US launch for the 2008 Saab 9-3 imminent

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):

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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.

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13 Comments

  1. The arrival of the MY08’s would explain the movement of every vehicle from the display row at my local Saab dealership. They must be making room for the new cars.

  2. Interestingly enough, speaking with the sales manager at the dealer when I recently picked up my MY 2007 9-3 (Anniversary model), he was dead sure he wouldn’t see his first MY2008s off the truck until Oct 1.

    The release indicates early September. I commented that I had heard “as early as August” the new models will be arriving, and his response was that in 18 years of dealing with Saab he’s never never gotten a new model in that early, almost always after Oct 1.

    For whatever that’s worth…

  3. I live in the Washington, DC area. I drive right by a Saab dealer about twice a week, so I should be able to keep tabs on the new models when they do arrive…

  4. I got an email from Saab-i today about a 2008 9-3 convertible giveaway tied to a TV show on TLC. The subject of the email is “The Saab 9-3 Convertible Shows Some Model Behavior”

    http://tlc.com/saab/

    (I like how it says “AERO model shown – Not Actual Prize.”)

    Demographically speaking – TLC used to be “The Learning Channel” but all they seem to air lately are shows about flipping houses or what not to wear. But hey – it’s some more exposue for Saab in the US.

  5. I didn’t know there was a dealer in DC…is it VOB? That’s in Rockville…There’s one in Falls Church, VA, too, but I don’t know the name of that one.

    None of this actually matters, I just want to know which dealer will be closest when the new models do start coming in. During summer, Hunt Valley Saab is closest to me, but during the rest of the time, I’m in College Park for school, so a dealer around DC would be a lot closer than Hunt Valley.

  6. Does anyone know if the NW (Seattle) gets their shipment of 2008 models concurrently with the East coast? I want to know so I either can get a 2007 Anniversary model now (if any are left), or budget and wait to order directly from the dealership.

    Does anyone know of any way to just bypass the local Saab dealership and order the car directly from Sweeden and deliver MY2008 to my doorstep? I’m a new and hopeful Saab fanatic. Please advise.

    Furthermore, can someone explain the “MY” in MY200X and where its derived from? Thanks.

  7. Abs,

    One way to get your MY08 cheaper and get it from Sweden is to do the European Delivery Program. You get the car cheaper, some money towards your trip (around $2K) and you can pick it up in Trollhattan then have a quick holiday in Europe and get it shipped to your local area.

    You have to buy through Saab USA though as the vehicle has to be a US spec vehicle.

    I’m unsure as to delivery on the East coast compared to the west.

    MY stands for “model year”. The next model year generally starts in around August of the preceding year. So around now they’re producing vehicles that specified as next year’s model.

  8. Jeff — sorry for the confusion, when I said I live in the Washington, DC area I just felt it was easier to say that for non-locals. I actually live right down the road from International Saab. Although, the dealer of which I spoke of was VOB.

  9. Can someone explain why I can’t order a Diesel 93 and have it shipped to the States?

    What if I have a Swedish relative buy it and ship it to me?

    Also, I am headed to the Trollhattan tomorrow or the next day? Anythig I should look for?

  10. joemama-
    I can see three issues with buying a Diesel 93 and shipping it over to the US:

    (1) Emissions: The car would have to be meet emissions standards for the US. That may be difficult for a European diesel without costly alterations.

    (2) The fuel: US diesel may or may not work properly with the engine. I haven’t brushed up on my fuel differences as of late, but as of a couple of years ago, the mixes were different.

    (3) Repairs: If Saab doesn’t sell the engine in the US, it would be a huge pain getting it serviced in the future.

  11. Swade,

    I know the European Delivery Program is the best way to do the whole Saab experience, but how much more money can one expect to pay for the unaccounted ticket, travel, lodging etc. I know you did a write up a while back on different approaches for a Trollhattan trip (cheap or pimped-out), but just wanted to know because I still have a budget I want to keep.

    P.S. Love your work! After reading everyone’s positive comments about Saab, I want to single handedly increase Saab brand awareness in the NW, and have all my friends take a second look at Saab before they think about other foreign car companies.

  12. James,

    Please do give a shout when you see the new MY 2008 9-3s on a lot here in DC. I’m out in the Ashburn area, so no dealer is especially convenient, but at least International Motors has a Service Shop nearby.

    Abs, I agree about the comments on swade. This is the best SAAB website around, and by far the most informative. Thanks, swade!

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