Chris Bangle takes a swing at Jason Castriota over SAAB PhoeniX

In what's already being heralded as the "Chilla in Geneva," infamous BMW designer Chris "Big Butts" Bangle tussled with Jason "Cassius" Castriota over the design of the inspired-by-jets Saab PhoeniX. Rhetorical fists fly as Bangle angles to flame Castriota's surfaces.


Bangle throws the first punch asking "What makes the PhoeniX a Saab?" Castriota deftly maneuvers, ducking the punch and shifting his weight toward the car's dripping metal aero design. But just as he regains his balance and breath, Bangle hits him again with the same hook.


"Have you ever seen the urSaab?" Castriota counters.

"It looks like the urSaab?" Bangle spits again as the jabs start in rapid succession, with Castriota pointing out again the car's aeronautical inspiration.

"You're going to own aero?" Bangle asks, trying to land the finishing punch. But Castriota hits back with a haymaker right to Bangle's mischievous beard.

"Everybody needs a sign… you want flame… or the butt?"


It's all over from there, with Bangle flopping on the faux-carpeted ground of the Geneva hall exclaiming "I wanted to get rid of both of those" before claiming it's about the mysterious "them." Bangle manages to struggle to his feet, but we're calling this a TKO in Castriota's favor.

What a match. Old versus new. Mainstream versus streamlined. Ali versus Patterson. Well, maybe Ali versus Liston. People liked Floyd Patterson…


You can see Castriota discussing the PhoeniX without the Madman from Ohio berating him over at Saabs United.

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Huell Howitzer

I met Jason when he was a student and he was far more advanced than any of his classmates in talking up design. That's what got him where he is today, his mouth. Bangle is asking a valid question to which Jason has not addressed in the design, they both know it. Saab has an iconic profile in the 99. Nothing from the side view relates exclusively to Saab heritage. the front end graphics, easy enough, you can paste that on any design. And don't BS me into believing that the "flying buttresses" reduce drag. It looked cool in a sketch and you're trying to justify it. Jason's been handed supercars his whole career with his deft manipulation and salesmanship. When he can design a tailored common sedan, then he can advance to greatness. The cartoon cars are easy, easy, easy. Great design comes from simple beauty on common proportions. THAT is the greatest challenge a designer can have. When he can make a great looking Camry with production feasbility, then he can get some respect- until then, in the design community, he's just a douchebag.