These are the last pictures with the upcoming mid-sedan from Saab.The maker is preparing a facelift for the 9-3, with design elements from the Aero-X Concept. The new 9-3 will compete with models like Audi A4, Volvo S40, BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class. The 2008 9-3 will debut before Saab’s 60th birthday, probably at Frankfurt Motor Show.
The 2008 9-3 will get a new front end with a bigger and more aggressive grille with one huge center section flanked by two smaller air-intakes left and right. Following the example of 9-5, the Aero-X inspired model will offer a bit of chrome in the grille and on the upper edges of the headlamps. A little makeover will be applied for the front and rear bumpers, and will be characterized by the missing rubber strips which are as well lacking on the doors. Along with new door handles will provide an elegant look for the 9-3.The taillights will be left unchanged, because of their modern-style looks.
The grille won’t have the same length as the Aero-X and the same treatment that is used in 9-3 will then be used in the 9-4x and 9-5. The small grille areas between the headlamps and main grille have a taper to them that flows between the outer and inner elements, where the Aero-X had the small grilles incorporated and more rectangular with the headlamps.
It will be built on the same Epsilon I platform as the current 9-3, but will have AWD as an option, which will enable higher engine specs and outputs. Also, it is very possible that the new 9-3 to receive standard setup for diesel engines.
The highest version will be powered by a V6 turbo engine with 60-degree configuration, double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, direct ignition and variable valve timing. The maximum power is 280 hp at 5500 rpm and the maximum torques is 295 lbs-ft available from 1,700 to 5,500 rpm. It will come with 6-speed automatic gearbox.
Tthe new top-of-the-range 9-3 will be equipped with AWD and an upgraded version of GM’s 2.8-liter V6 Turbo pumping out approximately 290Hp.