Four Wheel Drive this Sunday??

Howdy all.

Here’s some MY08 9-3 updates from right in the middle of the Saab Festival.

Local newspaper, TTELA, has just in the last two hours or so published an article stating that the Four Wheel Drive version of the car will actually be presented on Sunday, June 10.

I’ve just spoken with the journalist from TTELA, Jenny Johansson and she’s confirmed that this is so. The Saab technical division guys even went to the trouble of raising the car and showing them the rear differential.

It is still unlikely to be available for some time (I’d guess 4-6 months), but at least they’ll be showing it off this weekend.


I mentioned earlier that there’s quite a few MY08 9-3’s going around here. I didn’t pulish any pics right after my factory tour, but…..well……this site’s supposed to allow you to see what we can see here.

So here we go.

Here are the latest pictures, taken by Brendan B just this morning around the museum, and then some film from down at ANA, the main dealership here:

First of all, some detailed shots of a 9-3 Sport Sedan that happened to park right near the Saab museum, where the SDCC parts sale was taking place:


The black treatment on the rear lights is definitely the real deal. It takes a little getting used to, but I’m now quite comfortable with it. Brendan mentioned also that it looks quite a bit better when you see it in person…..



Here’s some close-in detail of the lamp. Just wait to see it for your self and keep your mind open, grasshopper.



Here’s the 9-3 Sedan leaving the site. You can just see the daylight runners on, but there’s more detailed shots below:



Here it is closer to the camera. You can really see the light pipe in working order here:



And here’s a crop from that photo above. How much closer to these light pipes do you want to get?



We also spotted a 9-3 Convertible filling up with fuel (there was a bunch of 08 cars doing this, actually) at a fuel depot right next to the technical division at the Saab Factory.



And another as he leaves:



And finally, a SportCombi pulled up at ANA, the dealership here in Trollhattan. It had plastic on the seats and labels still around the car. Looked like it was pretty fresh. The car pulled up, one guy got out and went into the dealership and then came out again a few minutes later and they took off. Why did the need the 08 to do this?

Anyway, here’s the photos. There’s a quick video walk around as well, below.





Here’s the movie. Note this not an Aero model, so it gives you an idea of how the car will look without the additional brushed chrome around the foglamp area.

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  1. I wonder if they will release any info on the elusive “Black Turbo” on Sunday. Great job Swade!!! Thanks!!!

  2. Great job, Swade.

    I think you are right – the tail lights will look better in person. So the black is nothing more than an outline then. No functional purpose.

    From these shot you can also see the difference in the rear of the cars between the 2.0 and the Aero. On the sedan there is the lower black section where the exhaust pipes are, and on the convertible they are missing.

    Aero looks much better, imho.

  3. Fantastic job Swade, pity about those tail-lights though. Id say they are way over-styled, whatever happened to the Swedish theory of function over form (or is that an IKEA thing)? Doubt those tail-lights will make it to North America but overall, the new 9-3 looks FANTASTIC!!

    zippy 🙂

  4. Thank you for the photos Swade. I like the 9-3 without the chrome on the foglamps. I can’t wait to see a new black 9-3 sedan at my local dealer.

  5. am i the only person that misses’s the black bumper guard down the sides of the car and front/back. imho, takes away alot of character and almost give’s the 9-3 a slab asian design. Im more than thrilled with my 07′ 9-3ss. Great work though swade!!!!!

  6. The rear lamps look a lot better in person, at least I think so. and on the saffron yellow conv the lamps is great!

  7. Those light pipes are going to look awesome at night :).

    Still no idea what those mini three LED’s do. Fog lights along with the two normal fog lights perhaps?

    I can’t make it for Sunday now, family commitments unfortunately 🙁

  8. I see 2.0t BioPower on the back? Did I miss something, or are there more than one (1.8t) BioPowered engines in the MY08?

  9. Those headlights look so EVIL. I love it. They kind of make me think of early Trans Ams. Which is a good thing, for me.

  10. My problem with the rear is that after the really confident front, it is a bit of a let down. Its not bad but could do better.

  11. In the photo of the 9-3 Sedan tail lights you can see that it is a US spec version. It has the little red reflectors on the side. The euro version is clear.

  12. CrackinG shots swade. I really do wish I was there

    Two things. The front treatment looks stunning. But look at the parchment silver wagon on the right in the head on picture and the original, now 5 years old, looks just as fresh as IT did then. It really doesnt seem 5 years since the SS launch

    But those rear lights are just totally awful. I never say a bad word against Saab, Ive loved every second of working in a Saab dealer for the past 10 years, but they just look so fussy and dare I say it tacky. Its like the light masks boy racers use.

    If I get taken out of my 9-5 as my company car and get put into a MY08 9-3 Im ordering a set oF MK1 lights up!!!

  13. While the dark wagon looks kinda bulky, the silver (?) sedan looks very attractive and sporty, apart from the taillamps, of course.

