Report: This is your 9-3 replacement mule

There’s nothing I can really see to give it away, but autoweek.nl say this convertible is the first mule spotted featuring (some of the) tech that will come out on the Saab 9-3 replacement.

Visit Autoweek, click the image on the story and you’ll also find a rear view of this same car.

As mentioned, there’s not much different to look at here, except for the different wheels and wheel arches. The exhaust pipes at the rear look a little underdone and there seems to be an unfamiliar spaciousness about the underbody.

I really don’t know what else to look for here, but if you do then maybe you can help the rest of us.

Looks just like a convertible to me.

Geertiv
Guest
Geertiv

It’s either that, or an almost finished 9-3X Convertible… Top-down off-road FTW! 😉

till72
Guest
till72

LOL!

Joe Saab
Guest
Joe Saab

No kidding, an AWD convertible was my first thought. The germans all have it, so why not Saab? Besides, that’s what I would call a real “four seasons” convertible in New York right now.

Anders
Guest
Anders

Couldn’t it be just a guy pimping his ‘vert with 9-3X body kit? ; )

till72
Guest
till72

Possibly just some mule testing stuff for the next 9-3. 1,6 l engine?

Tim
Guest
Tim

I’m not really sure but it looks like the width of the car (at least the length of the front and rear axel) has changed…

till72
Guest
till72

Phoenix mule?

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Makes sense given that Victor said Phoenix is wider and this obviously is.

Tim
Guest
Tim

Could be. Looking at the rear of the car it certainly looks like it’s having a different axel width: http://media.autoweek.nl/m/m1fywi7bvnsv_800.jpg

hashoo
Guest

Swade, is the red SAAB on autoweek the car that you saw on jason castriota laptop??? … just a little???

aerobert
Guest
aerobert

Moste likely no, as the red car illustration is pretty old, and SAAB is designing a new 9-3 hatchback.

hashoo
Guest

it is …. back to origins …tnx

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I have to say that the red cars looks super.

J Fan
Guest
J Fan

I didn’t know Errol Flynn was born in Hobart, Tasmania! You learn something new everyday.

Whatever that Saab is, I like it.

Chris
Guest
Chris

I agree!
Whatever that Saab is, I like it too. Beautiful!

TobiasE
Guest
TobiasE
This is the information of the car. Doesn’t say much, but it is a 2011 model and Saab is the owner. The engine has 154Kw Fordonsidentifikation Registreringsnummer: PMP837 Fabrikat: SAAB FĂ€rg: MGRÅ Fordonsslag: PB FordonsĂ„r: 2011 Fordonsslagsklass: I Chassinummer: YS3FC7MY0B9300011 TypgodkĂ€nnandenummer: TypgodkĂ€nnandedatum: Senaste EU-regbevis del 1: 2011-02-02 Senaste EU-regbevis del 2: 2011-01-18 Handelsbeteckning: Upplysningar: Ägare/Brukare Namn: SAAB AUTOMOBILE AKTIEBOLAG Adress: Postnr: 461 80 FörvĂ€rvsdatum: 2011-01-17 Ort: TROLLHÄTTAN FörsĂ€kringsuppgifter FörsĂ€kringsbolag: ZURICH IRELAND LTD FörsĂ€kringsdatum: 2011-01-17 Fordonsdata Fordonsstatus: I trafik (2011-01-21) TillfĂ€llig registrering: Nej Privatimport: Nej Antal Ă€gare: 1 YrkesmĂ€ssig trafik: Nej Fordonet tillverkat: Producentansvarig: 556258-8912 I trafik första gĂ„ngen i Sverige:… Read more »
Red J
Guest

Even the VIN looks quite normal.
YS3 F C 7 M Y 0 B 9 300011
YS3 –> Saab
F –> 9-3
C –> 9-3 Aero ( the front is not Aero, but the back is)
7 –> Convertible
M –> 6speed manual/FWD
Y –> B207R
0 –> Check Digit
B –> MY 11
9 –> Prototype Assembly plant
300011 –> serial number

It is an Aero with the wrong front bumper, bad looking wheels and some extra cladding on the wheel arches.
And looking from the back the distance between both exhaust pipes is larger than normal.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

+1 on the ugly wheels :-/

Troels, Denmark
Guest

Could it be that they have given the cars some extra narrow rims to hide a wider wheel-base????

Tompa
Guest
Tompa

Troels IÂŽm with you. The stance looks wide and that would give away that this is not a standard platform but the Phoenix. DonÂŽt know if i think that the rims look norrow, but the disks and calipers looks like they are close to the original arch so the rims have to have a different build.

Yepp, I believe this to be the first sighted mule of the 3ÂŽd gen 9-3.

