Changing faces of Saab

Back when I first showed a spyshot of the Saab 9-3 Griffin earlier this month, there were some people who were finding it hard to pick out the changes that were being made to the car.

The changes are subtle, sure, but they are there.

Carl-Henrik has done us all a favour by laying out three portraits, side by side, so that the changes to the ‘face’ of the Griffin (Aero) model can be seen a little easier. He’s also included a Saab 9-5 so you can see the family connection a little easier.

From left to right:

  • ‘old’ Saab 9-3,
  • Saab 9-3 Aero Griffin,
  • Saab 9-5.

Click….

  • The lower section of the front air dam is now painted
  • The grille in the lower air dam is now a mesh type
  • The foglamp ‘holes’ have changed shape to be more like the 9-5 surrounds
  • The foglamps themselves have a chrome surround directly around the lamp
  • The Saab wordmark is much more prominent on the front grille, a-la the 9-5

The headlamp glass also looks different, but I have a feeling that’s more to do with image processing than it is to do with the actual headlamps.

My thanks to Carl-Henrik!

mo
Guest
mo
5 years 7 months ago

i believe the headlight materials have been changed as they are now more of a ice block finish like the 9-5, or were you referring to shape of the lights?

Tiago do Vale
Guest
Tiago do Vale
5 years 7 months ago

I’ve seen in other pictures that the 9-3 also has the “ice block” effect on the headlights now: I wonder if that’s what Swade was mentioning…

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
5 years 7 months ago

Yep old lenses were clear new ones are tinted blue.

RobertP
Guest
RobertP
5 years 7 months ago

as they state in the press release: signature Saab ‘ice block’ headlamps

Wulf
Guest
Wulf
5 years 7 months ago

This is the best looking 9-3 to date. I never really cared for the 2008 face because it always looked a bit angry to me. The black hole in the lower front of the Aero was just very awkward looking. But this new design looks happy and stylish.

Hans H
Guest
Hans H
5 years 7 months ago

My daughters use to refer to a friends 9-3 as the “angry car”.
But I like it nevertheless.

Chris Carrier
Guest
Chris Carrier
5 years 7 months ago

Angry=Agressive=GOOD (to me).

CMHOHIOMAN
Guest
CMHOHIOMAN
5 years 7 months ago

I agree with Wulf. I think it looks very nice. I currently have a 2009 SAAB 9.3 XWD with every possible option on it fog lights etc…It’s very tempting to trade it in on a newer 2011/2012 9.3 with the twin scroll 220hp Direct Injection engine. My current SAAB has very noticeable turbo lag that the newer engine does not have….Plus I think the engine may be E85 capable…added plus. Hmm……decisions…plus my current car is paid off (No car payment)……

Chris Carrier
Guest
Chris Carrier
5 years 7 months ago

Yes…. but your current car wipes the floor with any currently sold 9-3… (or even 9-5 depending on your setup).

Loma
Guest
Loma
5 years 7 months ago

I really really really miss that Saab clamshell hood on the new 9-5…

Mikaik
Guest
Mikaik
5 years 7 months ago

Personally I prefer the look of the old 9-3. But I had one until two weeks ago, so I’m biased.
I always liked the “I’m going to eat you” aggresive design of the 2008 9-3.

lensaffair
Guest
lensaffair
5 years 7 months ago

The lower section of the front air dam is now painted

It’s not my style. I can see why they designed it like this, but I always loved that never-ending black shape on the front of the Aero series. The Griffin Model style now makes to me only very little difference when it comes to decide whether to get a regular 9-3 or an Aero.

SasaK
Guest
SasaK
5 years 7 months ago

I think the Griffinis the most “saabish” face for SAAB lately. It is better than the NFG 9-5 which looks way too tame (compared with the rear end). I ‘ve always felt that the face is somehow letting the whoule design of the new 9-5 down. There is lots of place for face design improvement and the griffin is the way to go.

tobias
Guest
tobias
5 years 7 months ago

The 9-3 is still so darn good looking. The “air vents” sorounding the fog lights in the 9-5 is not good looking. They are to big, they should change to the proportions they have on the 9-3

Ying
Guest
Ying
5 years 7 months ago

Maybe it’s the angle, but I like the New 9-3 the most.

Alex L
Guest
Alex L
5 years 7 months ago

OT but interesting: Saab-Spyker sells the Spyker part of itself (to Antonov?).

http://di.se/Default.aspx?sr=6&tr=284913&rlt=0&pid=228497__ArticlePageProvider&epslanguage=sv

rodmylon
Guest
rodmylon
5 years 7 months ago

DI.se says Spyker is selling “Spyker”, that is the sports car divission, to fully focus on Saab. More info to come shortly.
http://di.se/Artiklar/2011/2/24/228497/Spyker-saljer-sportbilsverksamheten/?sr=6&tr=284913&rlt=0

rodmylon
Guest
rodmylon
5 years 7 months ago

It seems Spyker sells the sportscar division to Antonov for 32million euros, of which 15 is paid directly and the rest until 2016. Spyker will change name and focus on Saab. Antonov buys Spyker sportcars through the holding company CPP Global Holdings Limited. Muller will remain chairman for the sportscars until a new person is appointed.

I think this is a good idea. Focus is important!

Sandy
Guest
Sandy
5 years 7 months ago

Yes, the 9-3 is still a very good looking car, my favorite is the new Griffin.
And combined with the new 220 hp direct injected, twin scroll straight four, easily unused to 260…
Hmmmm tempting…. Still waiting to see how big (if any) this years bonus will be… SC Aero maybe…

Rune
Guest
rodmylon
Guest
rodmylon
5 years 7 months ago

Great, you can see the new interior panel in the 9-5SC! That will put an end to those complaints about the interior of the 9-5. It looks fantastic!

Red J
Member
5 years 7 months ago

Was that the best picture you could take of the updated 9-5 interior ??? 😛

Rune
Guest
Rune
5 years 7 months ago
It turns out the answer is ‘yes’. I think they heard what I did to my own 9-5, so when I arrived the SC was roped off and nobody were allowed within 1 meter of the car. I am sure that as soon as I left, people were climbing all over the car, but I have no proof of this, yet. I will return to the museum in the weekend and retrieve the hidden camera I planted to document what took place afterwards. 🙂 It was a good event. I had wished to be able to sit in the 9-3,… Read more »
Red J
Member
5 years 7 months ago

For those that are not one of those 72.000 friends of Saab on facebook.

Saab has a competition going on. If you spot the Saab 9-3 independence Edition from a picture wall with 5000 Saab pictures you can win a trip to THN for you and one friend.

Martin D
Guest
Martin D
5 years 7 months ago

In a German forum, the 2008 9.3 was called “Darth Vader” due to its aggressive looks.
I still love it, but I am biased as well…
Would love to have the bigger SAAB logo on the grille.
And I am thinking about making the middle strut of the lower grille black.
This togehter with the yellow lower strut would then give a kind of new 9.3 looks.
🙂

And I found the Independence model on the mosaic. Hope to win the trip to Trollhättan…

Erek
Guest
Erek
5 years 7 months ago

The new face of the 9-3 looks good, but I prefer the 2008 aero look. This looks like it should be the 2.0T model, just nice and soft and pleasing.

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