9-3 Sport Combi bound for Oz

Although I’d reported it earlier, there’s confirmation in the electronic media now that the 9-3 SportCombi is coming here to Australia.  Our local dealer is pretty pleased with the decision.  "About time" according to him.

I wonder if they’ll import the bodies and assemble them here, seeing the engine will be manufactured in Melbourne.  A Saab put together in Australia, whodathunkit?

Click below for the media report.

New product – especially here in Australia – is a rarity for the GM-owned Swedish carmaker these days, but by the end of the year, Saab should have added a 9-3 SportCombi to its lineup. In a nod to its past, SportCombi is the name given to the new hatch/wagon version of the 9-3 sedan that will be officially unveiled to the public at the Geneva motor show.

Although in the US, the company has added the 9-2X and 9-7X, these are essentially badge-engineered products courtesy of Subaru – the 9-2 is a restyled and modified Impreza – and Chevrolet with the big SUV based on the Trailblazer.

The SportCombi, however, is all Saab, or at least General Motors, and hides a particular Australian connection under the bonnet.

For heading the list of engine options will be a new 184kW 2.8-litre turbocharged version of the global V6 that Holden builds at Port Melbourne (the naturally aspirated 3.6-litre version powers the Commodore).

This engine will also become the standard in the 9-3 Aero sedan and Convertible models. In addition to the V6, Saab will also offer a range of other powerplants likely to include the 110kW and 129kW 2.0-litre four cylinder turbo engines. It may also maintain the current range topper the 155kW fully blown 2.0-litre high output turbo four cylinder.

As a five-door wagon, the SportCombi will be competing against the likes of Volvo’s V50 and the Audi A4 Avant and comes with a luggage space that size-wise sits in between the two – the Volvo is the biggest.

The price premium over the sedan models will probably be around $3000 so expect th SportCombi to start about $50,000.

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