    The blackouts seem to be hiding some sort of GM cost cutting action. A positive point is that the taillights are not visible from inside of the car.

    The bigger grille and even the whole ‘front face’ make the car look smaller than it really is.

    Btw, does anyone know, which colour the car in the ttela article is – looks like ‘the’ colour for the SS ? Titanium gray, perhaps ?

  14. That was going to be my next question:

    Can the new taillights be switched out with something else? After market or maybe someone can come up with something clever?

    I can’t wait until the official details in a few days.

  15. If you don’t like the ’08 tail lights, you can put in the ’03-’07 version. It doesn’t look like they changed the sheet metal on the rear quarter or trunk (aka boot).

  16. I just found this article – unfortunately it’s in italian – but there are a lot of news concerning the engines of MY 08 and also about the xwd-system.
    They talk about two aero-versions, the one with FWD (255 hp) and the xwd-aero, which will have 280 hp (but there is nothing mentioned about a black-turbo-version yet).
    Is there somone who can translate?

  17. I know i’m alone here but i see nothing wrong with the rear at all. In fact i think they’ve corrected the slight misalignment of the tail lights on the boot lid.

    The only style thing i am at odds with is the shape of the bonnet (no prob with the clamshell design).

    I think it looks to awkward and flat and would be interested to see the wind tunnel test results.

    Function over form is great but ease of movement through air (low drag) is a function too and it appears to me that the bonnet shape ruins this. I stand to be corrected though…

  18. …oh, and i think SAAB could have gone a long way toward giving the new model ‘drop-dead’ front looks by knocking the sharp edges around the bumper, grille and bonnet.

    I do not see aerox in this. Areox has a nice flowing shape in its front profile, the MY08 does not.

  19. …i seems to be more pronounced in the silver colour.

    I think its the semi-circular shape on top which gives the ‘flat-top’ appearance.

  20. About the clear tail lights in the USA, are they really not legal in the USA, or is Saab misinterpreting DOT regulations? I was behind a brand new Mitsubishi Eclipse convertible on the way home with clear tail lights. Car still had the temp tags on it and certainly wasn’t modified (young woman driving). I took a picture with my cell phone which came out pretty bad, but it’s just like the tail lights on their web site. If they can do it, why can’t Saab?
    I know the DOT requires a red lens, but can’t the lens be proximate to the light source with the clear ice-like covers outside that? That’s kinda how it looked on the Eclipse. I don’t think the DOT objects to clear covers. I did notice the Eclipse had a very small unobtrusive red rectangle toward the side of the lights. Was that to satisfy the DOT?
    I think Saab could bring them to the USA if they wanted to. Just my 2 cents worth.

  21. The more i look at this, the more i believe my initial instincts were right.

    Perhaps the Germans had a hand in the design but i have a sneaking suspicion this (frnt profile) is their payback to Sweden for being neutral in WW2.

    On the convertible, why why why would you have a rag top in a country like Sweden or Europe for that matter. The only thing i really find appealing on MY08 so far (of the changes) are the engines.

    It would be sweet if i could get the Biopower engine in the current MY07. No vulgar American style influences.

    …..had to get it out of my system…better now.

  22. Yes, damn those vulgar American cars. *glare

    Why have a ragtop? Well, two reasons: First, hardtops are fad-of-the-week and ugly as sin when up, while ragtops have always looked great on pretty much any car. Second, there are tons of warm places in Europe to drive a ragtop around in, including Sweden. Guess what the lowest tempurature recorded in Svenska was yesterday? 49 degrees. Positive 49. Sweden isn’t as cold as you think it is. Most of the tempuratures yesterday were in the mid 70s, and many were in the 80s. Good convertible weather, I think. The point is, the weather in Sweden is about the same as it is here (except in the northern extremes, but you wouldn’t drive a vert around in Alaska, either), so ragtops make just as much sense there as they do here, and they will always always always look better than a snobby hardtop.

    Unless it’s a lift-off hardtop, but I doubt Saab will adopt those any time soon.

  23. Quote Kaz:
    “Still no idea what those mini three LED’s do. Fog lights along with the two normal fog lights perhaps?”

    Those three LED’s on the front are probably just like the three LED’s you can see on the back of the 9-3 Sportcombi (
    They will probably replace the ugly front amber and aft red american corner lights now that the black strip in the bumpers are gone.

  24. Ruined!
    Re: the photos: Thanks Swade! Hope you’re having a great time. I’m here in Deutschland for the the first time, I finally get to see the Sport Combi with clear tail lights in the flesh. Fantastic!

  25. Hoped Saab could release new models soon rather than sorry-no-money-super-facelifts-again-models.

    Yeah, they looked great. That’s it. BTW, why can’t manufacturers go with something else rather than the ‘look-at-me-i’m-angry’ looks ? ALl manufacturers seems to be adopting the ‘i’ll-scare-the-shit-out-of-you-look-when-i-pull-up’ looks….

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