The Running of the Mules

Saab has been very active behind the scenes testing various mules in Sweden. Tips have been coming in on articles in other publications showing these latest prototypes, used to test various components of the Phoenix platform. Keep in mind as usual the bodies of these cars are the current models, as these are mainly for testing elements under the hood for the next generation 9-3.

From worldcarfans.com, an interesting new mule that seems to only be testing front components of the new platform, the rear seems to be from the current 9-3. I have no idea what exactly they get out of testing it this way, but feel free to speculate.

Somethings Marco noted in his tip were:

– New front rims with different bolt system.

– The car was registered in 2009 as a diesel and is currently out of use (according to Swedish authorities).

– No visible exhaust pipes, so is this really a diesel?

– The pics are taken in Arjeplog, Sweden.

 

 

And in expressen.se (english translation), we see a mule using a convertible body. Some of the obvious changes are the wider track both front and rear and the exhaust pipes placed further towards the corners. Also, it’s wearing the same wheels as the sedan above.

UPDATE: more pics at caradvice.com.au

bk-aero
Guest
bk-aero
5 years 6 months ago

I can’t wait to see the new 9-3!

One proposal to you Jeff: Could you post the pics in a way that they can be enlarged? That’d be great!

Charlie
Guest
Charlie
5 years 6 months ago

Once the Psa 1.6 goes in the front, there us going to be a lot of room.

Front axle in same place

Tom
Guest
Tom
5 years 6 months ago
Delighted to hear it’s wider, even if just a tad. I don’t need all that ass of the 9-5 but I definitely would like a wider stance on the NG 9-3. My landrocket (03 9-5 Aero) currently has 160K miles, is eating oil like a [expletive] and slamming into 2nd with impunity. Come on baby! Just another 18 months… (that’s 30K at my rate) I retire the Aero at 190K and get into a new dark grey 9-3 five door hatch. (drool!) Are we certain the 1.6 is going into the 9-3 and not the 2.0 from the new 9-5?… Read more »
zieba
Guest
zieba
5 years 6 months ago
I should add that my main gripe with the car after all these miles are the out of round alloy rims which just can’t withstand NYC roads on 45 sized rubber. For whatever reason, truing alloys rims is fairly expensive and I won’t sink the money to do all four. Even at 160K, the car runs great and has been relatively trouble free save for an oil pan pull and desludge at 140K. Other than the flinstone car feeling that detracts so much from the experience, and which I would rectify with 16″ steel wheels if they would fit over… Read more »
Anders
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Anders
5 years 6 months ago

160,000 miles = 257,000 km (= 25,700 Scandinavian miles) isn’t much for a 9-5. My 1998 Saab 9-5 2.3 t has passed that a long time ago and still works perfectly, apart from also “drinking” a lot of oil. There shouldn’t however be any problem driving a 9-5 300,000 miles = 483,000 km (= 48,300 Scandinavian miles). Durability is in fact one of Saab’s strengths. You still see lots of rusty OG 900s in Sweden. They rust in the Swedish salted slushy winter roads, but they keep going.

Nils
Guest
Nils
5 years 6 months ago

Don’t worry about the 1.6. Thanks to the turbo, it has plenty of torque at low revs and a less powerful variant of this engine is already powering large and heavy cars like the Citroen C5 and Pug 508. You will get a better power to weight ratio than with your current 9-5.

Please note that 1.4 and 1.6 turbo engines are commonplace in Europe nowadays, while in the US, GM and Ford continue to ship some ancient 2.0 litre engines with less power in similar models as those with 1.4 and 1.6 on the European market.

Tom
Guest
Tom
5 years 6 months ago
The C5 has a posted 0-60 time of 11.1 seconds for the four banger (just quick glance may not be accurate) and 8.6 seconds for the 3.0V6. The 508 gets 8.3 seconds out of its 1.6T. Saab has always been about driving excitement and pleasure. Having just returned from two months in Europe, I concur that there are plenty of sub 2.0 liter power plans. None however, and feel free to correct me, can outrun a 2.3L 9-5HOT. Since the 9-5HOT has been around for quite some time, and given manufacturers’ propensity to design larger cars, I was hoping that… Read more »
charlie
Guest
charlie
5 years 6 months ago

Agree about the Sonata.

Does anyone have info how much the Prince PSA engine weighs vs. the GM 2.0?

Another issue with the prince: sound.

Marco
Guest
Marco
5 years 6 months ago

The Convertible seems to be the same as the one seen earlier in Southern Europe

Espen
Guest
Espen
5 years 6 months ago

Im not sure it this has been said before. But i think the reason for different rims might be because of different bolt pattern..? PCD or what its called. The new 9-5 has a different dimension than the earlier saabs. So my guess is that the SS is a FWD with new platform, and the convertible is a 4wd..

Sicky
Guest
Sicky
5 years 6 months ago

This has nothing to do about mules but…….
POLL OF THE WEEK

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20110314/GREEN/110319958

Anders
Guest
Anders
5 years 6 months ago

Saw a mule the other day with huge twin pipes. It had wider track both in the front and the rear. It looked very muscular 🙂

Marco
Guest
Marco
5 years 6 months ago

Was it any of the ones we have seen here? Any pics?

Aussie Paddan
Guest
Aussie Paddan
5 years 6 months ago

The bit I worry about is if the new 9-3 has a wider track, how close is this to the 9-5? If you are limited in thenumber of models you produce then in my view there needs to be a clear differential in the different models in terms of size and they seem too close.

bk-aero
Guest
bk-aero
5 years 6 months ago

I think the new 9-3 won’t be much longer than the current generation which means it will be 40 cm shorter thatn the 9-5. That’ll be enough to differentiate the two models.

charlie
Guest
charlie
5 years 6 months ago

JC statement on “Russian Dolls” is enough for me.

I think the 9-3 will be different enough. For unlink the Audi approach, which is good.

Pedro
Guest
Pedro
5 years 6 months ago

Testing is moving along; good to see that! Wonder how different the wheelbases are between the current convertible and the sedan/wagon and if those are really current-gen 9-3 bodies or slightly modified bodies as I am expecting the Phoenix 9-3 to gain a few mm in wheelbase.

Peter Jones
Guest
Peter Jones
5 years 6 months ago

The sedan does have tail pipes, they are discreetly hidden behind the rear bumper.

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