BREAKING: Saab hires Castriota to be new design head, pen next 9-3 by Jeremy Korzeniewski (RSS feed) on Jun 18th 2010 at 1:28PM http://www.autoblog.com/2010/06/18/breaking-saab-hires-castriota-to-be-new-design-head-pen-next-9/ Intriguing news comes by way of BusinessWeek this afternoon indicating that Saab has hired American designer Jason Castriota to serve as its head designer. Surely you remember Castriota, the man responsible for such memorable designs as James Glickenhaus' one-off Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina and the somewhat controversial but striking Bertone Mantide. It seems that the 36-year-old Castriota's first assignment at the reborn Swedish automaker will be redesigning the firm's bread-and-butter 9-3 range into something a bit more unique and upscale. Expect to see the first fruits of his labor sometime in 2012, which, incidentally, is the year that the quirky company hopes to regain profitability. We have no idea what the designer has in store for the 9-3, but it had better be good to take on the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. For what it's worth, company CEO Victor Muller said, "The 9-3 design as made by him is basically done, and I can tell you it is spectacular. It is truly aircraft-inspired and Swedish-clean." Sounds promising... but what else would Muller say? In any case, we're anxiously looking forward to our first glimpse at Castriota's first mainstream project to date.