Saab Aero X Concept: prototype images

Concept Cars 10 Mar 2006
Saab Aero X Concept: prototype images

A set of pictures taken from the development process of the Aero X Concept, the concept vehicle unveiled by Saab at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show.


Saab Aero X Concept developmentAfter the general information, we report some photos released by Saab regarding the construction of the Aero X prototype, as well as some significant excerpts explaining the design philosophy and the future styling trends according to Saab.

“This study shows how the strength of the Saab brand heritage can inspire bold, innovative design,” says Bryan Nesbitt, Executive Director, GM Design Europe.

“As we move forward with new Saab product, we will remain focused on carefully cultivating this brand equity in the context of Scandinavian design values.”

Saab Aero X Concept design collage“This concept shows the exciting possibilities that are open to us as we evolve a more progressive design language for the brand,” says Jan Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile’s Managing Director.

“Our designers, engineers and marketers in Sweden are ideally placed to nurture and communicate the unique DNA of the Saab brand.

“Their work will ensure that future product proposals express core qualities, such as progressive design, sporty performance and emotional functionality, in a way that is specific to Saab.”

 

Saab Aero X Concept - prototype design
Saab Aero X Concept - prototype design
The canopy opening system From left:
Anthony Lo, Alex Daniel

“The canopy concept takes the cockpit look to a new level,” explains Alex Daniel, principle designer of the exterior. “It makes a very bold graphic around the car’s cabin but it is more than a styling feature. It improves all-round vision for the driver and also makes getting in and out of such a low car rather easier. We remained consistent with Saab and Swedish design principles in giving functionality to this form.”

Saab Aero X Concept - prototype design
Saab Aero X Concept - prototype design

For the interior, “To maintain the analogy of an aircraft fuselage, the lines had to be kept stretched and smooth flowing, without attracting the eye to any particular point,” adds Daniel.

“We wanted to represent the brand’s aviation roots in an intelligent way, without using showy gimmicks, which would not be the Saab way.” The aircraft references are there, of course, but presented in a subtle fashion: the deep, front air intake ducts, the ‘turbofan’ design of the alloy wheels and the further evolution of the front grille with its aircraft-like central motif.

Saab Aero X Concept - prototype design
Saab Aero X Concept - prototype design
All exterior and interior lighting is by LED (light-emitting diode), which has given the design team new freedoms to exploit the compact packaging benefits of a technology that will be featured increasingly in future Saab products.

“Apart from visualizing the brand’s links with aviation, this is the other main theme of the car. The glass industry and the manufacturing of precision instruments is very strong in southern Sweden where we are based.”

Saab Aero Concept interior detail
Saab Aero Concept interior detail
Techniques in sandblasting, polishing and laser-etching from the Swedish glass industry are combined with subtle LED back and side lighting to produce striking ‘3-D’ imagery. Green illumination, another Saab tradition based on aviation practice, is retained for optimum clarity.

“We have seen how glass surfaces are treated to give various optical effects, how light is used with glass and how instrument displays possess a very clear, precise imagery. It was very natural for us to use this as an inspiration on the Aero X” explains Erik Rokke, principle designer of the interior.

Saab Aero X Concept - prototype design
Saab Aero X Concept - prototype design

Future Directions

Saab Aero X Concept - prototype design

From left:
Alex Daniel, Anthony Lo, Erik Rokke In character and performance, the Aero X is the most driver-focused design yet to come from Saab and Anthony Lo views it an important step in helping to define future products for the brand.

“The future is about looking back, as well as forward, so we can interpret the special qualities that go to make up what a brand stands for,” says Lo. “However, in giving products a clear identity, we should not feel restricted by previous design conventions and the Aero X explores new ways of expressing what Saab stands for.

“In showing how a focused, high performance sports car from Saab could look, we have been able to introduce a more self-expressive, more assertive design language, tipping the balance away from understatement.

“The brand’s roots in aviation and its rich Swedish heritage are an important part of what makes a Saab a Saab and the Aero X shows how these influences can be presented in a clear and exciting way.”

(Source: Saab)

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