Saab 9-3 Griffin spotted in Trollhattan

UPDATE: Now with video!

If these cars are out on the streets, they will be seen. If they can be seen, they can be photographed.

Below we have what appears to be a Saab 9-3 Griffin. The Griffin is part of the enhanced model range that we believe will carry the 9-3 through to the end of it’s life when an all-new 9-3 replacement vehicle comes. This photo gives you a better look at the new front bumper treatment, with the bigger and more 9-5-like front foglight surrounds. As the car is in Java Metallic, the black surrounds aren’t as easy to see as they would be if it’s a lighter color, but they’re there.

The changes are subtle, but there, and it does look a bit racier. You’ll also note the Griffin badging on the side (which is the biggest giveaway of all).

Comparative image of a 2011 Saab 9-3 in Java, below…..

The 9-3 Griffin is said to have some subtle interior upgrades as well, with the biggest change to the car being the installation of the same direct injected 2.0T engine as in the Saab 9-5 making 220hp instead of the current 210 with better economy expected as well.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyoQl7VldHA

Robin M
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Loving the new grill.
I’m glad the people of Trollhattan carry their cameras.

montahue
Guest
montahue
5 years 7 months ago

I really hope this image is taken in the worst possible angle, with a very simple phone camera with a skewed lens, because the 9-3 on the picture kinda makes me think about donald duck’s car.
Not that that is a bad thing, donald duck sells alot.

montahue
Guest
montahue
5 years 7 months ago

or maybe its just that the rims are like 15″ and i had a couple of beers. Is it only to me it looks kinda humorous? Well i guess it will look less funny on other photos and in real life.

Paul E
Guest
Paul E
5 years 7 months ago

Those wheels look to be the 16″ wheels that were the standard fitment on the 9-3SS “Arc” versions in the ‘States in ’04 or so. I have a set of those on my 9-5 Aero at moment, shod with snow tires.

Carl-Henrik
Guest
Carl-Henrik
5 years 7 months ago

We blame it on the beer! 😉

Pat H
Guest
Pat H
5 years 7 months ago

I want to see the back!

bravada from mobile phone
Guest
bravada from mobile phone
5 years 7 months ago

Not the best choice of wheels, I must say…

Jake
Guest
Jake
5 years 7 months ago

OOOOHHH!

Me likey!

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

I like it… the lower fascia looks a little more aggressive…

J Fan
Guest
J Fan
5 years 7 months ago
Based on last week’s photo of the new 9-5 SC, I’m going to sit on the fence this time until I see some better pictures. I know, how gracious of me, what?!?! I will say that the Java 2011 car Swade put up looks great… and I wouldn’t change it 🙂 For some reason, I take great pleasure in seeing a model soldier on year after year. Is this the 10th year now for the 9-3? The Volvo XC90 came out at around the same time, and that’s still going strong, too – in 2010, the UK sold more XC90’s… Read more »
WooDz
Guest
WooDz
5 years 7 months ago

The 9-3 SportSedan started as a 2003MY, so it will be 10 when it’s replaced.

I recently read that BMW will keep the next generation 3-Series for 12 years.

J Fan
Guest
J Fan
5 years 7 months ago

I recently read that BMW will keep the next generation 3-Series for 12 years.

So… Saab are quite the trend-setters it seems!

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

Swade, Any idea when that picture was taken?

It looks like the weather is not all that bad… grass is nice and green.

Slobbo
Guest
Slobbo
5 years 7 months ago

I visited trollhättan this weekend and the snow has been melting away the last week so I would say that this is a fresh photo. Maybe this weekend. 🙂

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

After seeing the video and the snow piles…. I am corrected. Grass around here does not look so green at that though… thanks !