Cheers/Tom

Troels, Denmark
Guest

Tompa, yes you are right – and when I zoom in on the right rear-wheel, I can see it it definitely rather narrow…

Arild
Guest

But if this is a Phoenix mule, then shouldn’t we also notice a longer wheelbase than the current 9-3? The trend when a new generation of a car is introduced is a longer wheelbase and wider track width.

Troels, Denmark
Guest

Arild, I guess you have a point there… – I don’t know the answer – but maybe its just the new rear-axle they are testing.. ???????? ( I also think its almost to fast to have allready finished fittings between the BMW 1.6- engine and the Saab-transmission ??? )

Anders
Guest
Anders

I notice they haven’t specified any height for the veichle, why? And with a CO2 of 247g/km it can’t be a hybrid can it?

Henke
Guest
Henke

I agree! Looks like a standard convertible!

Pat h
Guest
Pat h

Looks chunky

Ken
Guest
Ken

When you look at the rear view shot you get the imression that the front track is a lot wider which would make the 9-3x cladding necessary – agree?

StefanH STHLM
Guest
StefanH STHLM

Yes. I believe Your right on that. They seemed to have been forced to put on 9-3x cladding to make it less obvious that it is a mule of some kind. 🙂

Arne
Guest
Arne

Looks like an eaam-car to me

74stingray
Guest
74stingray

would the higher ride height mean the possible offering of convertible with XWD to offer a true all season ride?

whacked idea.. but just a thought…

Troels, Denmark
Guest

Guess it has something to do with the electric rear-axle…. Maybe also the choice of a convertible has something to do with accessibility to the new technique..

Nate 9-3
Guest
Nate 9-3

Currently the 9-3 Convetible is not able to support XWD. Do you think that the eAAM system would be possible on the convertible?

Troels, Denmark
Guest

I can only guess – but my guess will be; Yes!
1. There will be no mechanical connection between front- and rear-wheels.
2. I am pretty sure they will use the exact same platform and driving-line to all the models: and therefore be able to cross-combine freely between all engine- and traction-variants and all body-styles.
The current 9-3 was not meant for XWD from the start and special fitting-problems appeared in the convertible.
At least this is my understanding… If anybody can correct me, Please do.

Wulf
Guest

The convertible usually follows one year after the sedan. It seems unusual they would use a convertible for a mule. Perhaps it’s a 9-3X convertible. 😉

The article also mentions again the new car will be called 93. I still have a hard time of calling it Ninetythree instead of NineThree.

Geertiv
Guest
Geertiv
Same here. I think I remember VM announcing that this would be the nomenclature for future Saabs (naming the future smaller model 92), but did we ever discuss this here at SU? I think 9-2 is no less Saaby than 92 and I’d find it odd that two entirely different cars from different eras would share the same name (not to mention, 9-3/93, 9-5/95). Also historically it would not make much sense, with 92 just being a project number in a range of previous airplanes and therefore not intended to be reused. Last but not least, I think most of… Read more »
Wulf
Guest
Wulf

9-1 makes more sense than 9-2. It seems unlikely Saab will ever make something smaller than the new “small” Saab.

Kjell Erik
Guest
Kjell Erik

I believe the convertible are more revealing to platform weaknesses.

Marco
Guest
Marco

Interesting…

The car is not a normal one, and what interests me as well is the environment it is in. It is not Sweden as the road sign is not a Swedish one and the surroundings look quite dry. Southern Europe? Does anyone recognize the country? Is it a gas station reflecting from the car side in the first picture?

Does the weight of the car differ from the specs from the Swedish authorities? To me the car is also running higher than an Aero should. No badges in the back…

zippy
Guest
zippy

Its definitely covering up new suspension setup hence the flared wheel arches. Im gonna say its an electric test vehicle as it appears to be in the desert somewhere in the US.

Manlius
Guest
Manlius

It is certainly not in the US because we don’t have road signs measuring things in meters. Perhaps Italy?

74stingray
Guest
74stingray

However, I do recall in some of our northern most roads frequented by our wonderful Canadian friends, there were some signs that were both in Miles/ Km and or feet / meter… I dont remember where I saw them though…..

74stingray
Guest
74stingray

No Zippy, we do not use signs that say “200m” as a standard highway sign. ( check the above link for a rear angle shot of car)

I think it’s southern europe… maybe Spain?

I’m sticking to my XWD drop top theroy.

Red J
Guest

If you look at the reflections on the car, you see a kind of house you could see on the Alps. I#m not sure if those are olive trees, the woof looks to bright to me, I would say holm oak.

But the background of the frontal photo is a vineyard, 100%

74stingray
Guest
74stingray

I would say it’s a toll station or a service / fuel station… not a house?

Reminds me of Sicily.

