Saab’s entry level compact car has received a refresh for the 2012MY, and it also has a new name to go along with it. Now called the 9-3 Griffin for the US version, the hot hatch will be getting some interior and exterior modifications, as well as a couple of new engines.
Starting off with the exterior, the 9-3 Griffin will be receiving new front bumpers and signature Saab ‘ice block’ headlamps to differentiate itself from the earlier versions of the second generations. This is followed by a new metallic trim for the interior, as well as updated leatherette seats and unique storage pockets on the sides of the front seats.
More engine options will also find their way into the 9-3 Griffin, alongside the usual mix of 1.9-liter TTiD twin turbo diesel engines producing either 130, 160, 180hp. These new engines will come in 2.0L petrol flavors with 163hp or 220hp.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin.
The biggest international auto show of the 2011 calendar year is getting closer and closer to opening its doors when the event kicks off on March 1st, 2011. Unlike recently concluded auto shows we’ve had since the calendar turned to 2011, the Geneva Motor Show is always the one that gets our juices flowing. Not that those other events weren’t any good, but Geneva brings out all the goods. All the big boys come out to play at this event, so much so that making this preview took more days than we expected because everyday, a new model was being announced as attending the event.
Now that the Geneva Motor Show is less than two weeks away, we feel like it’s time to give you a sneak peek on what cars to expect at the event. A lot of brands that routinely skip other auto shows will all be in attendance at the Geneva Motor Show, proving that without a shadow of a doubt, this Swiss spectacle is one of the most important - if not the most important - events in the automotive calendar.
Hit the jump to check out just who will be in attendance when the show opens its doors on March 1st, 2011.
February 23rd is a very special day for the boys of Saab. A year ago on this day, the Swedish automaker was officially given a new life by Spyker, and the former will be celebrating the first anniversary of Saab’s rebirth as an independent carmaker by releasing a special edition 9-3 Convertible that it’s calling the “Independence Edition”.
Set to be launched at a special party to be held at the company’s Trollhättan plant in Sweden, the 9-3 Independence Day Edition is a model that will be limited to just 366 units – one for each day that has passed since Spyker made its purchase from General Motors. Pass the cheese this direction, please?
Cheesiness aside, the 9-3 Independence Day Edition will come with a number of unique features, including a 2.0-liter Biopower engine that produces 220 horsepower, a bespoke Amber Orange metallic exterior paint finish, a set of 18" alloy wheels decked in a two-tone satin chrome and black finish. Meanwhile, the interior gets beige leather interior seats and a glovebox with orange piping, an orange turbo instrument needle, carbon fiber trim, an orange stitched sports leather steering wheel, carpet mats that come with gray piping, and a couple of other upgrades courtesy of Hirsch Performance.
As soon as the 9-3 Independence Edition finishes celebrating Saab’s one-year “rebirth” anniversary, the car is expected to make an appearance at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Can’t say that we’re particularly thrilled about the car. It’s a definite looker, especially that orange piping on the interior seats, but we’re not going to sell our souls in order to get one.
In any case, Happy 1st Birthday, Saab!
Strange as that sounds.
Staying true to the fact that they have become the official supplier for ECU upgrades, aero kits, brakes, exhaust systems, and a few other modifications for Saab models on the US market, Hirsch Performance has unveiled one of the projects they have been working on. The Saab 9-3 sedan by Hirsch Performance has been unveiled at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show featuring some pretty impressive little extras on it interior and exterior.
The specific model revealed at the show received a 30 HP upgrade, but that is only one of the options provided by Hirsch. Crack open a Saab 9-3 with a 2.8 Turbo V6 engine and Hirsch can pump it up to 300hp (up from 276 HP). Other engine setups can get updates from 140hp to 300hp.
The exterior wasn’t left untouched as Hirsch Performance is offering a rear spoiler, a carbon fiber body kit with a front splitter and rear diffuser, a four-piece mesh grille set, and a new set of 19" 6-Twin alloy wheels to give the Saab’s look a bit of spunk.
Depending on how much money the customer is willing to spend, Hirsch Performance can customize your Saab in every which way imaginable.
Hit the jump to check out performance statistics for their tuning packages.
Saab has unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show a station wagon version of the new 9-5 sedan. The new model will share the same AeroX-inspired exterior look and will feature an extended, falling roof-line which culminates in a steeply raked rear screen flanked by signature Saab wraparound window glazing.
The new SportWagon version will be offered with the same all-turbo petrol and diesel engines the 9-5 sedan version and, XWD all-wheel-drive system and advanced features such as: Saab DriveSense adaptive chassis control and adaptive cruise control starting late 2012.
"The launch of the 9-5 SportWagon is a much-awaited next step in the roll-out of our new product offensive," says Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. "It will take Saab back into the large estate segment where we have established a strong presence in many key markets with our previous offering."
Sale on the US market will begin later this fall.
Hit the jump to read more about the Saab 9-5 SportWagon.
By now we know that cars of the future will look nothing like the floating spheres featured on our favorite Jetsons episodes. With technology booming and people striving to create the next best thing, it’’s no wonder that the creative minds of the world are banging their heads against the walls trying to push the envelope with the vehicles of tomorrow. One such creative mind that may have just banged his head one too many times is Korean design student, Youngho Jong. Jong has put together a design for a 2025 Saab Concept that combines the elements of nature and human psychology fit to warn other vehicles of any impending danger.
