Saab Sonett 9-3 Coupe, the car that was never built

Article by Christian A., on April 16, 2013

If Saab didn’t collapse, it would have already built a coupé version of the defunct 2012 9-3, according to Autocar. Meant to compete with the Audi A5, this vehicle would have been based on the Phoenix platform (which Saab engineered) that was used on the all-new 9-3 hatchback. It was intended to be a 2+2.

According to sources, it was supposed to get a ‘Sonett’ badge, which is the name used for a range of three small Saab sports cars, produced between 1955 and 1974. It would have been available with different variants of the Mini’s existing 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

There may have even been a 4x4 performance version with an electrically powered rear axle, which provided torque vectoring for a much better handling. Jason Castriota, Phoenix project design chief, is believed to have influenced the engineering of the Phoenix platform.

He was successful at lengthening the wheelbase and shortening the front overhang. Insiders said that Castriota was compelled to make use of the headlights and mirrors on the 9-3 models as those used on the 2009 Saab 9-5. The facelift of the 9-3 and 9-5 slated in 2014 would have meant the introduction of new headlights as well as numerous other modifications.

Smooth, ingenious and remarkably proficient: the Saab PhoeniX Concept vehicle exhibits design elements and cutting-edge technologies which will revolutionize the next model of vehicles from Saab.

In light of a new structure which will liberate the next Saab 9-3 model, the Saab PhoeniX Concept launches "aeromotional" design: a graphic summoning of the aerodynamic design standards and enthusiasm for ingenuity that challenged the builders of Saab's first vehicle, the legendary Ursaab.

The Saab PhoeniX Concept incorporates teardrop, 'liquid metal' forms and a dynamic jet canopy-inspired glasshouse that gives a new articulation to Saab's trademark "wraparound" and translucent ice-block design themes.

The crisp, bulky shape allows an astonishingly low drag co-efficient of just 0.25 and also considers the potential for airflow management using distinguishable, side-mounted 'winglets'.

Butterfly opening doors provide effortless access to a 2+2 cabin that fuses clarity with innovation. It has a minimalist, 'stripped out' vibe, including a fresh rendition of Saab's driver-focused design and a world premiere for Saab's state-of-the-art IQon infotainment and communications system. In genuine Saab fashion, there is also an astonishingly flexible cargo deck.

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