These two photos are the ones that give us the most insight into what we’ll be looking at with the MY2008 Saab 9-3 range.
I’ve got to say, the first impression is bloody striking and just magnificent. This is just the aggressive look the 9-3 needed. The latest incarnation of the 9-5 was a little divisive (to say the least!) but so far, every reaction to this image that I’ve read has been totally positive.
The Aero-X influence is unmissable and beautifully applied to the car. Not only does the rounded pressing on the hood give the headlamps some aggressive eyebrows, it is also reminiscent of the old clamshell hoods of Saabs past (Vector 220 points oout in comment that it may actually be a clamshell and looking closely – he may well be right).
The photo above shows some blue/green accents to the headlamps, which give the impression of some Aero-Xism as well, with that channel running at the bottom of the main bulb in toward the grille. One thing I like about the lamps is that they seem to extend further around the side and appear to be rounded off, almost like the pre-MCE 9-5.
There’s a fair bit of blacking out going on in the front there, and I’m not sure that this front end is the one we’ll see on the production model, other than the hood, of course. I was expecting a more Aero-X style grille. Somewhat deeper than what’s pictured here, though this is definitely deeper than the current 9-3 grille, so maybe……
I’ve also heard on the grapevine that some LED daytime driving lamps might be integrated along te top of the regular headlamps. I can’t see any evidence of that here.
A few people in comments have mentioned that the door handles looked pretty similar to the Cadillac BLS door handles. This is true, but if they give me that front end and some performance characteristics that do it justice, then I won’t mind in the least.
My first impression is pure automotive lust. I can’t wait to see an Aero version of this car. It’s going to be absolutely awesome.