Tony Catignani was a lead designer for the Saab project 640, commonly known as Saab 9-5 we all know today. Now, he is Design Consultant (previously designer with Ford/Saab/Volvo) and program leader of transport design at Umeå Institute of Design, one of the worlds leading automotive design schools.
In 1984, he Starting up as a design consultant and mainly working with Saab Automobile of Sweden, but based in UK. As an exterior designer with growing responsibility, te traveled more and more to Sweden. This continued up to 1991 when General Motors bought 50% of Saab. He took a chance joining Saab in Sweden and by 1995 was the exterior design manager responsible for the Saab 95 and following 93.
Alongside the Saab 9-5, he worked on another Saab project 93.
The 93 project started around 1997. Designers wanted to keep the design features and functional value of Saab’s past, but they had opposition. Engineering didn’t want to do the clam hood and marketing thought all customers would want a sedan. In the end management and the board sided with them and design had to go along with it. Tony saw the big picture, but it was hard to convincing others, especially the “bean counters” the way to go.
Below, you can see Tony Catignani’s design sketch made in February 1988 – project 93 (900NG):
If you look a little better, this Tony’s sketch from 1988 is not bad compared to the final car. Photo released on Saab Cars Official you can see below:
This book chronicles the entire development process in the making of a new car: how they went about choosing technical solutions and why; test driving: designing, and pre-production preparations.
See also these Saab post from the history of development: