Think of this Saab as the T-1000 of concept cars, only with less duplicitous pointy-metal-finger death and more economy. It is the Phoenix, and it has just been revealed at the 2011 Geneva motor show.
Design director Jason Castriota reckons this concept ‘establishes a new reference point for the future of Saab product design', which if it does, means good things, partly because it comes with butterfly doors and looks kinda' hard.
A ‘liquid metal' style surface a-la-Terminator 2 houses a 2+2 cabin (sitting on the new 9-3 production car platform), BMW's 200bhp aluminium 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine used in the Mini (they're buying it from Bee-Em) and even a 34bhp electric motor powered by a small battery attached to the rear axle (itself charged by regenerative braking).
No word on performance, but the Phoenix sends the power to the front wheels via a six-speed ‘box and is projected to return 56.5mpg and emit just 119g/km of CO2. This hybrid system will find its way into the next 9-3 too.
It comes with three operating modes - Eco, Sport and Traction - and Saab's IQon, a communications platform using Google Android as an operating system. When you turn the ignition, it connects to the Internet and, via a touch-screen, allows entertainment streaming, audio, online navigation, music storage and smartphone-style apps.
The new 9-3 will come as a hatch, estate and cabrio, sans batwings, sadly. Of course, should this concept suddenly morph into an ass-kicking exoskeleton and mercilessly gun down future rebel leaders, well, you've been warned...