All this talk of the 2008 Saab 9-3 has US-based Saabers asking “When do we get it?”
My understanding is that the official launch for the vehicle will be in just a few days time, at the beginning of August.
To whet the appetites a little, Saab USA have released the following press release today (well, yesterday for me as I write this, but you know what I mean):
DETROIT – The distinctively re-designed Saab 9-3 range, expected at North American dealerships in early September 2007, features frontal styling inspired by Saab’s award-winning Aero X concept car and a higher level of standard content. Designed to reinforce the range’s sporty appeal, the styling strategy brings together contemporary and classic Saab design themes in a progressive, modern expression of the brand’s distinctive character.
The new 9-3 range is visually distinguished by all-new bodywork forward of the A-pillar, with new bumpers and light assemblies front and rear as well as new doors and handles for the Sport Sedan and SportCombi. Flared side sill extensions become standard across the range. All these elements combine to give the car a clearer Saab identity and a bolder, more assertive stance. On the Sport Sedan, for example, 70 percent of the external body panels and parts are all-new.
The deeper, more prominent evolution of the Saab grille is complemented by all-new headlamp lenses and light units that now incorporate a thin ‘eyebrow’ lighting zone designed as a brand specific ‘signature’ feature. These wraparound units culminate in an upswept rear edge, introducing a Saab design theme from the 9-5 range and classic 900 model. The grille’s central wing motif, referencing Saab’s aircraft heritage, is, of course, retained.
The new look sees the adoption of another Saab signature feature: a ‘clamshell’ hood, closing across the top of the front fenders. The hood pressing incorporates a sweeping, U-shaped styling line, which echoes the curvature of the windshield. The swept-back frontal lines are complemented by a front bumper and splitter assembly with a deep, trapezoidal air intake, even more pronounced on Aero versions. This is flanked by deep black vents which are framed, like the grille, in a matte chrome finish.
At the rear, all new 9-3 models now feature smoked white light clusters. The new bumpers are much deeper with curved, uninterrupted surfaces. The trunk lids of the Sport Sedan and Convertible are also altered to accommodate a new matte chrome lift handle trim with an integrated badge, similar to that on the SportCombi.
Other external enhancements include the introduction of flat wiper blades, for reduced wind noise, and new alloy wheels. Two new colors are added to the range, including a Snow Silver metallic paint finish similar to that seen on the Aero X. In addition to the already high-level of standard equipment, Saab adds OnStar, XM Radio, rain-sensing wipers, tire pressure monitor, ‘quiet package’ to reduce road noise and remote open for the convertible top for the 2008 model year.
The Saab 9-3 2.0T Sport Sedan, a three-year running (2005, 2006, 2007) Insurance Institute for Highway Safety top safety pick, is competitively priced at $28,385, while the Aero V6 model takes off at $35,365. Drivers attracted to the best-in-class capacity options of the SportCombi can get into a 2.0T or Aero V6 SportCombi priced at $29,630 and $36,265 respectively. The Saab 9-3 2.0T or Aero Convertible, which was named a top safety pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2007, is priced at $39,710 and $45,665 respectively.
The Saab 9-5 range begins at $37,205 for the sedan, and $38,300 for the Aero Sedan. The 9-5 SportCombi provides cargo diversity starting at $38,455 and $39,550 for the Aero variant. The Saab 9-7X 4.2i and the 9-7X 5.3i V8 are attractively priced at $39,935 and $42,035 respectively.