After a credible source gave us some specific details on the Saab 9-3 about a week ago, Saab has joined the party by officially releasing all of the details on the sedan. The main change for the 9-3 will be more advanced twin turbocharged engines.
All diesel engines will offer a CO2 emissions of just 119 g/km and an exceptionally low combined cycle fuel consumption of 62.8 mpg. The 1.9-liter diesel line-up includes a 130 hp TTiD unit (replacing the previous 120 hp TiD engine), a 160 hp version (replacing the 150 hp TiD engine) and a range-topping 180 hp/400 Nm variant. The SportWagon offers an impressive 61.4 mpg and low CO2 emissions of 122g/km and for the Convertible, the respective figures are 54.3 mpg and 137g/km.
The list of equipments will include: Bluetooth phone integration and heated front seats as standard, a ‘change-up’ indicator in the instrument cluster, a clutch interlock system on manual transmissions; child seat top tether anchorage points and a perforated leather sport steering wheel on Aero models.
Things sure have a way of coming full circle, don’t they?
It wasn’t that long ago when Saab was teetering perilously close to getting sent to the chopping block until a last minute intervention by Spyker not only gave Saab a new lease on life, but an opportunity to make things right again.
Now that Saab is finally on the right track, it doesn’t surprise us that design proposals bearing the Saab badge have been coming out left and right, with the latest one done by Spanish designer, Jorge Martí Vidal.
Vidal’s work is all kinds of sexy, if we do say so ourselves. Calling it ‘Boreas’ as a reference to the Greek God of the North Wind – yeah, we’re nerds too – the design features some pretty awesome curves coupled with a shiny pearl exterior paint that ironically accentuates the overall simplistic look of the concept.
Truth be told, Vidal’s work merits a pair of thumbs up and, if Saab does want to get back in the good graces of their customers, then they can’t do any better than having this car see the production line. Sure, that’s still unlikely to happen, but we’re just saying Vidal’s design is a sure winner.
In 2008, there was a little concept by the name of the Saab 9-4X BioPower that was introduced at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. Two years later, Saab has finished polishing off the production version and will be revealing the second all-new model to be launched under the Spyker ownership at the Los Angeles Motor Show in mid-November.
The 9-4X will be built on an all new platform called the Theta Premium that mixes components from GM’s Theta and Epsilon 2 platforms. It will find itself with its own exterior and interior stylings, but will have a dashboard design that will be similar to the new 9-5. The 9-4X will be offered with a 2.8-liter turbocharged V6 petrol engine as the sole engine, but Saab is working on a diesel option for the future. The concept was powered by a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter BioPower turbo engine that delivered 300 HP and strong torque of 295 lb.-ft. With this engine, Saab wanted to demonstrate its commitment to “rightsizing” – achieving sufficient levels of performance with a smaller, more efficient engine.
So it looks like the Saab 9-4X Crossover – yep, that very same vehicle that we’ve been waiting a long time for – is finally ready to for its time in the spotlight. And, according to event organizers of the 2010 LA Auto Show, that time will take place later this year at their event.
If you’re having a little difficulty placing where you last saw this vehicle, it was actually a little over two years ago at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show where it was presented in a slightly different tag as the 9-4X BioPower Concept.
At that time, Saab was still owned by General Motors and the concept that was shown in 2008 carried the same powertrain with that of the Cadillac SRX. Now that Saab is under the Spyker brand, there’s no telling what kind of powertrain will be available for the production version of the 9-4X Crossover. The good news is that we won’t have to wait past the LA Auto Show to get the scoop on Saab’s new crossover.
Reports are coming out that the reinvigorated Swedish brand, Saab, is also set to make its return to the most prestigious rally racing series in the world, which, if everything pushes through, could happen in the 2012 season.
Saab has been absent from the rally scene since 1979 and the brand’s return to the WRC could be in-line to the recent revival the automaker is enjoying under its new ownership.
Details are still sketchy at best, but there appears to be mutual interest from both Spyker - that’s Saab’s new owner, if you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months – and officials from the WRC for Saab to make its rally comeback. Given the brand’s rich history in rally racing, we’re going to be surprised if their return to the WRC doesn’t happen.
In the event that Saab does come back to rallying, it is expected that the brand will be fielding a modified 1.6-liter turbocharged Saab 9-2, which, interestingly, will also be the same platform that the MINI Countryman will be using when it makes its own return to the world of rally racing.
Although Saab will most likely not create a coupe version of the new 9-5 saloon anytime soon, the idea has been in the heads of Saab fans for quite awhile. The 9-5 pictured above is the Photoshop-rendered 9-5 coupe done by an anonymous reader of the "Saabsunited" webpage.
