Some 9-3 Speculating….

Olaf has sent in a photoshopped headlamp section showing his impressions as to what those LED running lamps might look like:


….And Trent has gone a step further and applied some photoshop magic to the blacked out area around the grille, those taped-up bump strips and he’s even cleaned the snow off and added some wheels to try and forecast what we might see in June.

Click to enlarge and of course, your say is always welcome in comments.


I had a similar photo come in from Mats H, but unfortunately he used a different pic that I haven’t bought the rights to and I’m trying really hard to be a good blogger.

All of this is just prognostication, of course, but fun nonetheless.

New photos of this silver 9-3 SportCombi (which is registered as a diesel, by the way) can be found at World Car Fans and at The Car Connection.

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  1. Very nice work. When the second picture-series came from the MY08-front, I didn’t like the massive black holes in the front.

    But with the chrome finish (I could have thought that out 😛 ) it looks way better.

    I’m gonna ask my boss when it is in our showroom. 😉

  2. Agreed, sooo much better with a little splash of chrome – beginning to look quite the executive sport model that SAAB should be – still not totally convinced it isn’t just tinkering with something that wasn’t broken. Agree with some,( with 1st hand knowledge of my MY06 Sportswagon Vectro sport), that equal and maybe greater effort needs to be made to improve interior fit and finish. My Vauxhall (Opel/Saturn) Astra had better quality plastics and far superior trim fit (no sagging rear window trims, no wonky handbrake, no fragile cup holder etc etc). Still love my SAAB though, sure perfection would be dull 😉

  3. Kroum; I thought that was illegal in the Netherlands, and maybe some other countries.

    For example: trucks can have loads of lights on their fronts, but may not turn that on.

    That christmas-tree-effect may not be allowed at normal cars.

  4. Hello fellow Saab Enthusiasts.
    My name is Andre & I drive a ’99 9-3s

    These are just my thoughts on the upcoming ’08 9-3. Well I think the
    styling is a step in the right direction towards the Aero-X, however not enough. I understand the constraints that are put on the designers by using an old platform, but look at the amount of change they were able to make to the 9-5. I guess I was just expecting a little more. Hopefully when it is finally completed and revieled, the changes will all come together into a nice neat package.

    A concern,
    All of the talk of the “Black Turbo” is very good to hear. However I must say that the specs are a bit underwhelming to me. If Saab truly wants to compete with the big boys (BMW, AUDI, and the Japanese), they will have to come up with something better than an advertsed 290hp. The infiniti G35, BMW 335i, and the Lexus IS all have 300+hp under the hood. As for price, you can’t really argue that the 9-3 is such a good deal. The G35x starts at $33,950usd. The current aero is about the same price. I find it hard to believe that Saab will be able to add this better engine, and xwd and keep it around this price point. As for the other brands, Saab does not have the luxury righ now of pricing their cars the way BMW,Audi and Lexus do, It’s the sad truth. I am sorry to say, but if Saab truly wants to capture more buyers outside the loyalists pool (I can only speak for the US) ,they will have to come up with something better than what I’m hearing. Hopefully the specs on the Black turbo are underestimated, and hopefully it has an e100 engine, but I have yet to figure out how this all is going to work. (this drivetrain had better be sweet, for Saab’s sake)

    Feel free to agree/disagree with my thoughts. And any help changing my mind about the situation would be greatly appreciated.

  5. Good call, El Loco.

    I was thinking that if just the lower part of the chrome trim around the small grilles is LEDs that run as an extension of the headlamps, it would definitely be an Aero-X inspiration with a twist.

  6. I will agree with you TuuSar, however horsepower is what is used in advertising the performance of a car to the misled american public. What I am saying is that with the position that Saab is in relative to where they want to be, They have to come to the table with something better. Thats all. The black turbo may end up being the better car. But if it does not sell, then it really does not matter.

  7. I wouldn’t hold my breath on the LED running lights. The strip above WILL be chrome like on the 9-5 just a little more restrained. Its too bad the sedan has not been spy photo’d yet as a very very close “source” has told me that the rear design from the “c” pillar back including lights et al is quite interesting and quite a change from todays sedan.

  8. if you look closely to the hood, you’ll also notice that the center wihdshield sprayer is gone… a piece of tape is in it’s stead.

    best seen in the carconnection shots.

  9. Patrick, the close-up of yesterday’s shot definitely looks like LEDs showing from underneath the tape. Perhaps there will also be a thin stip of chrome above the LEDs?

  10. I’m getting a bit off-topic, but one of the comments here reminded me of a question I’ve had for quite some time:

    If torque is more important than horsepower why is it that diesel engines (which have more torque and less horsepower than gasoline engines) don’t have a quicker 0 to 60 time than their gasoline counterparts?

  11. Since we’re speculating, here goes:

    The production model will not have the downward angled side grills. There will be small side grills that seem more integrated with the headlamps.

    This speculation is based on two points. One, the downward sloping side grills would not be consistent with the Aero-X or the new 9-5 design, both have smaller grills that flow into the headlamps.
    Two, the downward angle creates a rather odd line when coming off of the headlamp. I would hope that Saab design would flow much better than that.

  12. Gripen,
    About torque, it’s basically the AREA under the torque curve that matters. The diesel bottoms out too quickly, and has a smaller total area. I think you get the same relative results for comparison if you use the area under the horsepower curve. Peak doesn’t mean much, either for torque or power.

  13. Isn’t this photo shop reflecting the exact contents of my post on this car yesterday?

    Not that I am smug- perish the thought…

  14. zippy: if the next-gen 9-3 or 9-5 looks like that I’d be very impressed. That’s one of my favorite of the artists’ renderings I’ve seen.

  15. zippy, that wouldbe great! And i think it is not impossible.
    Something about the lights doesn´t seem right in this photoshop´d picture.
    well – hope is the last thing that dies 😉

  16. This chop really shows how the car can look like, and I’m liking this a lot. It would be great if it did have the LED headlights, and why not, the CTS has them, so it’s certainly doable at the CTS’s price point. Any idea if an interior redesign is coming also? That would be good.

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