MY08 9-3 Snippets

One gent that a few of us may know of has caught a look at some MY08 pictures and has written to let me know that the SportCombi version with its XWD setup will be offered in a sort of Ovlov XC70 style cladding to take on the aspiring Subaru Outback owners.

There will be some special trims both internally and externally as well as a slightly raised ride height. There were some spypics back in 2003 of a concept like this that got canned when GM pulled the development pin due to a lack of cost control at Saab.

Those of you wishing for more Saab-Subaru tie-ins may be getting your wish. Subie has certainly grown in the last 10 years building its smaller-than-they-look uglywagons (no, I’m not a Subie fan) so a slightly raised and tastefully clad SportCombi should draw some interest with that crowd, as well as the Ovlov set in the Swede’s home market.

The new vehicle is said to be headed for testing by the Swedish police in the near future.



It’s been written here already that the Saab 9-3 is available for order right now in Sweden with a 1.8t BioPower setup. This is a MY7.5 development.

Another factoid that’s been related to me is that a higher output BioPower engine is also being readied for the 9-3 for MY08. I don’t know the specifics, but in order to retain the segmentation from the 9-5 I’d be willing to speculate that it’ll be the 2.0t.


UPDATE: This is the image I was referring to above. Thanks to Nevitz for reminding me of the link through comments.

Note, this picture is a few years old now and is believed to be a picture of a proposed crossover they had planned when originally designing the 9-3 range. There was a bigger range planned than just the sedan that was released originally.


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  1. When I hear “tastefully clad” I think (and hope), “Please, not too boxy. Oh pleeeaaase no.”

    Less right angles? Absolutely. Bleggh. Bring batch the hatch, I beg you!!

  2. I think what they mean about a tastefully clad xwd combi is slightly raised, with maybe some more body trim, but no other major cosmetic changes. AWD and an XWD combi all great positive steps, there is market share to be gained from subie owners – especially in NE – who would prefer to be in a more upscale Saab but take the Subie for awd reasons.

  3. Swade, could you be hinting to something along the lines of that picture you refer to in the podcast? Interesting, would it be too “ute-like” that it may steal customers from the upcoming 9-4x segment?

    Yeah, so having a 9-2x I feel like I can have an opinion on the Subie issue. I have grown to REALLY appreciate the Subie’s AWD, and can’t wait for XWD in the 9-3. But I’m glad we are NOT getting a recladed B9 Tribecca!

  4. OK, so because Subaru added body cladding to their Legacy and Impreza to make them Outbacks, Saab has to do it??? Also, it looks to me that the test mule 9-3s in the pix were at normal height–wouldn’t that be a terrific selling point for people who want both AWD and Saab’s terrific handling? My lovely wife and I had an AWD Legacy but purposely did not buy the Outback for these two reasons.
    I’d like to think that Saab wouldn’t clutter up their cars with superfluous cladding. Both these moves seem so…..un-Saab-like. šŸ™

  5. I remember that picture Swade! Every last detail of it.

    I don’t think a slightly lifted/’cladded’ car should replace todays 9-3 combi. Surely a model like this would have to be a variant, you can’t just take out the lower version…

  6. Are we missing something in the information provided by SAAB and GM on the Geneva 2007 site? Take a look under the SAAB section, where it says “SAAB – Taste the power of nature at the Saab BioPower Breakfast. Enjoy a buffet that includes everything from a concept car to a world premiere. Round off by trying the biodynamic juice and feel first-hand how power grows.” I guess we know about the concept, but what about the world premiere?

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