It was only few weeks ago that Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker, was discussing the direction that their new acquisition, Saab Automobile, was taking. Since then, they have really stepped up their game, as the company announced the appointment of former Pininfarina and Bertone designer, Jason Castriota as director of design.
Yes, this is the same Jason Castriota that designed the Ferrari P4/5, Maserati Gran Tourismo and Bertone Mantide. Saab now wants Castriota to produce designs that will take on the likes of BMW’s 3-Series and Audi’s A4 who have the monopoly in that segment.
First on his list is the new Saab 9-3 which is set for a 2012 release and the design focus will centre on the aerodynamics of the new sedan. The 9-3 has of course already been designed internally as it is only less than 2 years to 2012, but Castriota will work on enhancing the design. The 9-3 is an important model as it is one of the cheaper Saab models and it provides an entry path into building brand loyalty for the brand.
“It’s absolutely vital we get this car right. This is Saab returning to its roots, not having to worry about being part of a much larger machine that they were before in the GM organization,” said Castriota.
This is in-line with Saab’s plan of becoming a profitable business by 2012. Now that they’re not restricted by the shackle that was General Motors design, they can release “premium models more distinct and sporty in their design.”
According to Muller, who has seen the 9-3’s design, it will be completed within weeks and “is truly aircraft-inspired and Swedish-clean.” It will be exciting to see what this supposed design would look like as there are still remnants of GM in this 9-3. Thus if successful, the car will be a testament to Castriota’s skills, giving the company total confidence in the designers abilities when working on their ‘mini-rival’ 9-2 project.