WCF speculate on next 9-3

And I thought I was ahead of the curve on Saab stuff!!!!!

The ink is rarely dry on the printing of documentation for the MY08 Saab and 9-3 and already World Car Fans have published an image from Hans Lehmann that they say is the next generation (i.e. Epsilon 2) Saab 9-3.

Ep2Saab9-3.jpg

They’re saying that there are mules traveling around in Sweden at the moment dressed up as Opel Vectras. WCF say these are test vehicles for the new car, which would tie-in well with an email that was in my inbox this morning:

The last week on my way to and from work on the roads around [Trollhattan] I’ve met a few white Opel Vectra sedans that immediately triggered my “that doesn’t look quite right”-feeling. The wheel track of the cars have been widened something like 5-8 cm per side and one of the cars was a lot higher than a regular car, more like an Audi Allroad or Volvo XC70.

Whilst the sketch is speculative, its good to hear two independant sources converging on the fact that these mules are going around.

My email source’s first thought was that the test vehicle was more likely a 9-5. Lehmann forecasts a 9-3.

Either way, I’ll be happy!

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Thanks M and S&N!

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19 Comments

  1. Very early days obviously, but looks promising. Only concern about the cgi ther is the heavy side to the rear which makes the wheel look too small and the clank too tall. But I’m sure that will all become clearer in time…….

    Exciting times. When we going to see more accurate pics of the 9-5 – isn’t it next out?

    also, any word if the 9-4x is going to be a family friendly ocvcassional 7 seater 😉 (like the 95 of old…..)

  2. I like it a lot, and it looks like there could be a hatch there. I know it’s years away and it is only a drawing but it’s all positive in my books.

  3. anything with aero-x similarities is going to look good 🙂 I’m looking forward to aero-x headlights – those were gorgeous. hopefully we see something like that on the 9-5.

  4. The article calls for the vehicle to be a 2009 model introduced in late 2008 … that schedule would be more likely for a new 9-5 … right? … there’s no way they do the my08 redesign for just 1 year … I kinda figured the 9-3 will carry the 2008 look three years with the ground-up redesign hitting in 2011 (GM rarely lets a redesign “expire” in less than 4 years … so I can’t imagine it would let Saab abandon a “new look” in just 1 or 2 years.)

  5. My thoughts exactly, chaaalie. As mentioned in the post, my email source figured it was more likely a 9-5 due to the timing and I’d be inclined to agree. As you say, it’d be highly unusual to do all the tooling etc and use it for only one year.

  6. Pics of those white Vectras have been published on different sites last year. By the look of them, they are clearly AWD. My guess they were just testing the AWD system for the release this autumn with the new face lift.

  7. BTW… No “hockey-stick” but the old door-handles again? Hmm… The front is OK, but not the side. But then again, just pure wild speculation years ahead of the real thing.

  8. What’s that rear side-window line? Huu.
    Put a clear Saab-Curve to this next 9-3 Rear-Window and it’s o.k.
    The wrap-around windshield: yes please!

    The direction into more young and sporty buyers is right for the 9-3, but Saab should remain understatement. I don’t want to drive an aggressive Mazda RX-Wannabee Design.

    But anyway, let’s wait for the 9-5.

  9. I wouldn’t put to much stock into that cgi, remember how off some the early images of the current 9-3 where in 2001-2002?

  10. This cgi is based on some aero x and 9-3 pics available. I don´t think it has anything to do with any of future Saabs. The design is so much off from Saab that it´s just playing with photoshop nothing more.

    I believe that front mask might be the only thing that coud be “thereabouts”, but everything else not.

    Hopefully the testmule that have been spotted is next 9-5, which after all, seems to be quite obvious. Actually it´s almost funny that there´s no rumours about new 9-5 though we all know that this situation cannot stand for long. Saab needs desperately new 9-5. The problem is that it has to be really good. I mean Really, if it wants to be competitive in it´s class.

    If you read car blogs and forums of other marks, people seem to be already laughing to Saab because of “ancient” 9-5 and latest Edna look. Unfortunately. I know that it´s a very good car, but people will judge by the image and that we cannot help.

    It seems to be only minority of hardcore Saabisti who still consider 9-5 as a good premium car. Reputation has suffered badly from all the problems 9-5 have had and this is something Saab should really pay attention on the next model.

    About the picture. I guess we all know that no future Saab will have that kind of rear windowline?

  11. I concur, this is a 9-5 concept not a 9-3. It looks too big in the picture to be a 9-3. And the rear roof line is all wrong.

    That said, I like it. It has a clean, modern look to it which is the key element of Scandinavian design.

  12. …”While the Vectra will be the car for the masses, Saab will try to position the new 9-3 in a more premium class to compete with Audi’s A4, the Mercedes C-class and the 3-Series BMW.”

    Does this mean the same overpricing as A4 & BMW? If so, RIP SAAB. There is now way i’m prepared to pay 50K plus for a 4 cylinder car.

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