Ralph
Guest
Ralph

Fuel station maybe, with a Fina sign perhaps (check just above the rear wheel)?

Chris
Guest
Chris

The reflection from the car side in the first picture is the other car that took the picture from.

zippy
Guest
zippy

I realised afterwards what I had written. Thats what happens when you post having just got out of bed.

Geertiv
Guest
Geertiv

Due to the use of a lower case m on the road sign, I’ll place my bet on either Italy or Portugal please…

Fliptop
Guest
Fliptop

Those are olive trees in the background, so I’m guessing it’s in the Mediterranean area.

Tiny, tiny exhaust pipes suggest a tiny engine…so could well be the 1.6.

Chris
Guest
Chris

The trees are olive trees. There are such kind of olive trees in S. Europe (Greece, Spain, Italy).

Daniel R
Guest
Daniel R

If you go to
autobild.de
there is a story about a new Opel in the segment below 8k € with some pics of a mule. Look at the pics and I would set some SKR that the background of these pics is the same as where the 9-3 convertable was shot! Especially number 2 seems very similar.
The article says southern Europe.
And I would also underline that this is the first sign of Phoebix from the ashes. So definitely a mule for something.
Daniel,
who didn`t get a link posted, sorry

carl
Guest
carl

Regnr: PMP837

FĂ€rg: MGRÅ

Fabrikat: SAAB

Fordonsslag: PB

TillÀgginformation

Informationen nedan redovisas obehandlad frÄn vÀgtrafikregistret. Om det Àr tomt innebÀr det att det inte finns nÄgon tillÀggsinformation om fordonet.

T12E PROVBIL.FORDONET FÅR BRUKAS I TRAFIK MED DE UNDANTAG SOM
GÄLLER FÖR EXPORTVAGN ENL VVFS 1994:5,AVSNITT 10.6 SAMT
UTAN KRAV PÅ BESIKTNING ENL 38 OCH 77 PARAGRAFERNA
FORDONSKUNGÖRELSEN (1972:595).SE SÄRSKILT BESLUT.
T13H ÅRSMODELLBETECKNINGEN ÄR ÅSATT AV FORDONSTILLVERKAREN.
T31BS KOLDIOXIDUTSLÄPP BLANDAD KÖRNING BERÄKNAD, CO2 247 G/KM.
UPPGIFTEN ANVÄNDS ENDAST SOM GRUND FÖR UTTAG AV FORDONSSKATT.

xr2fiesta
Guest

I think there are 3 possibilities.

First -> (or similar eAAM system)

Looks like a “ridiculous” exhaust is fit. (too small diameter for an Aero, looks as if it would be cross-installed)

Second -> Convertible testing with XWD.

Third -> Someone took the wheel pants from 9-3X looks cool on this car. But then it would not be rolled from the prototype line.

I believe in a mix of Option 1 and 2 The vehicle dimensions are definitely the same as the actual dimensions of the convertible.

Exciting times!

TP
Guest
TP

I think #2 can be excluded, a XWD convertible is unlikely to be developed this late in the life of the current 9-3. the focus must now be on getting the NG9-3 developed.

#1 is a clear possibility or perhaps its simply the Phoenix components being used (Strauts, shocks, rollbars etc) will need to be tuned for all body variants of the new car including the convertible

lala
Guest
lala
Cokeisit
Guest
Cokeisit

That picture is from http://www.automotorsport.se/news/22215/saab-9-5-sportcombi–ny-spionbild/ . In their article they write that they have some more official pictures on their hard drive… that they are not allowed to publish yet… so come on wikileaks and give us some nice pictures 😉

I think that this picture give a more correct view of how the rear looks compared to the spy shoot from yesterday. It looks like the design department know how to get all lines and curves come together nicely even with the same doors as in the sedan.

Beautiful!

saabman900
Guest
saabman900

What about instead of it being an electric vehicle, why could they not be just testing the new BMW engine? Unless they’re testing out a new platform as well thus the reason to cover up the suspension with the wheel flares as others have mentioned. Also, +1 on somewhere in Italy.

Rudolf
Guest
Rudolf

* The very first thing that strikes me are the widened wheel arches.
* The car definitely rides higher than a normal 9-3 convertible.
* Exhaust pipes not centred and small diameter.
* Hot climate testing.

All this adds up to…. Nah, I’m going to let you guys speculate if you haven’t figured it out already.

