Mama!! 9-3 Vert pics

From Auto Motor and Sport. Used with permission.

More to come. Click to enlarge.


Real world take on the coolest tail lamps EVER?!



That front end without tape??

Check the metallic surrounds on the air dams.

I am LOVING this. If this is the final product, back and front – it’s looking sensational. Aggressive, classy. Bring it on!


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  1. the back end looks very busy with all those horizontal lines, different materials, facets, and indentations.

    it’s pretty exciting though, and i am more optimistic with every emerging photo.

  2. It is ironic how much like the last 9-5 this looks like to me. I do like it but I always think a facelifted car is like a movie sequel – its fresh, but the original is better. Maybe this will be like The Empire Strikes Back and be better than the original.

    I also agree with Jeff the design is very fussy but it is not the end of the world either.

  3. Jon, I really liked that “old” 9-5 nose. I’ll be happy if it’s close to that one, with just a little more aggressive headlamps and V-shape. And some LED lights… 🙂

  4. I wasn’t sure about the previous scoops, but I got used to the impression and now I must say I’m convinced. This is a good looking and slick facelift.

    Most saab facelifts look much better than the original, 900 to 93 was a succes, 9-5 facelift imo was spot-on and now the 9-3 SS/CV looks very tasty…

  5. WOOHOO!!

    That looks much nicer 🙂

    Can’t wait to get my hands on one now :).

    My ’07 model arrives in May (it’s actually getting built in the first week of May), but I don’t want it now, I wish I could just sleep for a few months just in time for the ’08MY rollout on the 1st of Sept in the UK :).

    My rotation should see me get a ’08 model vert by about September/October. Hopefully the sun will still be shining a little then 🙂 🙂 :).

  6. ctm, I loved the original 9-5 front, I was thinking that it is ironic that the 9-3 now looks more like the old 9-5 than the current 9-5 does! (at least to my eyes).
    Joti I have to disagree, the 900 to 9-3 was not as big a change as this is. I like the look of the car but I really want to see one in the showroom to see how it looks.

  7. I likes.

    It looks more svelte than the last pics — perhaps they had some false panels on the last time? The rear is a little busy and maybe a bit chunky, but overall I think that it’s got enough good elements to overcome those minor criticisms.

    Additionally, it looks like the roof has a lower profile, especially toward the rear of the car.

    The front looks great, and those wheels are the 60th anniversary wheels, right? They will likely change, but they look good. Finally, I really like the way that the wheel openings match the wheel/tire size so well.

    Those tail lamps are horizontally split and have that distinctive angled wrap-around just like on my ‘vert. Vive le C900!!!!

    In fact, come to think of it, the front side markers are very C900-like, too! I could get used to this one, for sure!

  8. Finally some wrap around headlights! That’s how it should have been from the start. I’ve always thought the current 9-3 looked tame and timid, this one does NOT!

  9. Yeees!! Looks great. Vey cool looking front. Agrressive and mean a´la Aero-X. And the front end is fortunately neither a copy of last gen 9-5 nor 9-2X which was the feeling I got from masked cars. I´m I correct that the car has Saab doorhandles, not BLS? I cannot wait to see this car live. And then again, I´m afraid that I cannot prevent myself putting an order for a new 9-3 with awd in the near future. That car is a killer! Just what 9-5 should´ve been also.

  10. The front end looks superb. Just like my MY2005 9-5 but with more aggression. I’m impressed.

    Twin tailpies on the bum look excellent too.

  11. Im really startin to like the clam-shell, but not the wide chrome(ala DameE)…hire Ferragamo! Thiner…more vermouth dosent make any martini better.


  12. I am very impressed of these new 2008 9-3 pictures!!! This is what saab needs. I hope it is AWD. The Front of the car looks very aggressive, I hope there are built in LEDS on top of the head lights. That would be very Jet inspiring. I cant wait to see more pictures… I think I want to be on the waiting list for this SAAB…=)


  13. Paul, the car you are seeing is the Aero spec with the Twin pipe which means its a 2.8 more than likely. The lesser specs will more than likely louse the Twin pipes but will keep the black section on the lower sections of the bumper like the rear of the current 9-5.

    Only the convertible will keep the “old” door handles and door/rear panel moldings, with the rest of the cars getting the new door handles and will lose there moldings

  14. Show me this sexiness in arctic white, sand roof and parchment leather and I will build churches in honor of the designers of this mid-cycle enhanced 9-3. This is the car that should have been out in ’03. I’ll bet dollars to donuts the sedan gets the same rear-end treatment — hence why we haven’t seen spy pics yet. Just a thought. 🙂

  15. I hate to sound smug- but why chaneg thd habit of a lifetime!

    As stated when the first spy shots of the new front end came out – covered in tape and black trim, I (and others), said, wait up, and see what they do for production.

    As stated back then, there are now brushed steel edges to the grilles and tweaks to the framing – and does it look good!

