My business with the Lehmanns now in order, I’m free to reveal this new image of a MY08 9-3 SportCombi undergoing testing in northern Sweden.
Being silver, or grey, or whatever color it is (hard to tell in the light) it gives us a much clearer look at how the front end will look with the new grille and headlamp treatment.
Here it is, click to enlarge.
As you can see, they’ve done some disguise work on this one that wasn’t evident (or perhaps not deemed necessary) on the darker cars. They’ve taped some bump strips on the front bumpers and doors a-la prior years’ 9-3 models, and there’s a thin line of tape on the hood where the gaps would be on prior year model hoods.
The grille treatment doesn’t go the full lengths of the Aero-X and I would guess that this front treatment is a partial transition that will be carried on in future models. The small grille areas between the headlamps and main grille have a taper to them that flows between the outer and inner elements, where the Aero-X had the small grilles incorporated and more rectangular with the headlamps.
There’s also the same tape atop the headlamps as we saw with the dark cars, which is believed to be possibly hiding some LED daytime running lights.
I’ve cropped and enhanced the photo, and retained the original size in the image below so that you can see the slightest bit of bling poking out from the top.
And for those of you wanted a closer look, here’s a cropped closeup of those door handles, which look like they’re going to be shared with the BLS.
Throw some nice 17″ or 18″ alloys on this baby and it’s one fine looking SportCombi. I’m liking it more and more all the time.
And what’s with all that snow on the front? Have they been off-road or something?