2008 Saab 9-3

At 2006 Geneva Motor Show, Saab unveiled the Aero-X Concept. Now for their 60 anniversary, Saab 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 Volvo S40, BMW BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class. The 2008 9-3 will debut before Saab’s 60th birthday, probably at Frankfurt Motor Show.

As a manufacturer of aircraft, Saab surprised the automotive world in June 1947 when it revealed the prototype for its first production car, the Saab 92. With streamlined bodywork, unitary construction and front wheel drive, it owed little to the conventional design wisdoms of the time, establishing a tradition for innovative and independent thinking that has characterized the Saab brand ever since.

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.

Saab 9-3

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.

You can’t miss the influence of the Aero-x that is beautifully applied to the car: some blue/green accents to the headlamps, which give the impression of some Aero-Xism. Some LED daytime driving lamps might be integrated along the top of the regular headlamps. The car will feature 17 or 18" wheels.

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.

Also, Saab is working on a competitor for the Volvo S30. The new model, called 9-1 will probably be launched by 2010.


History

The Saab 9-3 is a luxury / executive car produced by the Swedish automaker Saab in Trollhättan, Sweden. It shares platforms with the Opel Vectra and is also related to the Cadillac BLS.

The Saab 9-3 was launched in 1998 essentially as a rebadged Saab 900 (1994-1997 model). There was very little to tell them apart externally, except for a redesigned grille (more similar to the recently launched Saab 9-5 Saab 9-5 ) and the relocation of the third "high-level" brakelight from the boot ridge to the top of the rear screen. This made brakelight visibility easier to traffic behind, therefore safer.

Saab 9-3

Internally, the 9-3 acquired the innovative SAHR or Saab Active Head Restraint system - as introduced as an industry first on the Saab 9-5. Therefore, the design of the head restraints differs slightly from the Saab 900 (1994-1997 model).

It was under the body that the changes had been made on the 9-3. Over 1,100 changes including suspension in an attempt to tighten up the handling characteristics of its predecessor, the Saab 900 (1994-1997 model), for which these new General Motors influenced Saabs had been much maligned by the auto press.

A high-powered version of the 9-3 was the Viggen, named after the Saab Viggen aircraft. It is no longer in production. It came with a turbocharged 2.3 L engine, giving 230 hp ECE (169 kW). Acceleration from 0-60 mph was achieved in 6.2 seconds and the top speed was 154 mph.

Saab 9-3

In 2004 Saab unveiled a sport version of the 9-3. Powered by a 250-hp, 2.0-liter turbo engine with Saab Sentronic automatic transmission and a lowered, sports chassis sitting on 20-inch wheels, the 9-3 Sport-Hatch Concept promises sharp performance to match its eye-catching looks. It is intended to take Saab into the mid-size wagon segment for the first time by offering a distinctive alternative choice, with hatchback-like proportions that are reminiscent of the shape of its classic Saab 900 forebears.

It also represents a further development of the Saab 9-5 wagon’s sporty character. The exterior and interior styling follows themes from the Saab 9-3 Saab 9-3 X "cross-over coupe" concept presented last year and the current 9-3 Sport Sedan. Versatility and features that are innovative and surprising support Saab’s concept of "emotional functionality."

Saab 9-3

A special "20 Years Edition Aero Convertible" for the American market was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2006 to celebrate 20 years since the introduction of the Saab 900 convertible. For 2006, the two optional engines were a 2.0 liter turbo 4 cylinder and a new 2.8 liter turbo 6 cylinder. The 4 cylinder option had 12.3 psi maximum turbo boost pressure and turned out 210 hp, while the 6 cylinder had 8.7 psi boost and turned out 250 hp. The 2.0 liter 16 valve turbo 4 cylinder model was marketed in the United States as the 2.0T, replacing the Linear and Arc models sold until the 2005 model year. The United States 2.0T version was similar to the 2005 Arc except for U.S. Linear wheels were used.


Competitors

2008 Audi A4

Arriving in 2008,the new Audi A4 will undergo its biggest change yet. Audi debuted the model in 1995 on Volkswagen’s B5 platform, which it shared with the fourth generation Volkswagen Volkswagen Passat. The next A4 also gets a new four-link front suspension, a revised rear setup, and a 60 percent rear-biased torque split for the all-wheel-drive system.

Saab 9-3

The engine lineup will remain the same (with a bit more power). The 4 cylinder direct injection engines, both turbocharged and naturally aspirated, will have power outputs ranging from 115 to 215 hp; the turbodiesel TDI engines will have between 120 and 245 hp; the V6 and V8 gasoline engines will have between 250 and 500 hp.

2008 Volvo S40

The 2008 Volvo S40 willmake its world debut at Geneva Motor Show. The new S40 received a few modifications: the front grill and the spoiler were lowered and the last one has the part beneath painted in black like the C30. The engine will remain the same as in the current model.

2008 Mercedes C-Class

Safety, comfort, agility: these are the outstanding attributes of the new C-Class. The Saloon excels with a many-faceted product concept which meets the expectations of various customer target groups. With the avantgarde, elegance and classic lines, Mercedes Mercedes -Benz offers three individual models whose emphasis is on either comfort or agility. All model variants share the latest, state-of-the-art technology.

Saab 9-3

With a remarkable boost in output by up to 13 percent and an increase of around 18 percent in torque, the engines also do more than their bit to create the lively nature of the new C-Class. The four and six-cylinder units not only excel with powerful responsiveness, but also contribute to the excellent ride comfort of the Saloon with their improved smoothness.

Mercedes-Benz has paid particular attention to further development of the four-cylinder engines. In the petrol range, the output of the entry-level C 180 KOMPRESSOR has increased from the previous 105 kW/143 hp to 115 kW/156 hp, with maximum torque improved by 4.5 percent from 220 to 230 newton metres, while the C 200 KOMPRESSOR develops 15 kW/20 hp more than before. It has an output of 135 kW/184 hp and generates its maximum torque of 250 newton metres from 2800 rpm. The modern V6-engines in the C-Class range remain unchanged, with a choice of three petrol units developing 150 kW/204 hp, 170 kW/231 hp and 200 kW/272 hp.

BMW 3-Series Sport Wagon

With an exceptional harmony of elegance and athleticism, the Sports Wagon offers flexibility and practicality as well. Available in the US beginning since October 2005, the newest BMW Sports Wagon will continue the highly successful tradition of combining more versatile cargo space with the performance and handling of a sports sedan.

Saab 9-3

Like the 325i Sedan, the Sports Wagon will be powered by BMW’s new, advanced N52 3.0 liter 6-cylinder engine. This dynamic powerplant retains the unique smoothness and sound character of BMW’s inline 6-cylinder format while offering more power, greater torque, even more refined delivery of power, and new technology. This includes magnesium/aluminum composite engine construction, and BMW BMW ’s patented Valvetronic variable valve lift system, which replaces the conventional throttle for more efficient engine breathing and improved responsiveness. The 325i Sports Wagon is equipped with a new, standard six-speed manual gearbox ; an optional six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission is available.


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