9-3 to get the Aero-X treatment

Autoweek are quoting Jay Spenchian saying that the first Saab to receive the Aero-X design language treatment could be the 9-3 range, due for redevelopment in 2008.

It seems Saab have taken some direction from the metapositive reactions to the Aero-X. The signals here indicate two things. First, the design language is going from a study in theory to application in real life Saab models. Second, the real life models mentioned don’t have the name Aero-X or Sonett. Not according to this article, anyway.

It’s a shame. Along with a lot of people, I tend to think that there’d be a great positive in making this car in a limited edition format (and by the way, there’s been some articles saying that journo drives will begin next month after the New York Motor Show).

But I digress. This article isn’t about the Aero-X, it’s largely about Saab’s future design and production capacity. Jay’s seeing big things for the future, but the writers urge caution due to the “Lutzing” of Saab’s design team (i.e. pared down in Sweden and some based in Germany).

Whatever the staffing setup looks like, 2008 – 2010 will most likely being the years that shape Saabs existence, or lack thereof, in 2011. If they can pull this new 9-3 off well, along with a new 9-5, the SUV and the smaller car, then there’s good times ahead. Even better if there’s a 2-seater in the range as well (one can dream).

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15 Comments

  1. In the comments at MSN, it’s drawing pleas for SAAB to produce it–except for someone with a chip on his shoulder going by “three lemons.”
    See the 1st and 3rd comments for example:

    1st comment:
    “Car companies are their own worst enemies — Saab and GM are not doing well financially….this car would sell like hotcakes…why the hell don’t they have the courage of their convictions and produce it for immediate sale??????????”

    3rd comment:
    “I absolutely love this car!!!!!!!!!!! In one word…..heart-stopping! I agree, car makers need to produce these exotic sensational beauties and not just build them as concept cars to tease the world with.
    Its pure talent.
    These wondrous unique and rare cars truly need to be owned by many.
    Not just one.
    Your doing yourself a disservice by NOT producing them for purchase.
    $$$$$$$$$$$ All I see are dollar signs behind this gorgeous beauty.”

  2. I love this guy. Not afraid to be in the state of independence, and with the cajones to do so too. Hail Jay !!

    “Spenchian says design must be edgy to advance a premium, performance-oriented brand. That’s what Cadillac’s theme did, Spenchian recalls.

    He notes that cars such as the CTS succeeded despite skeptical and even hostile initial reactions. An edgy design, he says, “should make people a little bit nervous.”

  3. I do sell SAABs at Performance SAAB in Houston and since feb 27th(AERO X show) I had three calls from customers with questions about when AERO X will be on the market and how much will cost 😉
    All of them never had no SAAB. That make me feel good.

  4. I am dying to learn exactly what “design treatment” means. I mean, specifically what design features will make their way into production SAABs?

  5. My guess:

    – Headlights/front fascia
    – Interior instrumentation/dashboard/ancillary controls/lighting
    – Interior ergonomics, amenities and materials
    – powertrain, namely Aero-X’s more powerful BioPower 2.8L V6

  6. What design language are they actually talking about here? The Aero-X doesnt really have one redeeming feature that you could sucessfully build into a ‘real’ car. Those BioPower engines will be the future of Saab but Id say the only thing I like is the ‘cool blue’ hue in the interior and some of the instrumentation. Having said that Michael Mauer introduced that in the 9X which was a total lost opportunity if you ask me.

    The 9X was cool, funky and definitely a Saab and what did they do with it – NADA! They say the front of the current 9-5 is like the 9X but you might as well say Mickey Mouse looks like Donald Duck to me as I dont see it. The 9X had a three hole grill – te 9-5 does not!

    The front of the Aero-X is damned ugly – even more hideous than the latest Audis and they are fugly.

    I have said if Saab puts the 9-5/Aero-X front on the 9-3 its goodbye to Saab for me!!

    Where has all that individuality gone? Where are the Scnadinavian designers? No disrespect but since when did the Chinese ever design anything that is worthy of mentioning?

    My 2c worth

  7. Hey Zippy, I think thats about 2c too much.
    Ever hear of the Great Wall of China, also ming dynasty vases are priceless due to their flawless design, etc etc etc. Ps. Remember their civilization pre-dates ours by about 4000 years!

  8. I’d be very surprised if ANY of the interior elements of the Aero-X make it into production SAABs.

    That stuff is VERY expensive, and it’s been SAAB’s M.O. of late to run a cost-reduction program on the interiors, as evidenced by the current 9-5. I’m not just talking about the GM parts bin A/C controls (which I really don’t object to much). I think the previous 9-5 (and even the 9000) interiors were more forward-thinking than the current ones. Where’s that great aircraft-style map light?

    The interiors of concept cars are usually the first thing to go in the cost-reduction process between concept and production.

  9. Aeronaut, can you name anything in the modern age ie 1900 – now? Maybe I should have been a bit clearer. 🙂

    1985 Gripen makes a point about the quality and style of the 9000 and pre 06 9-5 which could never ben mistaken for anything but a Saab. Clean, ergonomic and modern dare I say Scandinavian?

  10. I think the new 9-5’s styling is simpler and cleaner than before, with some exceptions in the front. The interior is much easier to use and yes, it still has the airplane-style map light. The front shows the new design theme, although it was muddled a bit with the old styling.

    If they stick to what they did for the Aero-X and put it on the 9-3, I’ll be happy. But shouldn’t the 9-3 be put on the Epsilon II around, oh, 2008?

  11. Jay (and Bob and Rick for that matter) need to go to Scandinavia to get some of that “Cadillac-weenie” washed off. Or they could call me to arrange a test-drive of their obselete concept car. It is most strange attempting to sell auto manufacturers their own car, no?

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