2008 Saab 9-3 – what’s this?

As I was focused mainly on the big, complete images, I missed some of the detail. Fortunately, one of the regulars here didn’t and has emailed me wondering what these little sensors are for.

So, what do we have here – parking sensors or adaptive cruise control? Or something else?

Out of the two options above, I’ll put my money on adaptive cruise. First, they’re ina similar position to the adaptive CC sensors on the BMWs I saw last weekend. Second, I think parking sensors are normally located on the front bumper rather than tucked away here.

But they could be for something else all together. Your educated guesses are welcome in comments.




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  1. I´d say they are very likely adaptive cruise control.

    I just received today an Saab-i letter from GM Finland I guess you´ve all seen it already in your inbox. But anyways, here it goes:
    “The new Saab 9-3 range will feature bold styling, inspired by the award-winning Aero X concept car, backed by cutting edge technology for greater driving appeal.

    With all-new front bodywork, ‘signature’ lighting, new door panels and rear styling features, the latest generation 9-3 acquires a more focused, assertive stance, reflecting the introduction of technical advances aimed at delivering an even more rewarding experience behind the wheel.

    Most noticeable is the sharper frontal styling, which adopts grille and hood themes first seen on the Aero X concept, together with a return of Saab’s classic ‘clamshell’ design. This new ‘face’ is reinforced by other exterior changes that all combine to give the range a clearer, more distinctive Saab identity.

    “We are introducing significant developments across three key areas: design, performance and handling,” says Jan Åke Jonsson, Managing Director of Saab Automobile. “The result is a major step forward in strengthening the visual and driving appeal of our core product line-up, which accounts for about two-thirds of global sales.”

    The new 9-3 range comprises Sport Sedan, SportCombi and Convertible models, each offering a unique ‘tri-fuel’ engine choice of gasoline, diesel or BioPower (E85). Available in three forms, Linear, Vector and Aero, the range goes on sale from August (TBC).

    So, hopefully they´re not telling us everything yet. Otherwise this MY08 would be a big disappointment…

  2. Some Swedish autonews sites “complained” today that the press-kit that they received from Saab was only just a few photos. They press-kit stated that there is a significant new technical upgrade with the face-lift, but don’t give any clue to what it is.

  3. I don’t like adaptive cruise control. If you’re driving in traffic heavy enough that your cruise control needs to adapt then you shouldn’t be using it in the first place.

  4. The small openings are the optional small missile launchers to destroy interfering beemers and other german cars that are driven by chauffeurs not knowing how to operate their turn signals.

  5. it seems like there could be two bulbs in the fog-light case – maybe the sensors could have something to do with adaptive cornering lights…?

  6. I see them on the silver car if I look real close. My guess is they are sensors for automatic low-beam switching like GM has on the Cadillac STS. Cadillac’s adaptive cruise control sensor is a single sensor in the center of the grill, so I don’t think it’s that. It also looks like it has a lens for receiving light for whatever it’s for. As far as lane change sensors, they are mounted too low to see the lane stripes.

  7. Frank, no, the things we’re looking at are within the foglight construction, below the washers.

    As for what they are, I too remember a long time ago talk of a Saab HUD night vision based on IR or UV lights (I’m not too techie!. Apparently to show up better people/animals on the periphery of the headlamp range.

  8. You’re all wrong. It’s the cover for a towing eyehook.

    You remove the cover and screw in a towing eyehook found in the spare tire compartment.

    Not very high tech. 😉

  9. @saab007: Wouldn’t make sense, what would you need two for? I think the hook is behind the small lid in the bumper, as you can see on the first photo. Many cars have something similar.

    I agree with Scott G that it is very unlikely that they form an adaptive cruise control, as that is normally a single larger, centrally placed unit.

    Leaves parking or lane-change sensors.

  10. G33RT, that’s certainly the towhook cover, same place as on my MY06 9-3. The unidentified items are def lenses/receptors of some sort – do we need land change sensors? Or adaptive crusie control? I think not….Hopefully something more high-tech like the night vision?

  11. Actually, it’s the introduction of the HAL 9000 lane-sensor…”I can’t let you change lanes, Dave.”

    (for anyone familiar with 2001: A Space Odyssey)

  12. Those are fog lamp adjusters.
    I’m a SAAB dealer tech from California and right now I’m working on a 2004 9-5 Aero and it has the same projector style fog lamps and the adjuster is in the exact same location.

  13. Haha. I think you´re right on that one! If you look carefully the one on the right side, you can see that there´s a hexagonal screw in the middle of this “thing”… Hi-Tech that is ;P

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