It’s been a huge week for news here.
The biggest news of all is that Saab will unveil a MY2008 vehicle in Sweden in June 2007. The US debut will be in August 2007.
The new model will be a re-skinned Saab 9-3 featuring design cues from the Aero-X, cues that will later be evident in the 9-4x and 9-5.
Despite still being on the same Epsilon I platform as the current 9-3, sources indicate that the new reskinned 9-3 will have AWD as an option, which will enable higher engine specs and outputs. When customers were asking about AWD several years ago the reponse, presumably from GM, was that Epsilon was not engineered in such a way as to be AWD capable. Obviously this situation has changed or technology has emerged that accommodates the setup.
Parts for tool and panel pressing etc for the reskinned 9-3 have been ordered for delivery in Trollhattan in “Week 10” of 2007, with work beginning in “Week 12 or 13”. I assume that means a March commencement date.
It’s understood that the current 9-3 will not receive a Biopower setup, however I’d consider it quite likely that the new 9-3 will receive it as a standard setup for gasoline engines.
Initial speculation at this site focused on a new 9-5 being the model to be unveiled, but several sources in different markets have now confirmed that the reskinned 9-3 will come before the 9-4x and 9-5.
It’s also interesting to note that amidst all the reports that have been coming in over the last few days, there is absolutely no mention whatsoever of a smaller Saab, the so-called 9-1. It seems that any plans for this vehicle have dropped right off the radar all together.