Stillborn Saab 9-3 based on the Phoenix platform - Image: SaabsUnitedEnlarge Photo
Now photos of the actual car, well, a pre-production prototype, have hit the Web.
The cars were all styled by former Bertone designer Jason Castriota, who was recruited by Saab to create a dramatic new look for the Swedish automaker’s future models, starting with the new 9-3.
We were given a preview of the new look Castriota had envisioned with the unveiling of the Phoenix concept car at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The striking concept not only previewed Saab’s future styling but also its future technology, namely, a modular platform also called Phoenix.
Unfortunately, Saab’s owner at the time, Swedish Automobile (now Spyker), wasn’t able to even get the funding necessary to keep production of the existing 9-3 running, let alone complete development of a brand new model.
While we would love to see Saab’s latest owner National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) utilize some of these designs, if it ever manages to get production of Saabs rolling again, SaabsUnited tells us that these designs won’t be used. NEVS still hopes to build electric versions of the last Saab 9-3 and most recently partnered with Chinese city Qingdao for investment.
Unfortunately, it’s also unlikely that Spyker, which along with NEVS owns the rights to Saab’s Phoenix platform, will utilize these designs for its future models set to be developed with Chinese automaker Youngman. No doubt Spyker will be keen to distance itself from the painful memories from its time as Saab's owner.