Red J
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

This is the EXIF dat attached to the photo:

mage Type: jpeg (The JPEG image format)
Width: 800 pixels
Height: 384 pixels
Camera Brand: Apple
Camera Model: iPhone 3GS
Date Taken: 2011:02:08 14:12:11
Exposure Time: 1/142 sec.
Aperture Value: 2.97 EV (f/2.8)
ISO Speed Rating: 64
Flash Fired: No flash function
Metering Mode: Average
Exposure Programme: Normal programme
Focal Length: 3.9 mm
Software: 4.0.2

Tomas TL1000R
Guest
Tomas TL1000R
5 years 7 months ago
Red J, you are a true “Nörd” on figures arn´t you? I have given this a thought ( this 11,5 Gripen thing). I would like it to be more new stuff to it but! That would be more tricky for Saab and would have disturbe sale of present car out there (dealers). So the small changes they did maybe is enough to extend the life cycle. It´s the same car with just a little bit more “edge to it” and I buy that. I did hope it would look like the red one we saw from http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2010/08/thursday-snippets-5.html Which is beautiful.… Read more »
Red J
Member
5 years 7 months ago

No I’m not a geek on figures, I’m a geek on information.
If I know where to find the information, I deliver that Information.

Marco
Guest
Marco
5 years 7 months ago

Interesting (even if off the topic):

This EXIF information gives the SW information of the iphone used (4.0.2). I tried it on my iphone and I wasn’t able to produce it. However, the SW version of this phone is old: this version was available between August 11 and September 8, 2010. The latest official SW version is 4.2.1. (which I’m using). I didn’t notice any official difference in the Camera SW between these versions…

Marco
Guest
Marco
5 years 7 months ago
Here is this cars licence plate information: Fordonsidentifikation Registreringsnummer: NMZ571 Fabrikat: SAAB Färg: BRUN Fordonsslag: PB Fordonsår: 2011 Fordonsslagsklass: I Chassinummer: YS3FA4AR6B1500035 Typgodkännandenummer: Typgodkännandedatum: Senaste EU-regbevis del 1: 2010-11-16 Senaste EU-regbevis del 2: 2010-11-16 Handelsbeteckning: Upplysningar: Ägare/Brukare Namn: SAAB AUTOMOBILE AKTIEBOLAG Adress: Postnr: 461 80 Förvärvsdatum: 2010-11-15 Ort: TROLLHÄTTAN Försäkringsuppgifter Försäkringsbolag: ZURICH IRELAND LTD Försäkringsdatum: 2010-11-15 Fordonsdata Fordonsstatus: I trafik (2010-11-18) Tillfällig registrering: Nej Privatimport: Nej Antal ägare: 1 Yrkesmässig trafik: Nej Fordonet tillverkat: Producentansvarig: 556258-8912 I trafik första gången i Sverige: 2010-11-18 I trafik första gången i utlandet: Ägarbunden dispens: Ja Ägarbunden dispens upphör: Nej Besiktningsuppgifter Besiktningstermin: 2013-11-01 –… Read more »
Red J
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

VIN decoding:
VIN: YS3FA4AR6B1500035

YS3 -> Saab
F -> 9-3
A -> non-Aero
4 -> 4-door
A -> 6speed Auto/FWD
R -> 2.0L Turbo E85 (A20NFT/BP)
6 -> Check Digit
B -> MY 11
1 -> Trollhättan, 9-3
500035 -> Serial Number

mo
Guest
mo
5 years 7 months ago

i remember reading that they were going to add a silver hockey strip line similar to the 9-5. is this the finalized version?

rpg
Guest
rpg
5 years 7 months ago

I was looking for the silver hockey stick strip too. It wasn’t on the car seen in the footage from that Swedish news show VM was interviewed on, so I guess it’s not going to get it.

Talladegan
Guest
Talladegan
5 years 7 months ago

Like the nose, not the wheels. Love the Java!

Jesse
Guest
Jesse
5 years 7 months ago

Man, that java color is delicious!

hipchecker
Guest
hipchecker
5 years 7 months ago

People – there is NO difference. What are you looking at?!?!? I’m going nuts here!

belfast_saab
Guest
belfast_saab
5 years 7 months ago

Haha, it is certainly one for the fans, I doubt newcomers or outsideres will notice, but it is is smart IMHO. The rear is the interesting end for me, well overdue for a change, but unlikely I guess unless we saw the full width strip?

mihow
Guest
mihow
5 years 7 months ago

From what I can see, the lower grill is now a mesh one, and the foglamp housings are reversed (as compared to their position on the current model)- Changes very hard to discern, but nonetheless changes…

Rodney
Guest
Rodney
5 years 7 months ago

LOL I am glad I am not the only one! I do not see any significant difference. I can’t wait to see the complete redesigned 9-3.