    A huge cheer from here in deepest Wiltshire – where Saab rules – but Berkshire is Volvo country… Brits like Sweish cars at the moment.

  16. The front end definitely looks better than the current 9-3. How is it even possible that the original rolled off the line without wrap-around headlamps? However, I like the current tail lamps much better than the ones we see in this pic (are those black bars in the tail lamps, or are they blue like the exterior, either way, super ugly), and I certainly don’t care for that chrome bar. Can we keep the current rear design as a factory option maybe?

    Also, I wonder if this facelift can be optioned to have those side strips deleted. The front and back look good without those black bars, but I think it looks funny to be lacking them while retaining the bars on the side (even if they are colored).

    Nice door handle.

  17. Wait Wait WAIT! Does it say Saab across the middle wing on the grille?

    Looks great. The 9-5 bumper style was definetely one of my favorites.

    Roabban , lets not get too carried away :). Definetely looks good. I’m somewhat relieved to be honest. The USA spec will probably have more red in the tail lights :(… MORE PICS!


    And as I thought and stated the “lights” in the section round the foglights is crome. I like the 9-5 Dame Edna look, but this is something OUTSTANDING!!!! So well laid out. Those rear lights!!!! Everythig´s just PERFECT!!! The front looks like it could eat everything in it´s way. So darn cool!!!!

    Congrats Saab! You have done it! It´s gonna sell like crazy!!! Boy, doo I look forwards to see the SC but specially the SS!!!

    Once again… WWWOOOOOWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!


  19. I love that front end, wassn’t sure before, but now i love it. Looks great with the chrome in the air inlets in the bottom of the grill. If it has XWD i will do whatever it takes to buy this.

  20. I edit Carl’s Cars magazine and I have met many of the designers who are behind this, also Ed Welburn, global head of design at GM. Last year, he promised me that future SAABs will be extreme. I think this facelifted 9-3 is a good start, and expect them to pump up the volume for the 9-4x and 9-5. Congratulations, SAAB!

  21. Very nice convertible! I’m really wondering now what the SS rear end will look like??
    Good job Saab! Keep it up!

  22. That front end is awesome and what the current 9-5 should have looked like from the get-go! Those rear lights do nothing for me and I doubt you will see those in North America if at all anywhere else.

    The front end looks aggressive without looking completely ridiculous. So glad the clamshell hood is a reality!!

    I like it! 🙂

  23. Wow !!! If this is meant to have AWD and more KW under the hood, Saab Sales will head to another record. One thing these people have done exquisitely well is the face lifting progression. It looks as though they gave it the “Viggen” frontage aka as to the old hatch last lot that went to the Aero. Brilliant to say the least. In some ways I am very annoyed since the brand carries so much potential which has been severely clamped by GM. Once this new range is out we will at least have some serious alternatives to the “Audi” sheep followers !!! Bring it out now and do some serious “sale program specials” on the current range. Use the opportunity to lift sales even for crying out loud !!!!

  24. The rear lights are definetly a photoshop job, and I’m pretty sure there’s been some retouching of the front as well – but it’s very nicely done! Hope the real thing will be very close to this! 🙂

  25. 1. pardon my shallowness, but the design of the fog-light air dam is incredibly seductive;

    2. i’d be surprised if led’s are not part of the “refresh”; and

    3. this should raise the bar for the next-generation 9-3.

  26. Someone asked about potential buyers. Well, up to now I was ready to hop into an MY07. Early 08 photos looked bad. Now I think I will have to wait a little longer to make that decision….Say June.

    Isn’t that when the official pic/specs will be released?

  27. Front looks nice. The back is a mess, it looks like the took it off a fat Altima. And then the sides are the same old same old.

    The contemporary nose and tail with the old body didn’t work on the new 9-5 and it doesn’t work here.

    Now, if they gave the guy who did the front end the budget to do the rest of the car, that might look good.

  28. hoT hOT HOT.
    So many were complaining about a disguised car it was ridiculous. let this be a lesson… don’t judeg a book by its’ false cover.

    I am a 9-5 owner and lover; the first thing I thought when seeing this is it looks like a 04-05 9-5 with a bit more aggression and bling.


  29. after further consideration, my comment at the top is not worded strongly enough.

    that rear end HAS to be a photoshop. there are weird soft edges where the left taillight meets the trunk, the bumper has a bumper has a bumper, and the silver strip (ripped from the back of a Combi) doesn’t line up on the right edge next to the taillight, as it comes down into bumper number 1.

  30. This car reminds people of the current 9-5 and looks slightly bigger does and recent comments how the 9-3 has been eating into sales of 9-5 based on cost and engine size. The trend in models is to get bigger, looks at Civic Camary and Echo changes in the last 5-10 years. Would it not be reasonable to deduce that the NEW 9-5 will me larger than the current model AND look different than this MY08 9-3 to provide some older sibling differentation to the consumer? 9-5 the way of the volvo s80 or Audi A6 size.

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