Saab stylist Jason Castriota calls the styling “aeromotional,” and plans to apply it to upcoming production cars. ; He described the process as taking an ice block to hold the passengers and luggage and melting it down until it had a functional shape: Every part of the design is intended to reduce drag including the odd buttresses which help funnel air down to the rear spoiler for increased downforce. Castriota also mentioned that the PhoeniX's short front overhang, common in show cars, really will make it to the next 9-3 on which the car is presumably based on.
BMW stylist Chris "Bustle Butt" Bangle poked a bit of fun at Castriota for what he said was a modern aerodynamic design but not really identifiable as a Saab. Castriota retorted that it was a callback to Saab's first car, the 92001 Ursaab. It too had a similar layout with a Kammback tail thanks to a design penned by the company's aeronautical engineers.
Underneath the sleek sheetmetal is technology that will be rolled out in future models. Instead of traditional all wheel drive, the PhoeniX splits power between the gas and electric engines with what they call "eXWD electric rear wheel drive." Lengthy name aside, this is similar to the system used in Lexus RX450h: The gas engine sends power to the front wheels while the electric motors power the rear. Setting the traction control to "sport" allows the electric motors to use torque vectoring, varying power between them the left and right wheels to help the car go around curves. This improves handling without requiring complicated axles used on traditional cars.
The PhoeniX should use just 5 liters of gasoline for every 100 km travelled which works out to about 47 mpg. How close this number will be to production vehicles will depend mostly on the number of aerodynamic tweaks that are brought over from the concept.