Saab Aero X – Street (Jet) Fighter
With its Sportcoupé Aero X concept, Saab is giving the market an insight into possible future design directions for the Swedish company. Drawing heavily on its aeronautical heritage, one of the features of the car is entry via a one-piece cockpit canopy, just as you would see on a Saab jet aircraft.
Conceived as a study to explore future design directions, the company states: "its innovative features preview the development of an enhanced design language that will inspire future Saab products".
The canopy offers the Aero X 'pilot' full 180 degree vision, and also facilitates entry and exit from its low-slung cabin. Inside, the Saab Aero X's cockpit completely eliminates conventional dials and buttons. Instead, Saab has applied techniques derived from Swedish glass and precision instrument making, displaying data on glass-like acrylic 'clear zones' in graphic 3-D images.
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.
Thrust for the all-wheel drive Saab Aero X also comes from a powerplant with a difference. The 400 bhp, twin-turbo, BioPower V6 engine is fuelled entirely by bioethanol, a sustainable energy source that is kinder to the environment by cutting fossil CO2 emissions.
With weight-saving carbon fibre bodywork, a lightweight powertrain, electronically-controlled suspension and all-wheel drive, the Saab Aero X is driver's car that promises a level of performance to match its looks. Computer simulations anticipate zero to 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds and a top speed limited to 155 mph (250 km/h).
"This concept shows the exciting possibilities that are open to us as we evolve a more progressive design language for the Saab 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."
Text: Classic Driver
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