Geneva 2011: Saab PhoeniX Concept
The new PhoeniX is not going to be built, but it is important for Saab nevertheless
Saab has gone all-out this year, with the new PhoeniX concept, combining its new ‘aeromotional’ design theme with a clever petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain. There are no plans to put the PhoeniX into production, but it's a bold design statement for Saab, which gives us a glimpse into the future design philosophy of the Swedish company.
This is the first Saab concept that chief stylist Jason Castriota has been given free-reign on, and the PhoeniX showcases Jason’s vision for the future of the brand. The shape of the concept is heavily influenced by Saab's aviation roots, not losing sight of what always made Saabs of the past unique. One of the most notable features is the roof-mounted ‘winglets’ that channel air from the side of the car, directing it across the rear deck, reducing aerodynamic lift without causing any additional drag.
Under the bonnet there's a highly efficient, turbocharged 1.6 litre petrol engine. This alone produces 200bhp, powering just the front wheels - another long-standing Saab tradition. The clever bit comes in when you step on the brakes, and the regenerative braking charges a small battery pack in the rear of the car. This then provides 25 kW (34 hp) of power to the rear wheels through a small electric motor. Saab calls it the eXWD system, complete with all the advantages of a traditional AWD layout, as well as huge gains in efficiencey. Impressive figures of 56.5 mpg and 119 g/km of CO2 are quoted, and this technology is planned to be a part of Saab's future model plans.