Cheers

Max Torque
Guest
Max Torque

Incredible fun to read all creative ideas and all the conclusions one can make from 2 photos.
Please continue 🙂

Marco
Guest
Marco
I checked some road signs in Europe: Greece is out of the question as their give way -sign is red and yellow. Italy has quite the same distance sign but the give way -sign has a small frame which this sign doesn’t have. The car in the picture is actually moving when the pics are taken. In the first pic you can’t see the give way -sign; not even from the reflection of the front. But in the pic from the back the car is actually already beside the sign. And the brake lights are not on. A larger resolution… Read more »
saabisit!
Guest
saabisit!
Ummm…. Hopefully SAAB will figure out how to inject a more relable, customer oriented dealer network in the United States before they launch the 2012 9-3. If the current dealer issues (uneducated, apathetic salespeople, substandard service technicians, terrible customer service) are still around in 1-2 years from now, all of that SAAB Scandinavian beauty, safety, and performance that we love so dearly will not matter one bit and hence SAAB is DOA (that is despite the flickering signs (very small flickering) of new SAAB life in the Northeastern United States, IMHO). I have to tell you that my dealer experience… Read more »
Marco
Guest
Marco

Here is a sedan mule as well….

Marco
Guest
Marco
Registreringsnummer: AZT370 Fabrikat: SAAB FĂ€rg: SILVER Fordonsslag: PB FordonsĂ„r: 2011 Fordonsslagsklass: I Chassinummer: YS3FB4MS2B9300010 TypgodkĂ€nnandenummer: TypgodkĂ€nnandedatum: Senaste EU-regbevis del 1: 2011-01-18 Senaste EU-regbevis del 2: 2011-01-18 Handelsbeteckning: Upplysningar: Ägare/Brukare Namn: SAAB AUTOMOBILE AKTIEBOLAG Adress: Postnr: 461 80 FörvĂ€rvsdatum: 2011-01-17 Ort: TROLLHÄTTAN FörsĂ€kringsuppgifter FörsĂ€kringsbolag: ZURICH IRELAND LTD FörsĂ€kringsdatum: 2011-01-17 Fordonsdata Fordonsstatus: I trafik (2011-01-21) TillfĂ€llig registrering: Nej Privatimport: Nej Antal Ă€gare: 1 YrkesmĂ€ssig trafik: Nej Fordonet tillverkat: Producentansvarig: 556258-8912 I trafik första gĂ„ngen i Sverige: 2011-01-21 I trafik första gĂ„ngen i utlandet: Ägarbunden dispens: Ja Ägarbunden dispens upphör: Nej Besiktningsuppgifter Besiktningstermin: 2013-10-01 – 2014-02-28 Senast godkĂ€nda besiktning: FörelĂ€ggande:Nej Körförbud:Nej VĂ€gmĂ€tarstĂ€llning: Skatteuppgifter… Read more »
Wulf
Guest
Wulf

Is there a website where you can look up this information?

aerobert
Guest
aerobert

Yes, the swedish road and transport institute.

J
Guest
J

There was a sedan test mule on Jalopnik.com. The body is the current generation but the frame and chassis are the newly revised Epsilon which has a wider track front and rear, hence the fender flares (according to Jalopnik). A lot of companies will use existing body work on an early test mule to sort out the mechanicals, etc before the exterior is finalized.

Red J
Member

I think that cabriolet wasn’t alone there.

Motor Authority has some shots of a 9-3 Sedan with just the same wheels, the same arch extenders and the same exhaust in the same scenery.

I think the guy that did the pictures, did them all at the same time, but is selling them one by one.

Marco
Guest
Marco

That is the way to gain some more from them.

Also leave the information out where and when it is taken so that you can be alone there shooting them (and others) again. I believe Saab has a Garage somewhere close where they can tune and fix eventual problems on the vehicles… This photographer will probably provide some more pics later on if he/she sees them again or others… But this is just my guess…

Any way; these pics are always nice to see. Saab is on the move…!

Börjesson
Guest
Börjesson

The link has already been mentioned in a comment to another post, but for completeness it should probably be put here where it belongs: Here are a few pics of that other mule, the Sedan one, in Teknikens VĂ€rld, along with info that the pictures were taken in Spain, and quite a few interesting tidbits and speculations about the NG 9-3. (I really don’t like what they say about the design!)

Tomas TL1000R
Guest
Tomas TL1000R

Read in Teknikens VĂ€rld this:

http://www.teknikensvarld.se/bilspionen/nyheter/110204-nya-saab-9-3/index.xml

“Formerna sĂ€gs vara mer effektsökande och enligt vĂ„ra kĂ€llor ska det hela vara ”lite vĂ€l förutsĂ€gbar”, vilket lĂ„ter en gnutta överraskande med tanke pĂ„ Castriotas tidigare verk”

Rabe talks about the 9-3 “his sources” think the look of the car is predictable!

Does it mean that the new car looks simular to any concept we seen before or?

Red J
Guest

Tomas,
2 comments before yours Börjesson says the same abut the same article.

Swade, who has seen a sketch of the car, has already given an answer to your question.

wpDiscuz

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