MY08 9-3 rear photo

UPDATE below


Two new photos have popped up on the Saab Turbo Club of Sweden forum today. They were taken in a car park (is it Saab’s own?) full of vintage Swedish metal.

This shows the rear tail lights fairly clearly. The big question is whether or not the black surrounds are real and permanent, or some sort of masking.


This close-up crop of the tail lamp shows a lot of reflection in the black area, which suggests to me that it’s not a matt finish tape at all. You can even make out the reflection of the chain link fence in one spot, which makesme think this might actually be the real deal (or some very, very reflective tape).




The registration info for the car does indeed show it to be a 184kW car, which is the Aero Spec.


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  1. No, looks cheap…

    Strange… Without the old Saab door-handles, you can hardly see at all that it is a Saab (apart from the Saab-logo of course)… Not good…

  2. In fact, I do like it, after half an hour of staring at these pictures.

    But the big question is, will the customers like it?

  3. I like them. I think they are quite bold and unique.

    Would prefer the black detailing to be body coloured mind. Although the ‘piano black’ finish of the ones in the photo are quite nice too.

    I’m waiting for the inevitable ‘ricer lights’ comments though.

  4. I’ll be 39 when the all new version comes out. I think I’ll wait till then. This thing looks like a box with wheels on a silly angle. When has a Saab eer looked like a box? What’s wrong ih these people, they just don’t seem to get it.

  5. Not likely but they could have gone the extra mile and put the tape behind the glass just to fool onlookers but I personally think the black is there to stay.

    Good or not is another discussion. Personally I don’t like it.

    BUT I really do like the lover part of the bumper which is ripped directly from the Aero X concept car. That looks damnn good imho !!

  6. When was the last time you saw an Aero without a boot lip spoiler? Maybe this is another one of those ‘tester’ vehicles?

    The rear convertible shots we saw definitely had body colour strips in the rear light cluster. So maybe this a little salvation for the haters 🙂

  7. Lets be honest the rear end has hardly changed, which is why there are no publicity shots of it. My concern has always been that SAAB would heavily revise the 9-3 to keep it in production for 3 – 4 years. Hopefully it is a very mild face lift just to keep it going for 18 months.

    Because the 9-3, 9-5 and Vectra are all being built in a full flex facility I wonder if the 9-5 will be launched in early 2009 with the 9-3 following very shortly after (this would be why the WCF shots referenced the 9-3).

    I suspect the next gen 9-3 and 9-5 will be VERY similar to each other – consider how even the current interiors are moving closer to each other.

  8. Eduard, its hard to be 100% sure from the photo but the grey plastic part at the rear is probably a diffuser similar to the the Clio Sport or Corsa VXR.

    Spoilers are just so last year 🙂

  9. I’m not convinced. This doesn’t look like some car park in a factory or industrial estate. I looks more like a housing estate. Looks like an after market job on the lights. Problem is all the info on chassis no. indicates the car is MY08. The door handles, aluminium strip, and rear bumper also gives the impression that it’s MY08.

    But I can’t bring myself to think that Black surrond will stay. If they do, then at least the US will have nothing to worry about… I dreading have to sell this if this is real!
    In 2 weeks all will be revealed and hopefully I can breath normal again….

  10. I don’t know why someone said they will sell in the US. The black has got to go. On a dark car they will be fine, but a lighter-colored one, forget it.

    And the rear spoiler makes the car. Where is it?

  11. I know this sounds very stupid, but if I keep staring this picture it starts to look dead fish to me!! Seriously. Just like in some old cartoons. A dead fish.

    Those black stripes try to be similar to those on SC, but unfortunately without much succes. I hope this is not the final rear of SS MY08. A disappointment to me.

    Dead fish, ewww.

  12. I truly hope this is not the back. If it is, it is nothing short of terrible (at least at first site). I’m hopeful it’s not the final version though as it is in complete contrast to the chrome finish on the front of the car.

    Sadly, for those of us who don’t need a more powerful engine or AWD, the MY2008 9-3s do not appear to be much of an improvement over MY2007.

    I sure hope the official launch has some real goodies to show.

  13. Just out of curiousity, what could those goodies be that you´d like to see on MY08?

    To me, AWD is the biggest improvement that Saab could offer to 9-3, though that´s not for everyones needs.

