If you’ve been living under a rock and hevan’t seen them yet, click here to have a look at the two photos of the new Saab 9-3.
Thank You! Thank you for making the 9-3 a car that stands up and demands some attention. Thanks for a bolder face that’ll make all those A4-wannabe-S4 types take a second look as they see it in their mirrors. Thanks for progressing the design in a way that still says ‘Saab’ and yet moves it forward.
To everyone else:
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing this new car as much as I have. I think it looks absolutely sensational and whilst there will always be some that don’t like it, I think the response has been pretty convincing and positive in all the forums I’ve seen so far.
I’d like to address a couple of issues that have come up in comments to both the photos and the cgi’s.
1) This is the exterior only. We haven’t seen (and I haven’t heard) anything at all yet about the interior. I’m maintaining a very positive outlook on this car due to the styling (which I love) and the mechanical changes that have been mentioned in relation to it. But the interior’s going to be a big issue going forward and I fear we aren’t going to see much in the way of design or, more importantly, materials changes. If interior improvements are part of the package, then I’d go so far as to say that this car is even more significant a release than the initial release of the 9-3 Sport Sedan in MY03.
2) One of the detractions in comments has been the door handles. I truly value every comment and every person behind a comment, but please – IMHO door handles should only be significant if they’re overwhelmingly good or overwhelmingly bad. I’m much more concerned with the GMification of the sound system than the door handles, but that’s me.
3) Remember too, that these photos are most likely the Aero version of the car. It’s the one they always publicise the most as it’s got the full kit in terms of styling etc, and it makes the biggest impact. Linear and Vector spec cars will most likely look a bit tamer, use a bit less bling and look less aggressive. Perhaps the CGIs are a good example of what a Linear might look like?
There’s been some talk in comments over at Autoblog that the Haldex XWD system may not be seen on this car.
We got confirmed today, source inside Haldex, that Saab 9-3 facelift will NOT get the new Haldex-differential (combined with the fourwheeldrive system). They say that it will be presened on a global platform 2008. VW, GM, Volvo, Ford? I dont know!
XWD is not expected on the initial release of the car. I wrote about this yesterday. But in addition to the photos we’ve seen of the XWD system in testing, the rego information of that test car showing it had XWD and the new ESP system that makes use of the XWD, I’ve also had several assurances from various Djup Strupes that XWD is confirmed for the 9-3, as is the Black Turbo model which would require XWD to get that power to the ground in an acceptable way.
It may be a MY08.5 thing (yes, they do have 0.5 and 0.75 model releases), but I’m quite sure it’s coming. If it weren’t, I’d have expected Saab to contact me and tell me to shut up about it as there’s a fair bit of expectation about this now and whilst they may not care about my reputation being tarnished,they should care about market expectations being fulfilled or massively deflated.
And just for fun:
Olaf, from Germany, has some photoshop fun with the cgi’s…..wouldn’t it be cool if they surprised us all and unveiled a coupe version in June?
Click to enlarge.