Will the 2011.5 have a redesigned dash? I can’t wait to see those pictures.

Tim in Denver
Guest
Tim in Denver
5 years 7 months ago

Ditto, Hipchecker!
If there’s a difference, ‘it ain’t much’!

zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 7 months ago

They should have spent the extra cash on the interior quality as its hard to tell that anything has been done to the exterior.

Cokeisit
Guest
Cokeisit
5 years 7 months ago

+1

turbokalle
Guest
turbokalle
5 years 7 months ago

The changes to the exterior is indeed subtile, but as Swade mentions, with a lighter colour the revised front will be much more apparent.
I would be surprised if there are any big changes with the interior. My bet is different looking chair fabric/colour and mabye something small on the dash.

Jim
Guest
Jim
5 years 7 months ago

It looks okay. Not good wheels. I just saw a beautiful gray c. 2010 9-3 SS at Target. The headlights are striking with (LED?) “eyebrows.” At night, the car looked great. And I am not a fan of the 2008+ exterior. I don’t find it as elegant as 2006-2007, my favorite years.

rpg
Guest
rpg
5 years 7 months ago

Those are wheels that used to come standard years ago on the Arc variant of the 9-3 here in the US. There is no way they are going back to those. The video clip we saw a few weeks ago of a 2011.5 Griffin edition coming off the line had a nice new wheel design.

WooDz
Guest
WooDz
5 years 7 months ago

THE WHEELS….

This car is running on winter tyres using 16″ Alloy wheels.
There’s nothing to get overly excited about.

2-don
Guest
2-don
5 years 7 months ago

Yeah, they’ve really got to do something about those 16″ wheels. They are not a strong selling point here in the states. Put some 18″ wheels and the car will look great!

cmhohioman
Guest
cmhohioman
5 years 7 months ago

Jeepers…it doesnt look any different from my 2009 SAAB 9.3 XWD. Actually my car looks better…seriously…but the newer engine (220hp) Direct Injection Spark…is defintely a selling point…..OK….Hirsch upgrade or 2012 SAAB 9.3??? Hmmmm My present car is paid off….no car payment presently…only 17,000 miles on it…

Per
Guest
Per
5 years 7 months ago

People, remember that we Scandinavians use winter tyres on rims that take dome beating through the winter, you don’t wanna put your best 18″ on that. Off topic, these low co2 diesel you can’t get with 18″, heard that 17″ just made it.

Thylmuc
Guest
Thylmuc
5 years 7 months ago

If I could change one thing, it would be attaching a chrome hockey stick a la 9-5, with that somewhat more acute angle at the C column. Sad that this did not manifest, at least not on this car.

No need to change the bumpers.

Bravada from GMI
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

On consideration, by posting this you did wonders to pre-Griffin 2011 9-3 sales. Well, one sale. At least you can get the Trionic while it lasts, and unless the interior is a magic candy mountain cave I am not swayed at all. Was it worth it to do this upgrade at all?

JukkaH
Guest
JukkaH
5 years 7 months ago

The engine upgrade would be the only reason for me to consider it, actually. There should be something around 10% of fuel efficiency gains to be expected (I do not have any real data) + better torque curve and better overall engine responsiveness. It runs pretty smooth at the front of the current 9-5, as far as I can tell from a single test drive. On a body that weights less (ie. 9-3), it should provide pretty much fun already at 220hp ..

Pedro
Guest
Pedro
5 years 7 months ago

SAABs on a very tight budget, so money is best spent into the NG 9-3. The engine swap is the only thing of real interest here, and probably saves SAAB a few SEK per car.

marvin
Guest
marvin
5 years 7 months ago

I think this car is cleverly camouflaged. I think there will probably be alot more chrome that is covered now. Including the chrome hockeystick. Either that, or this is the linear griffin.

Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 7 months ago

Looks a little like the bumper on the Focus RS but it’s nice!

Saabheart
Guest
Saabheart
5 years 7 months ago

I’m surprised it took 38 comments for someone to mention that. Good catch 🙂 I agree it looks nice for a minor face-lift.

Tough crowd here, what were you expecting people? A full redesign? Wait 6 months for that! And I’m sure the wheels are just some they had laying around. The probably wont send it to dealers with them.

