UPDATE: Psycho Dave in comments….
Translated from Saab Turbo Club Sweden forum:
Please, do not believe in everything you see in these pictures that is shown! Saab mixes and tests a lot on the test cars that are seen out. I have not seen one single picture outside of Saab that is 100% correct!!! Chill out some boys.
Wait with the cheers and talk downs until it is officially shown.
Wow! What an interesting couple of days.
Auto Motor and Sport have been passing these photos around the web like there’s no tomorrow, which is great for us bloggers. I guess they figured they were going to be used anyway eventually so they may as well get some link love in return.
The really interesting thing is the reaction that the photos have received. I’d have to say that the reaction here has been quite positive. The only other places I’ve had time to check out are SaabCentral and Autoblog. I took the SC reaction to be positive as well, though with a few detractors. Autoblog started off with a bunch of dismissive geese flapping their gums about how Saab has been a dead brand walking yada yada yada but as time has gone on there’s been some others willing to stand up and talk some sense.
The images were taken with a cameraphone, apparently by a Trollhattan local. Given that cameraphones are so foggy an imprecise, I thought I’d try and clean them up a little.
These are a little less hazy…..
Again, photo credits to Auto Motor & Sport, where there’s now an English translation of the article as well (thanks to a guy from Autoblog)
First up, let me say that there’s no apparent reason why these would not be genuine shots. Some people have claimed in comments that they look like Photoshop makeovers, but I’d be inclined to disagree.
AM & S know that this car is coming out for public view in less than 2 months. Why expose your name and reputation to so much mockery and distrust by taking a gamble like that on your own site, much less handing them all over the internet?
The second crazy thing, then, is how could Saab be so sloppy in allowing this car to be hanging around with no disguise? Did Anna need to go to the shops for some milk and the new convertible was the only car around?
I just don’t get it.
But if this is it, then I like it a lot.
It’s got that same combination of aggression and classiness that the 99 Turbo had years ago. The 900 Aero, too, actually. Not that it looks like these, but it’s got that same attitude about it that they had.
The chrome/steel/aluminium attached in various spots is going to dissuade some, but I think it’s been applied very well. I’m even open to the strip at the back, though I’d also be open to it not being there.
If there’s three crucial elements to a remodelling, let’s call them exterior, interior and mechanical.
We’ve got the exterior. This convertible’s looking fantastic and it was the ugliest of the all the spypic vehicles we saw. I can’t wait to see the SportCombi and most of all – the sedan. Not one sedan has been photographed yet.
We’ve also got a fair idea about the mechanicals. An improved hi-po model of up to 320hp with the new Haldex XWD system. Of course, there’ll be the usual stable of 4 cylinder offerings in both diesel and BioPower as well.
The great unknown is the interior – will there much of an update there? With the current 9-3 interior being only a year old, I fear that it may be around for some time to come.
As Meatloaf sang so many years ago – two out of three ain’t bad.
This combination of a new exterior and greater performance is going to turn some heads. Most people don’t need a 320hp XWD sedan, but opinions are often formed based on a flagship model – especially in the motoring press.
If this car comes out with great styling and the engineering package properly sorted then it’s going to be a great year to be a Saab buyer (and blogger) in 2008!