The Saab Convertible Reinvented

Saab 9-X Air Concept Car

The Saab 9-X Air Concept Car

It is over 25 years since Saab unveiled the first four-seater convertible to the world, Now Saab's design classic takes on a new form in the shape of the 9-X Air concept car.

Set to be revealed at the Paris Motorshow on the 2nd October 2008, the 9-X Air concept provides a tantalising glimpse of what a future convertible from Saab could look like.

Featuring a unique Canopy Top, the Saab 9-X Air breaks the mould of conventional convertibles by incorporating prominent rear pillars which curve upwards to mount the flat folding roof.   With the top down motorists can enjoy open-top motoring free from buffeting, and with the top up the 9-X Air assumes the appearance of a true coupe.

The Saab 9-X Air’s raked rear pillars support the Canopy Top – itself a development of the Targa roof principle – with a separate rear screen located between them. Instead of having a manually detachable roof section, the Saab Canopy top is fully powered in operation and folds away in the storage trunk.  Saab has already filed a patent for this radical design of convertible roof.

The clean, sculpted body contours of the 9-X Air give fresh expression to Saab’s Scandinavian-inspired design ethos and its aircraft heritage. The purposeful stance, with minimal overhangs front and rear, is complemented by a single, wraparound window graphic, smooth uncluttered body surfaces and ‘ice block’ lighting themes.

Anthony Lo, Director of Advanced Design at General Motors Europe said of the car: “Like her sister the 9-X BioHybrid, this car is all about efficiency in design and performance.  It offers important benefits in weight-saving and packaging as well as giving us the freedom to take convertible design forward.”

Published 18 September 2008 Melanie Carter

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