  14. MarkoA

    I think interior material improvements, low speed ride improvements and on limit handling improvements would all be welcome additions.

  15. Kaz, I agree about the things you mentioned. Sport suspension is bit too stiff on a slow speed and b roads.

    Especially interior materials on trunk are crappy plastics which makes some rattle sometimes.

    I think I could use somewhat stronger brakes too. The ones on 1,8t are good, but not on the limit. They are on the weak side. At least the feeling is that you´d have to push the pedal really hard to get this tank to stop.

  16. Jon, that is not a diffuser. A diffuser is a very exact aerodynamic device with the purpose of controlling the underbody airstream. Corsa VXR has a diffuser-looking thing, but since they also have a big spoiler it is probably just a design element.

    The Clio has a working diffuser, creating a downforce of approx. 40-50 kg and hence removing the need for a spoiler. That is why the Clio looks so clean compared to other “hot hatches”.

    Ah, the new rear lights… They remind me of a person with really solid glasses. Roy Orbison or something like that…

  17. There is no way that black stuff on the tail lights is going to stay. I mean they got rid of all the black trim that was already on the car so why on earth would they add some to the tail lights? It’s probably covering up some chrome trim, which would make sense since they’ve added more chrome trim to the front of the car, and this would balance it out.

  18. Where are the spy pics on the car to the left of the MY2008 9-3?? Perhaps that is the MY2010 Saab c900 retro release?? 😛

  19. Between these taillights and the THICK CHROME grille, the MY03/7s are looking better and better. When will Cadillax Lutz stop beating Saab with his ugly stick?

  20. Ken, er that was my point. The Clio does not need spoiler therefore if the Aero has dropped the spoiler it could very possibly be the rear exit for a defuser.

  21. So, if these unfortunate
    ‘funeral edition’ taillamps are there to stay, the question is: will the ‘old’ taillamps fit to the new rear ??

  22. About the diffuser: that doesn’t look to be a functioning one: it’s only black plastic design detailing.

    I’m sure the black surroundings will stay, and the whole black surround/white inside is quite controversial: some will like, some will not.

    But what’s not controversial is that eveybody expected leds on this SAAB…

  23. Scary question, if they used tape to cover the chrome on the front, would they use the same chrome to cover chrome on the back, cause that would be bad. Or might they be covering the GM pipe lights?

  24. …and all this to become “premium”.

    I’ll wait til the model comes out to check out its price but, really, with the quality of such cars as the Euro (acura …) the price for the 9-3 should really remain as is to be competitive.

  25. …and all this to become “premium” (whatever that really means these days).

    I’ll wait til the model comes out to check out its price but, really, with the quality of such cars as the Euro (acura …) the price for the 9-3 should really remain as is to be competitive.

  26. MarkoA-
    By “goodies”, I meant improvements rather than specific features. For the non-AWD version, it seems little has improved and many of the aesthetic changes (e.g., the back) look worse.

  27. I prefer the current look. More rounded, more sexy. This thing looks like a box. Booooo to GM and their stupid yankie ways!

    Where do Saab lovers go when they move on? Merc?

  28. Can’t blame yankees for this one, Richo. Designed in Sweden, re-designed in Germany.

    Move on to Alfa!

    (if you’re moving on that is….which you’re not. Yet.)

  29. I am beginning to think these are all Saab intended pics. None have pics of the inside. This is a little strange. We have cars parked out in the open for all to see and with no one in the car and seemingly no one around not one pic of the inside? Soon however, it we’ll probably get some pics of the inside and they will all probably be spy pics… all coming out around the same time. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the pics but, I am beginning to think this is staged.

  30. I think you’ll find there’s no interior shots because there’s nothing to show. I don’t think the interior’s going to change at all in design terms.

    Still, it’d be nice to get a photo to show that that’s the case I guess.

  31. Dare to dream, but how neat would that be if yes, these are planted images and they are not showing the interior because they are keeping it a surprise for the June debut.

    I new interior would be a wonderful surprise! (highly doubt it though)

  32. rear lights seems a bit bold, tough to tell, seems a bit strong with the lighter exterior color. Im still having a tough time with the my08 having the black bumper strips being removed from the entire exterior. Im still very very happy with my my07 🙂

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