As part of Saab Automobile's efforts to compete with BMW and Audi, it has appointed Jason Castriota to head its design team. Castriota is a US designer who is famous for having developed the Ferrari P4/5 and Maserati GranTurismo.
In an interview at New York, Castriota said that his design firm's first task is to conceptualize an upscale version of Saab's current 9-3 model, which is set for a 2012 release. He said that the focus of this new design will be on aerodynamics.
He said that it's "absolutely vital" that he and his team get this car right. He described that the undertaking is "Saab returning to its roots" without worrying about being part of the much larger GM group, as it had been sold to Spyker Cars NV last February. Saab wants to become profitable by 2012.
Spyker CEO Victor Muller said that the strategy now is to launch more distinct and sportier premium models than when Saab was under GM.
Saab spokesman Eric Griers said that Castriota will play a major role in creating the new 9-3 and other models. Muller revealed that the 9-3 design he made is "basically done" and will be completed in the next few weeks. He described it as "truly aircraft-inspired and Swedish-clean." [via autonews]