don’t know how you did that, but I am forever impressed!
    Yes, I want this car produced, too. But even if GM nixes this one like it did the recent Alfa-SAAB alliance, I’m still pleased with the future design direction being shown. As to the Aero-X’s mechanicals, I checked today with an acquaintance who has inside contact with SAAB Sweden (and Germany), and he said that 3.0 liter engine being mentioned for Aero-X is pure SAAB, i.e., not some GM retread. GM wants to kill the true SAAB engines like the 2.0 and 2.3 — in fact it’s said as much — and my contact said the use of biopower in the 2.3 and putting the 3.0 in the concept car is SAAB’s way of putting its continuing engine development in GM’s face. The relationship is an ever uncomfortable alliance, I’m told, and the contact said SAAB can be jerks about it. “They want GM’s money, but they don’t want GM’s interference,” he laughed. About four years ago a 2006 SAAB prototype powered by a small displacement, SAAB-developed V-6 was shown to my contact and he was allowed to drive the vehicle. Among its exciting innovations were massive power despite the small engine size and “true” four-wheel steering. The lucky tester described the prototype as a dream drive. Never heard anything more about that prototype, but I fully suspect GM shelved it at best and killed it at worst. Such examples are the reasons why, while I disagree with ZIP on the look of the Aero-X, I fully support his wish for “some other company to take over Saab” – even if GM did actually design a great looking SAAB! Afterall, what good is the beauty, if it lacks the beauty within: the incomparable SAAB engineering.

  16. So, the lucky driver enters the car in a rain storm, in the process drenching the lovely seats. And, maybe the engine, too, if the wind is blowing. Clearly a car intended only for indoor use. Still, when all assembled, quite appealing in lateral and posterior views. (At least in the Photoshop version. Not so sure about the real thing.)

  17. Okay, put a conventional top and doors on this car and extend the rear hatch down to include the back end of the car (so the whole assembly opens, exposing the trunk at around knee or theigh level for easy loading and unloading) and I think it’d be a pretty nice SAAB. Be sure to add the usual SAAB safety features and redesign those front air dams to make them understated. Redesign the grill to be a little closer to traditional SAAB “3-hole” and I think you have something there.

    It’s close to being good, but there would definitely have to be some changes. I do like the profile (with the stupid cockpit gimmick closed) and the rear end.

    It’s a good start, and I hope that the “future design direction” of SAAB that this car is supposed to project is only in relation to the profile and rear. I really dislike the front. I can’t imagine what design elements of this concept could make the transition to the next-gen 9-3, 9-5, 9-4X, and 9-2.

  18. First impression when I saw this? What the hell are they thinking and now they really have fucked up their brand positioning. Well, at a second glance it doesn’t look that bad, and especially the back three-quarters view is quite nice. The things that bothers me though, is why it’s looking so American? Ed Welburn, General Motors Corp.’s global design chief stated that GM will retain a brand design team in Sweden and “there is a distinct feel and look to something designed in Sweden. Swedish design has always been fresh. It is not the latest fad and fashion.” Been too Sweden lately Welburn? The problem with the Aero-X is that it is simply ignorable, but nice American design, with a hardly recognisable Saab grille at the front. Its not brand specific enough, its not firmly linked to the Saab history and its not showing the way ahead for the design and the Saab brand, like a good concept should. The Audi TT, Mazda Senku and Maserati Birdcage are concepts that spring to mind; Reinforcing the brand image but also showing the road ahead for the company.

  19. MuzX,
    ok it wasnt a “sportscar” but it was a sporty car. it were quite fast aswell 0-60 in 12,5sec, just imagin the thrill of accellerating in such a small nimble car. i know these figure arent impressing by todays standard.
    but with modern new turboV4 will be fun to drive and cheap to run. gasprices are sky high nowdays thats why we need smaller engines.
    a car that runs 10km on 1 litre gas is very expensive, the price for a gallon(american)(3,8litre) of gas is somewhere around $5-$5.50.

    give us a E85 V4 please!

  20. The opening of the door (roof?) certainly motor driven. It should not sacrifice the passive safety, the A-pillars could be as strong as possible because the weight doesn’t matter.
    I also feel it still too American, even it’s much better than on the first picture.
    I also agree those opinions that it would be better to reduce the GM influence and let Trollhattan engineers and designers work on their own way.
    Maybe an another investor who respected more the traditions of Saab would be a better owner of the company.