What we have to say about the rendering is it is quite good, from a technical stand point. The fact that it was rendered by a presumably amateur artist makes it all the better, but it doesn’t quite make the cut. It looks as if the artist simply cut out a foot or two of the sedan and did nothing more. Its alloys are about five sizes too small and the door’s trim is half rubber, half chrome. Plus the roof-line is practically identical to the awkward looking roof-line of the Nissan R35.
For those who like the design, a 9-5 coupe is not among Saab’s priorities.
It’s been an interesting year for Saab and now things just keep getting better. AutoExpress is reporting that BMW and Saab are linking up to work on the new Audi A1 rivaling 9-2.
Auto Express spoke with new boss Victor Muller at the recent Saab Festival in Trollhattan. “We could build the 9-2 on our own, but that wouldn’t make sense,” he said. “Thanks to the crisis in the industry, everyone is willing to share everything. So Spyker couldn’t have bought Saab at a better time.”
Saab will look to take advantage of BMW’s joint project with PSA Peugeot Citroen. The group will work on a front-wheel drive chassis that will be on the new Mini. Front-wheel drive is in the company’s history, so it seems like a smart buy for Saab.
For BMW, this also seems like a smart move. Gaining partnerships will help reduce the cost of the new Mini and it shouldn’t hurt sales given the Mini’s reputation. Yet, we haven’t heard anything from either company, so we will have to wait and see.
With all of the commotion surrounding the Saab 9-5, it’s no wonder that people have left the 9-3 to sit out in the dust, but new details have surfaced about Saab’s entry-level model. Apparently, a very credible source, who has seen the sedan in the past six weeks, can attest to several changes that are taking place with the 2011 (and not 2012 as originally projected) 9-3. The 9-3 is scheduled to make its appearance at the end of August with sales beginning sometime in October.
The new generation 9-3 will use the same techniques as the new 9-5 and the design will be inspired by the Saab Aero-X concept which is a pretty interesting and innovative concept in its own regard. The exterior of the 2011 Saab 9-3 will see the most changes during this minor refresh. The sedan will get a new front fascia with customers being able to choose from “Vector Griffin” and “Griffin Aero”. The bumpers will also be slightly different than the current line and a hockeystick chromestripe will appear around the windows. The headlamps will get the same design as in the 9-5 and the 19” turbine wheels will also be borrowed from the 9-5. The final change will come in the exterior paint finishes. Snow Silver will have to see the door as Javabrown and Diamond Silver get added to the lineup.
In terms of engines, Saab will be adding the Turbo4 and TID4 to the current lineup. There will also be a 2.0 DI engine producing either 163 or 220hp and three diesel variants ranging from 130, 160, and 180hp.
Spyker’s purchase of Saab is finally complete after the Dutch supercar maker announced that the company has completely paid General Motors for every penny, nickel, and dime left in the purchase.
With the last payment on the 15th of July, Spyker opted to pay GM the remaining $24 million it owed ahead of schedule, officially finishing the deal that saw the General turn over Saab to Spyker earlier in the year. Even more impressive is the fact that Spyker didn’t have to take on any loans or add to its debt to make the payment, opting to use funds that came from the company’s internal sources.
Now that Saab is officially the property of Spyker, the latter has become extra aggressive in building the Saab brand back up to respectability, a stark contrast from where it stood a year ago when it was on the verge of shutting down permanently. The latest we heard was that Spyker is looking into ramping up and expanding Saab’s dealership networks in the US and in doing so, would also open the doors for its own line of Spyker supercars, which the company is also looking into ramping up as well, to join the fold.
We gotta say, we thought Saab had one foot in its grave before Spyker swooped in from the Netherlands to save the beleaguered Swedish brand. Now it looks like the brand is on the rebound to become a player in the auto industry once again.
The new Saab 9-5 is already on sale and it stands a great chance at becoming a very successful model; after all not everyone can afford to buy a car from Audi, BMW, or Mercedes. It stands an even better chance considering that the Volvo S80 has lost its touch and Cadillac is a brand made more for the American market.
The Saab 9-5 sedan version will soon be joined by a station-wagon version which was something to be expected, but what if Saab also offered the 9-5 in a CC (Combi-Coupe) version? A return of the legendary 5-door Saab 99 from 1978? This will be Saab’s answer to models like the Audi A5/A7 Sportback, the BMW 5-Series GT, and, while we are ticking models off, the Citroën C6. Although an interesting idea, it will not be one that will be made into a production version before 2013-2014.
The Saab 99 Combi Coupe arrived on the US market in 1974. It was powered by a 2.0 liter four-cylinder longitudinally mounted engine that delivered a total of 100 HP and was mated to a four-speed gearbox. The car remained in production until 1978. We can’t wait to see the new version when it hits the floor.