The 2025 Advanced Warning System Vehicle concept is a four door saloon that comes with various warning signals to alert other drivers when he vehicle is getting too close or is driving recklessly. Jong’s inspiration for this concept came after doing some research and discovering that 50% of vehicle accidents are caused by carelessness, excessive speed, and tailgating. Keeping this in mind, Jong designed this sports sedan to feature amber hazard lights on the front, back, and side to warn the other vehicles that the car is too close. Another warning that the car may be coming too close are the patches of the vehicle’s body darkening upon sensing that another car is near. The coolest part of this concept is the body that is made of a soft, impact absorbing material that will decrease pedestrian injuries and vehicle damage upon impact.
They say that there is a thin line between genius and insanity, and this guy is doing the Lambada on it, but then again, a lot of people thought Christopher Columbus was crazy when he said the Earth was round.
After being previewed by the Saab 9-4X BioPower, the third model in Saab’s line-up will make its world debut at the LA Auto Show. The new 9-4X will be placed in looks and size between the 9-3X all-rounder and new 9-5 sedan and will go on sale in May 2011.
The new 9-4X will be offered with a choice of V6 engines, naturally-aspirated or turbocharged. The entry level gets a 3,0 liter version with 265 HP, while the Aero version will be powered by a 300 HP 2.8-liter version with direct injection for twin-scroll turbocharging. Both engines are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions under adaptive, electronic control. The new 9-4X will be offered with Saab’s advanced all-wheel-drive system, Saab XWD, and DriveSense adaptive chassis control.
"The 9-4X significantly broadens the appeal of the Saab brand,” says Saab Automobile CEO Jan Ake Jonsson. "It gives us entry to the fast-growing crossover segment with a vehicle that reflects our brand values in key areas, such as progressive Scandinavian design and sporty, responsible driving performance. The 9-4X is an exciting package and we’re confident it will appeal to many existing Saab owners, as well as win new customers for the brand."
Press release after the jump.
Saab and BMW are continuing their "I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine" partnership on the next 9-2 supermini due out in 2012 by announcing that they will also be borrowing BMW’s latest front-drive platform. This news comes shortly after the two companies announced that the new 9-2 would be powered by a BMW sourced engine allowing BMW to reduce costs on their ever popular Mini which carries this same engine.
The sharing doesn’t end there either as Saab boss Victor Muller said that the next 9-2 might share technologies with the future 9-3: "We’re in constant dialogue with a number of players to share the [9-3] technology," he said. "There are parties that are interested in talking about possible licensing of the technology."
Expect the new Saab 9-2 to be unveiled sometime in 2012 and to be powered by a modified 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. The new model will compete with models like the Audi A1.
Saab is continuing its efforts to become a self-sustaining company by making plans for the next generation Saab 9-3 and the timing has been set as Saab has announced that the new 9-3 will be making its world debut in 2012, most likely at the Paris Auto Show. The new model will feature a more dramatic exterior style, but it will also get a new electric four-wheel drive system that will improve fuel economy by 10%. This system was developed by engineering specialist American Axle and uses a newly designed multi-link rear suspension and two electric motors.
Jason Castriota, Saab’s new design director, said that the exterior styling has already been decided, with only small details - like headlamps - still needing to be chosen.
The 2012 Saab 9-3 will be offered with a new 200 HP 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol engine used by the Mini Countryman. There will also be a range of new diesel engines, but company sources would not be drawn on the likely source, saying only that “both parties are open to explore further opportunities as part of this relationship in the future”. Previous reports have suggested that the new Saab may include the new 184bhp 1.6-liter, twin-scroll turbo Cooper S engine and the 112bhp 1.6-liter diesel engine used in the Countryman. The new engines will be coupled to an all-new six-speed manual gearbox and a four-wheel drive system.
Fifty years ago, legendary rally car driver Erik Carlsson romped through his first of three – in a row - British RAC rally titles while piloting a three-cylinder, 750 cc Saab 96.
As a Saab aficionado, Carlsson has always competed in rally races while driving only one brand and today, the Swedish manufacturer is celebrating Carlsson’s rally accomplishments by building a special edition Saab 9-3 carrying his name.
Called the Saab 9-3 Aero Carlsson, the 280-horsepower limited-run model was announced by Saab at a recent luncheon at the RAC Club in London to honor Carlsson himself.
Understandably, Carlsson was honored by Saab’s gesture. "This is a great occasion for me,” he said.
“I feel very honored to have a car named after me. Anyone who loves driving and is as passionate about Saab as I am will be excited about getting behind the wheel."
We don’t know a great deal about Erik Carlsson because he raced even before we were born, but from what we’ve heard and read about him, he seems to have been one of the pre-eminent rally racers of his time so it’s only appropriate for Saab to honor the man that gave them their honor back in the day.
Press Release after the jump.
The Saab 9-4X is coming at us in November during the Los Angeles Auto Show, but since no one in the auto industry can keep a secret for long, the first undisguised image of the future crossover has already surfaced on the internet. Good for us, probably even better for Saab since the buzz will only pick up with each leaked photo or spy shot.
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 styling, 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 9-4X BioPower 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.
Spyker, the company that purchased Saab from General Motors, has released an official statement confirming talks with BMW about component sharing. These talks, which we heard about back in June, were originally thought to benefit the new 9-2 first, but it seems the larger 9-3 will get the first taste of BMW’s goodies.
An all-new BMW-sourced motor that will produce around 220 horsepower, according to Bloomberg, could power the new 9-3 schedule to be released by 2012. The report also stated that a BMW engine might find its way into the 9-5.
Though the 9-3 will be the first to receive the BMW treatment, we shouldn’t rule out the 9-2. Saab hopes to launch the teardrop shaped car by 2014 if it can find a partner. The Mini Countryman’s underpinnings might be used on the 9-2, as well as some small displacement motors from BMW.
Check out Spyker’s brief statement after the jump.