Chris Bangle being a douchebag.

Fast Tube by Casper

Chris Bangle, the designer from Ohio who receives justified blame for destroying BMW’s handsome looks challenged Saab’s Jason Castriota in a design discussion at the Geneva Auto Show.

The Saab Phoenix is a teardrop-shaped concept, not intended to be a production car, that draws from Saab’s design heritage.

Specifically mentioned in the discussion is the 1945 Ursaab, an experimental design that influenced every Saab since.

Castriota explains to Bangle how the teardrop shape is classic Saab. Bangle asks how Saab can claim aerodynamics as its design language.

Bangle: “So you’re going to own that now. You’re going to own aero.”

Castriota:  “I think I’ve been doing it for a while, actually. Everybody needs a sign. You own the flame. Or the butt.”

I chuckled heartily.

Castriota worked for Pininfarina and designed the stunning Maserati Granturismo:

5 Responses to Chris Bangle being a douchebag.

  1. DICK RUZZIN says:

    Chris’s question is really funny. Claiming to own aero as a distinguishing theme is really comical also. Criticizing Chris Bangle for asking that question displays a level of intelligence that is remarkable. It is true that the internet is not fielded by journalistic stars.

    The car is not a SAAB. With exception of the grill bar every new Saab chief designer has given up more and more of Saabs’ design character, which was very unique and individualistic. As each seeks another they demonstrate their inexperience and lack of creative ability. They “Push the envelope,’ instead of facing the hard tasks.

    This car will find a place somewhere in a remote spot of the small SAAB museum outside of Trolteton.

    Chris was very nice throughout this discussion, he gave an interview willingly and should be treated with respect.

    This publication demeans itself. Focus on design, if you know what it is. Your work says you do not.


    • jesda says:

      I thank you for the styling of my Sevilles. However, Bangle’s later designs are often hideous.

      I could push the envelope of cuisine by defecating on a piece of toast. It doesn’t mean I’ve created anything good. Yes, in all forms of ART someone has to do what may be appear to be extreme or controversial to create new norms, but whether it’s sculpture, music, paint, or photography, the vast majority of “creative” works in most mediums are rightfully and justifiably rejected, as are most automotive designs.

      There’s a difference between mere differentiation and forward progress. Creativity alone is inadequate. In manufacturing the insanity -or- brilliance of a designer has to be tempered by sensibility and class. You have several successes under your belt at General Motors, some of which are legendary, but you also gave us the amateurish “dustbuster” Lumina APV minivan. If Bangle owns the butt, then perhaps you own the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner?

      Perhaps your forgiveness of Bangle is due to some of your own less than stellar works. I say this with tremendous respect as I am familiar with and in admiration of much of your portfolio, and that includes cars that I’ve owned that were crafted under your careful direction.

      [And even Bangle himself deserves credit for global classics like BMW’s timeless, elegant, and simultaneously sporty E46.]

      If you follow the industry then you have seen the final production result of Phoenix. The team at Saab worked on the final 9-3 until the very last minute, completing all of the design and engineering without adequate time to come up with the tooling due to bankruptcy. It’s long, low, and sleek and utilizes many of the concept’s daring curves and shapes.

  2. Ian N. says:

    That was harsh, Dick.

  3. Isaac Bresnick says:

    On the Phoenix itself, I don’t get the fins. They seem like abstract art, and not tied to any particular part of the car, past or present.

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