RS
Guest
RS
5 years 7 months ago

Won’t anyone agree that the front picture on the Saabs official web sites (Build Your Saab) are not making the 9-3 any favors?

Tom
Guest
Tom
5 years 7 months ago

I think I know what they have done here. Ironic, given my post about 2002 9-3 design yesterday. I think they have given the front bumper/nose the same low slung “jaw” as is seen on 2005 pre dame Edna 9-5 and the final design of the 02 GM 9-3. Rounded, a bit more aggressive and guides the eye towards the hockey stick shape.

That’s what I think I see anyway!

Henrik B.
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

I don’t like it!

Is it just me, that thinks that the front has “grown” too long? It’s come so far, that it is actually spoiling the harmony of the car. It looks waaaay nose-heavy….

Can’t wait to see a more harmonic new 9-3 in 2012…

Cheers!

Bernard
Guest
Bernard
5 years 7 months ago

Henrik,

The long nose may be an aerodynamic optimization, meaning that it contributes to lower fuel consumption and CO2.

The next 9-3 will be a clean sheet design, so they will have more parameters to play with.

Yerrun
Guest
Yerrun
5 years 7 months ago

Might be just a part of the griffin we see here. As previous sources mentionned, there should be soms chrome surrounding at the hockeystick. And i would be surprised if nothing changed with the black surrounded taillights… We Will see … In geneva?

Tompa
Guest
Tompa
5 years 7 months ago

Hopefully we will see the same lighter soundinsulation used in the TTiD Eco in all 9-3´s. It´s not alot of weight but every bit helps fueleconomy and performance.

Looks good. I´m curious as to what has been done to the interior.

Cheers/Tom

Knape
Guest
Knape
5 years 7 months ago

Looks good! I had hopes for the new “SAAB-sign” with the backlight stretching across the trunk…but I guess that is a bit to big of a change for this “facelift”.

MariusGTV
Guest
MariusGTV
5 years 7 months ago

The changes are certainly subtle. Too subtle. If this was all they are intending to do then they should not have bothered and invested any money on a interior revamp IMHO. The exterior looks great just now anyway so these little changes are lost.

Wondered what happened to the more heavily changed 9-3? My dealer said he had been to Sweden to see it and that it had clear design cues from the 9-5 including the rear light cluster arrangement. This just looks basically the same.

Joe
Guest
Joe
5 years 7 months ago

To low return on investment considering lifetime, perhaps. Resources redirected towards meaningful and prolonging projects with environmental motivation by lowering fuel consumption (EIB loans)?
Did Griffin Edition mean option generosity in the case of OG9-5? If true, wonder if that can be expected here.

Red J
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Joe,
being the owner of a OG9-5 Griffin, I’m also hopping for a competitive price/option-list on my maybe next Griffin. 🙂

Red J
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Marius,
I’m also a little bit “disappointed” about the back of this car. I did also hear many rumours about the new back-part without the Griffin and more similar to the 9-5.

it seems like the Griffin is gone, but putting the SAAB word in silver letters on a silver background it’s not the best thing they could do.

Örjan
Guest
Örjan
5 years 7 months ago

Hmmm, why put a badge on the car if the car is a “secret”? 🙂

Maybe it´s the same as when there is info from “some one close” to celeb X (=the info is “planted”)?

Saab wants it to be seen but BIG letters on the side of the car saying “Schh! This is a secret! Don´t tell anyone” might be a little to much 🙂

Tom
Guest
Tom
5 years 7 months ago

Hey you people out in Trollhättan, why is it that there are only a few pictures of camouflaged future Saabs on the net? Okay, I live in Munich and I see nearly everyday one or two BMWs with camo in the streets. So maybe I am little bit spoiled 🙂

MrY
Guest
MrY
5 years 7 months ago

… there is to a certain extent a silent agreement between the people in Trollhättan and Saab ,not to spread pictures around ……………………

Tom
Guest
Tom
5 years 7 months ago

Ah, I understand! That´s a fair deal in my opinion. Thanks for the info, MrY.

Frank
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Can’t wait for spring to come and visit Trollhattan again, 4 months and counting….
Does anybody know if there are again Saab-factory tours possible ?
I really enjoyed that a few years ago.

Tom
Guest
Tom
5 years 7 months ago

Ah, I understand! That´s a fair deal in my opinion. Thanks for the info.

