Rights to Saab Phoenix up for grabs during bankruptcy

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The Saab Phoenix concept on display at an auto show in Berlin.

In bankruptcy, Saab will be forced to sell off designs like this one, the Phoenix concept. (CC BY/Autoviva/Wikipedia)

Saab’s descent into bankruptcy may kill the brand name, but evidence suggests that its engineering and technology will live on. The Swedish automaker, whose name derives from its original founding company Swedish Aerospace AB, has some small car architecture waiting in the wings. According to the Detroit Free Press, the automaker that buys the rights to the Saab Phoenix will have a visually dynamic, futuristic small car with a “wow” factor that should drive sales.

The Saab griffin roars once more

Rather than resigning itself to the pages of myth, the Saab Phoenix could rise from the ashes of bankruptcy, should the right buyer step forward. Like the mythological griffin that adorns the Saab logo – a beast with an eagle’s head and a lion’s body – the automaker’s reputation may seem a bit out of sorts lately, what with less than satisfactory sales numbers. But industry experts believe that Saab’s Phoenix concept design will soar like an eagle and roar like a lion for the right buyer.

Getting aeromotional over the Saab Phoenix

Based upon the architecture of the Saab 9-3, the Phoenix introduces what Saab engineers have called “aeromotional” design. The Phoenix’s innovative, aerodynamic design principles create a line not far removed from that of Saab’s first vehicle, the Ursaab. Teardrop, liquid metal forms condense around a jet canopy glasshouse that wraps around the translucent ice-block design with dramatic winglet flourishes. The shape contributes to an ultra-low drag co-efficient of 0.25, enabling the Saab Phoenix to slice through the air.

Inside the butterfly doors, the 2+2 cabin is cleanly minimal in appearance, withholding the kind of visual gadget overload that can distract from the driving experience. The technology is present, however, thanks to Saab’s Iqon infotainment and communications system.

Help for a young automaker

The Detroit Free Press calls the Saab Phoenix design the kind of exciting small car concept that could help a growing automaker compete with the giants. Saab’s asset sale will reportedly include such intellectual property. Factory equipment may also be included in the deal, but industry insiders note that nothing of General Motors engineering marvels, from powertrains to vehicle architecture, will be included. GM took control of the Saab brand from Swedish Aerospace AB in 1990.


Detroit Free Press
Saab Newsroom

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