    I have a crazy idea: let’s join the worlds Saab fans and Saab clubs – and buy as much Saab shares as possible (can we buy? is it available on the stock market?)and try to save the Saab together!
    Am I to naive? :))))

  21. I’m very happy to be able to say “told you so”.
    (In the discussions about the old pic I said, in a true Swedish way, “But we need to see the car from a different angle and with less reflections – it might be less busy than we think.”) 😀

    Now it’s not a question about “Why so much Corvette?”, but rather “Why so much Aston Martin?”. But that is still a GREAT leap forwards. If you must borrow, do it from the best…

  22. Napahlm,
    I agree that for a “normal” transportation a good 4-cylinder ethanol turbo engine is just good enough to power a Saab (however, I still haven’t tried the new V6 2.8 turbo). 🙂
    But the V6 have some undisputable advantages, for istance the more balanced running which is a must have feature in its classe. The 4-cylinder Saab engines could reach this only with the balancing shafts and it makes the engine more complicated and heavy.
    The Aero-X is definitely a sport car, and as I mentioned before it’s certainly targeting mostly the US market. Everybody knows that the “small” 4 cylinder engines has no respect in the US, even the Saab engines can provide the same power and torque as some more lazy, thirsty, bulky american big ones.
    Even the Aero-X has a V6 and 3.0 litres – it use ethanol which is much more enviroment friendly than gasoline. I think it’s an great step forward – a sport car with Biopower engine.(Unfortunately in our country the etanol is not available at the petrol stations) 🙁

  23. The roof opening reminds me of the Buick Wildcat concept car from the mid 80’s. Completely impractical, silly really. I mean, who wants it to rain IN their car when opening the door? I know it’s just a playful design thing but whats the point of spending time and resources to design something that will never, ever see the light of day?

  24. Posted by: Bill Bartman | February 22, 2006 03:04 PM: “About four years ago a 2006 SAAB prototype powered by a small displacement, SAAB-developed V-6 was shown to my contact and he was allowed to drive the vehicle. Among its exciting innovations were massive power despite the small engine size and “true” four-wheel steering. The lucky tester described the prototype as a dream drive. Never heard anything more about that prototype, but I fully suspect GM shelved it at best and killed it at worst.”

    – Bill, you might be thinking of the Saab Variable Compression engine, a 5-cyl in-line 1.6 litre unit capable of 225bhp and 305Nm torque.


    Posted by: napahlm | February 22, 2006 06:39 PM

    give us a E85 V4 please!

    V4 engines are rather agricultural and not a smooth as car buyers demand today. The V4 engine used in the Saab 95 was also used in the Ford Transit. It might be fine for vans, but not cars which demand more comfort. I think you need to be looking at a V6 for a smoother engine.

  25. I agree, Dinger. Add to the silly, impracticality of it that it isn’t very original either.

    There was a Bertone concept at LAST YEAR’S show that had the same type of cockpit opening.

    Let’s just hope that the “incomplete” pictures were an early artist’s rendering before they later decided to nix the gimmicky canopy design.

  26. Impractical? What?
    Any 2 seats 400 HP sport car is completely impractical, especially in the main target country, where the speed limit is 75 miles/hour :)))

  27. I’m impressed with the vehicle. I like the overall look and would love to see the car produced. Eliminate the radical door design and offer in two forms (coupe and roadster) at a price point in the mid 40’s USD and they’ll sell every last one. It doesn’t need the utility of a Sport-Combi or the practicality of a sedan, it needs to be striking in looks with gobs of horsepower and AWD.
    I can’t say enough. I like it; I can’t wait to see it in New York.


  28. Wow, what a SAAB, it`s not a Sonett, it`s a “Hotnett”. I like the new front Design. I think the lights looking better when they`re not integrated in the radiator grille (see new 9-5)

  29. Nice Conceptcar, one more reason for me to love Saab. But: Why did they build an Conceptcar with a roof-opening mechanism like the Volkswagen-based “Nova” back in the early 80s? This mix between Saab and a Volkswagen-Kitcar is not the best taste in my opinion.

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