Press Release: New Saab 9-3 Griffin Range

Refreshed styling, more power, lower emissions

• Saab 9-3 Griffin range replaces current 9-3 offer
• Refreshed exterior and interior styling
• 9-3 SportCombi TTiD now gives exceptional 119g CO2/km and 180 hp
• New direct injection gasoline engines give more power and 4% average gain in fuel consumption/CO2

Trollhättan, Sweden: The new Saab 9-3 Griffin range, announced today, features refreshed exterior and interior styling, backed by a more powerful, fuel-efficient engine range.

Replacing the current Sport Sedan, SportCombi, Convertible and 9-3X specifications, the 9-3 Griffin range is distinguished by new front bumpers, signature Saab ‘ice block’ headlamps and a Griffin badge on the front fenders. Inside, the instrument panel, cabin décor and seat upholstery are all given a fresh look. Two specifications are offered, standard and Aero.

Under the hood, new 2.0-liter gasoline engines give 163 and 220 hp and include direct injection, variable valve timing and twin scroll turbocharging. Combined cycle fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced on average by 4% across the range.

These new engines join the current 130/160/180 hp 1.9 TTiD turbo diesel line-up which offers very competitive CO2 emissions of just 119 g/km in the Sport Sedan – class-leading efficiency in terms of CO2 per unit of horsepower for the 180 hp variant. Further fine tuning has now also delivered a remarkable 119 g/km for the SportCombi, together with equally impressive 4.5 l/100 km combined cycle fuel consumption.

E85-compatible Saab BioPower variants of both gasoline engines are also available, and six-speed transmissions become standard across the entire powertrain line-up.

Fresh looks
Externally, the 9-3 Griffin range adopts the ‘ice block’ headlamp effect introduced on the new 9-5 sedan. Inspired by the Aero X concept, the units have a distinctive blue/green hue in daylight. The grille also features a more prominent, wing-shaped central bar carrying the SAAB wordmark, again like the 9-5 sedan.

Re-profiled front bumpers include a deep, trapezoidal air intake finished with black, ribbed bars, or a mesh insert for Aero variants. Front fog lamps are fitted as standard and a Griffin emblem, derived from the heraldic Saab badge, appears on the side of the front fenders.

At the rear, the SAAB wordmark replaces badging on the chrome trim and all Sport Sedan variants receive a trunk-mounted spoiler. 16-inch alloy wheels are now fitted as standard, increasing to 17-inch for Aero and Saab XWD variants. New 17- and 18-inch wheel designs are also offered.

The cabin receives a subtle makeover. Titanium metallic-effect trim is introduced around the instrument panel, gearshift molding, doors and glove box, and as an option for the instrument panel fascia. The Aero interior features a graphite fiber-effect for all these items, including the fascia. A brushed metallic effect is also introduced as an option for both standard and Aero variants.

Shark grey fabric inserts now complement both the black and parchment standard leatherette seats, while irregularly ribbed leather with contrasting stitching is introduced for Aero upholstery, also inspired by the Aero X concept.

In both specifications, a useful storage pocket for small items, carrying a Griffin name tag, is fitted to the side of the front seatbacks. The Convertible’s unique seats have a name tag only.

More power, lower fuel consumption and emissions
Further fine tuning for 9-3 Griffin SportCombis fitted with 130/160/180 hp TTiD engines has further improved CO2 emissions and fuel consumption to 119 g/km and 4.5 l/100 km, respectively, over the combined cycle. Like the Sport Sedan, the 180 hp SportCombi clearly leads its class in terms of low CO2 emissions and fuel consumption per unit of horsepower.

More efficient gasoline engines deliver an average combined cycle improvement of 4% in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This is in addition to a 10 hp increase over the current 210 hp top-of-the-line offer. With power ratings of 163 hp (120 kW)/ 320 Nm and 220 hp (162 kW)/ 350 Nm, both new engines are available with front-wheel drive and XWD, Saab’s advanced all-wheel-drive system.

