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Saab Phoenix concept (photos)

Saab's new concept bears a name referring to the company's near-death experience, before Spyker bought it from GM. More practically, the Phoenix concept serves as the basis for a new 9-3 that Saab has in the works, and shows off new hybrid and cabin technologies.

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Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 8 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
The appropriately named Phoenix is Saab's first concept after its fire sale by GM to Spyker. This concept serves as a design brief for the next 9-3 model, and shows off not only new design language, but innovative cabin and hybrid technologies.

Back to 2011 Geneva auto show.

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2 of 8 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Saab describes it as "tear drop-shaped" with an outer skin of "liquid metal." The glass canopy evokes Saab's aircraft company roots. The shape actually has a very low coefficient of drag, at only .25, the same as the Toyota Prius.

Back to 2011 Geneva auto show.

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Saab explores the idea of aggressively channeling air around the body with these wings attached to the sides of the concept.

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4 of 8 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
The wheels reaffirm the aircraft theme, with somewhat of a mixed message. The center image, a twin prop plane, is classic Saab, yet the wheels themselves suggest a jet engine turbine.

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5 of 8 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
A clear cover in the hood shows off the 1.6-liter turbocharged gas engine, which turns the front wheels and forms half of the car's power train.

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6 of 8 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
A 34 horsepower electric motor, the other half of the concept's power train, sits at the rear wheels. It works in conjunction with the gas engine to give the car a hybrid drive system and all-wheel-drive.

Back to 2011 Geneva auto show.

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The Android-based Saab IQon infotainment system fulfills audio, communication, and navigation needs. Saab currently has a fleet of cars testing a beta of the IQon system, suggesting it will probably be ready for the new 9-3 model.

Back to 2011 Geneva auto show.

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Similar to Android, IQon lets users install new apps. Saab says it will evaluate all third-party apps before making them available to the public.

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