Tom
Guest
Tom
5 years 7 months ago

Appears we have 2 people posting under the name Tom here. I shall change my name from now on to TomC to help differentiate…

Agreed Saabheart – tough crowd eh? I see this design as a gentle nod to the past, one to help reassure the passionate afficionados out there 🙂

Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
Guest
Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
5 years 7 months ago

Video shows a small spoiler on the trunk…. new or old stuff!

Henrik S
Guest
Henrik S
5 years 7 months ago

Is it just me or…I think the new nose has some Spyker genes. (look at the fog lights for example.) Or?

olaf95
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

I’ve Seen The griffin in The Secret Room in White Colour. Overall The Car Looks and feels much better. The Grille has like honeycomb Patterns, The Front Looks much Lower. I think The frontlights have 9-5 like Blue Inside. It had The Chrome hockeystick, which Looks decent on a White Car. It had new hirschstyle (hi till72!) saab 18” Rims, no 3-spoke, but 5-spoke. The back is only slightly modified. The Saab Logo on Silver Looks very good, much more modern. The back Bumper of course also was Lower and had 2 exhausts

olaf95
Guest
5 years 7 months ago


I think it was an Aero Version. Much more interesting was The Look and Feeling inside The Car. All Materials were better. The seats had 9-5 style Stitching and were also perforated. Cockpit surrounding in Chrome was luckily gone or Black. The Interieur forms and Designs are unchanged, but The Look and Feel is Upper Class. As i can remember The backlights were Not 9-5 Blue but more crystalclear transparent. Anyway, it will Be a real griffin!

Börjesson
Guest
Börjesson
5 years 7 months ago

What exactly is meant by the Griffin name in this context? Is that the designated name of the whole line of final model year 9-3s? Or is it a particular high-performance version of MY11.5, like a fourth variety beside the Linear, Vector and Aero? Or something else entirely?

Red J
Member
5 years 7 months ago

Börjesson,
the last OG9-5 were called Griffin (linear Griffin and vector Griffin in some markets) and had the Griffin word on the side.
This MY11.5 9-5 is also a EoL (end of Life) model for the current 9-3, and thus will also be called Griffin (maybe also as linear Griffin, vector Griffin and aero Griffin depending on the market).

Henrik B.
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

There was also a 9000 Griffin…

Cheers!

Tompa
Guest
Tompa
5 years 7 months ago

Yepp, and what beauties they where with all that REAL wood and smooth leather. The later models had the CS Aero´s seats… Wonderful!

Cheers/Tom

RS
Guest
RS
5 years 7 months ago
North Toronto Punter
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Great find, RS:Saab doesn’t need new ads…they just need to re-shoot the old ones!

Also (and is mentioned in the youtube comments): How powerful final frame is: ‘SAAB’ (minus any tag lines…[KISS]).

Might have money over for the HI PO model 🙂

RS
Guest
RS
5 years 7 months ago

NTP, yes the ad is amazing.
BTW how much would $40k be in todays money? I guess you could buy a new Porsche for that kind of bucks in the US back then. (correct me if I’m wrong)

Börjesson
Guest
Börjesson
5 years 7 months ago

OK, thanks. So Griffin basically means the whole model year, regardless of version. But then I don’t understand what is meant by the sentence “the Griffin is part of the enhanced model range”, as written in the post. Is it a part of the range or the whole range?

(I also don’t understand the “MY11.5 9-5” part of your comment, but I’ll assume that’s a typo!)

Red J
Member
5 years 7 months ago

It is a typo I mean the MY 11.5 9³

Sorry. 🙂

Neil
Guest
Neil
5 years 7 months ago

I didn’t want to admit it; but I have those exact same wheels! I must change them……..I SIMPLY MUST! LOL

North Toronto Punter
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

With you on that, Neil. GF has same on her ’09.

Relatively cheap way to upgrade – paint them gunmetal! And add 15mm H & R spacers front and rear: Car then looks less likely to tip over and widens the track (while we wait for the ’12).

dave
Guest
dave
5 years 7 months ago

I like the color, Java is different but does not seem to photograph that great. I have the same wheels on my xwd, 17’s with winters on them. I still prefer the grey surrounds on the 9-3 than those new ones.

dave

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