You have probably seen the new SAAB 93 convertible, but did you know that their background is in the airline industry. Today I am going to talk to you about the future of SAAB with Jason Castriota, the executive design director for Saab. He’s going to show us the latest concept car from Saab.

What we have here is the Phoenix concept car. Few people realize that Saab was an aeronautical company that one day decided to make an automobile. In 1946 an airplane designer sat down and sketched out a winged shaped fuselage, suspended a tear shaped canopy with-in that, added four wheels and viola’ the first SAAB was born.

What we wanted to do with the Phoenix Concept Car was tap back into that philosophy, taking an aerospace approach, really having aerodynamics be the driving force behind the design. Everything about the form of the body is about moving air as effectively as possible.

We have a very generous, nose cone like front end which keeps the air very close to the vehicle. We have pressure release zones behind both of the wheels which allow the turbulent air to be releases.

Then one of the more interesting aspects is the flying buttress. It’s an architectural term, in addition to holding the review camera which has less drag than the traditional mirror.

This buttress helps to guide air over the car and the space between the wing plane and the glass plane is actually compression air creating a vortex which is pushing more air into the rear spoiler.

Moving on to the interior of the car, SAAB has always played up its aerospace history. They have always gone with a very cockpit orientated interior.

In this case, you really feel the Scandinavian design aspect coming through. Of course, the Scandinavians were renowned for interior design like the egg chair and other great pieces of iconic design. SAAB has always been known for minimalism.

When it comes to concept cars, the trick is to turn all these designs into production cars.

Courtesy of YNN/Time Warner Cable
Aired: 5/03/2011

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