The use of variable valve timing and direct injection improves fuel consumption, emissions and performance. Hydraulically operated vane-type cam phasers enable both the inlet and exhaust valve timing to be adjusted independently, according to varying engine speed and load. The many benefits include a broader spread of torque, higher maximum power and improved fuel consumption.

Direct injection delivers fuel under high pressure directly into the combustion chamber. This enables the separation of air and fuel delivery, allowing improved scavenging of the combustion chamber to give substantially more low-end torque and reduced engine knocking.

A twin-scroll turbocharger is also used, which virtually eliminates turbo lag at low engine speeds. Each scroll on the turbine is fed by a separate exhaust passage from a pair of cylinders, enabling a throttle response comparable to that of a naturally-aspirated engine. Other features include twin counter-rotating balance shafts for smooth running and a forged steel crankshaft for added strength.

14 thoughts on “Press Release: New Saab 9-3 Griffin Range”

  1. High res. pictures looks really nice! All in all with the smaller design upgrades, engines etc etc. I think the 9-3 will have no problem what so ever to stay around for 2 more years. I could live with a 9-3 silver Aero Combi with turbine wheels. 220hp and 350 Nm in a 9-3 seems like a good deal. But imagine a 260 hp Hirsch upgrade on top of that. Yes please.

  2. Two specifications: standard and Aero. That’s the way to go, SAAB; fully (or almost fully) contented models 😉

    SAAB Up!

  3. Interesting news about the improved fuel economy. This will make the 9-3SS finally better than the last 9-3 hatch on the efficiency front.

    Here’s a quick table I threw together from data at I used numbers for 4 cylinder manual transmission 9-3s. Pre-2002 9-3 hatches, especially T5s, had worse numbers.

    Year City MPG Highway MPG City L/100km Highway L/100km Notes
    2002 20 30 11.8 7.8
    2003 19 28 12.4 8.4
    2004 18 25 13.1 9.4 6 speed. 5 speed matched 2003 numbers
    2006 20 28 11.8 8.4 5 speed
    2007 19 28 12.4 8.4 6 speed
    2008 19 29 12.4 8.1
    2009 19 29 12.4 8.1
    2010 21 31 11.2 7.6
    2011 21 31 11.2 7.6

    A 4% improvement will give the 2011.5 models 22/32 or so.
    I’m not sure what the deal was with the 2004 6 speed. It must have come with deflated tires and a pre-deployed parachute.

  4. Happy Independance Day SAAB!

    Any word on when we can expect to see the 9-3 Griffin rolled out into the dealerships?

    • My dealer told me, that he will be in Geneva on March 4 to attend a dealers meeting, after that he will have all information needed, and the order books for the Griffin and the 9-5SC will be open.

  5. Since I’m going to buy a Griffin as soon as they can make them I can tell you they are supposed to start production week 13.

  6. Right now Automobile is reporting that the USA base model wlll have 163hp. A reduction of nearly 50 horsepower compared to the previous 5 model years. I think Saab should be careful with that. Otherwise it looks fine.

    • JIm. I can’t find no North American press release about the 9-3 Griffin.

      Reading the Automobilemag article, I get the feeling that he is trying to extrapolate the international press release to the American market.

      We’ll see.

  7. This Griffin version is a great update for the Saab 9-3 range! 😀 It is great to see the exterior and interior updates that makes the cars look even better, but I think the engine updates are the most important thing. That the 9-3 SportCombi TTiD now gets below 119 g CO2/km will make wonders for the sales in Sweden and hopefully the rest of Europe too, and it is always good to see upgraded gasoline and ethanol engines with lower fuel consumption. It is a bit sad to see Trionic go, but I think it will be resurrected in the MY2013 9-3 successor. 🙂

  8. The improvement in low in Torque for the new gasoline engines will most likely make a large difference to driver experience. With a Hirsch upgrade and XWD to get traction it should be a rocket for the performance enthusiasts.
    Still most important to Swedish and European market is the SC Diesel getting below 120g CO2, thats a really attractive proposition.

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