What is it? The Phoenix is Saab’s first new concept since gaining its independence from General Motors, as well as a preview of the next-generation 9-3 platform. The concept car combines styling elements of the original Saab design from the 1950s, as well as the relatively recent the Aero X concept. It is a 2+2 with tight rear seats and butterfly doors that swing forward from the windshield pillars.
The concept employs a 200-hp, 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine motivating the front wheels and electric drive to spin rear wheels, giving the car all-wheel-drive with a torque-vectoring differential in the rear. It uses a 34-hp electric motor and a 1.1-kwh lithium-ion battery. Saab claims a 0-60 mph time of less than six seconds. This also gives the car regenerative braking and the ability to shut down the engine and restart it after stops.
What’s new or notable? Saab also debuted its new IQon infotainment system, based on Google’s Android tablet operating system, centered around an 8-inch screen near the driver. It controls navigation, and audio streaming, in addition functions traditionally built into cars such as the clock and trip computer. The open-source platform will allow owners to download other, third-party apps to upgrade their cars.
When will it be available? The Phoenix is a concept for now, New 9-3 by October 2012.