Saab History

Saab 900NG by Tony Catignani

Saab 93 project by Tony CatignaniSaab 93 project by Tony Catignani

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.

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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 1988project 93 (900NG):

Saab 93 project by Tony Catignani

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Designer Geoff Wardle and 1998 Saab 9-3 Mk1 prototype
Designer Geoff Wardle and 1998 Saab 9-3 Mk1 prototype

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:

Saab 900 NG

If you are further interested in the development of this project, we recommend you a book “SAAB 900 A Swedish Story” by Anders Tunberg. BTW, he is author of several books about Saab cars.

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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.

Book "SAAB 900: A Swedish Story"

See also these Saab post  from the history of development:

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Saab 900 SE Premiere 1993

The Wooden Scale model of the Saab 900 Cabrio NG


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Goran Aničić
the authorGoran Aničić
For over 10 years, Goran Aničić has been passionately focused on Saab automobiles and everything related to them. His initial encounter with Saab cars took place back in 2003 when the first Saab 9-3 and sedan version were introduced. At that moment, he was captivated by the car's Scandinavian design logic and top-notch engineering, and everything that followed stemmed from that first encounter. Later on, through his work at the editorial team of the Serbian automotive magazines "Autostart" and later "AutoBild," he had the opportunity to engage more closely with Saab vehicles. In 2008, he tested the latest Saab cars of that time, such as the Saab 9-3 TTiD Aero and Saab 9-3 Turbo X. In 2010, as the sole blogger from the region, he participated in the Saab 9-5ng presentation in Trollhättan, Sweden. Alongside journalists from around the world, he got a firsthand experience of the pinnacle of technological offerings from Saab at that time. Currently, Goran owns two Saabs: a 2008 Saab 9-3 Vector Sportcombi with a manual transmission, and a Saab 9-3 Aero Griffin Sport Sedan from the last generation, which rolled off the production line in Trollhättan in December 2011.

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