This story comes via Twitter, from the English weekly magazine, Auto Express.
New Saab 9-3 image.
First sight of Saab’s new BMW 3 Series-sized model – and a MINI rival, large SUV and 9-4X crossover are also planned.
Saab is flying high on news of a rescue deal worth £88million. A further cash injection, totalling nearly £300million, is also on the table – and now we’ve got the first image of the car hoping to keep the Swedish firm’s fortunes on the up: the new Saab 9-3.
The financial lifeline has come from Chinese car makers Pang Da and Youngman, and follows months of wrangling.
The news has kick-started long-dormant plans to replace the top-selling 9-3 and launch a new 9-1, aimed at the MINI and Audi A1.
According to official company documents, there are plans for three and five-door versions of the 9-1. Saab also wants to build a large SUV called the 9-7, and plans to bring the 9-4X SUV to the UK have also been revived.
Our image of the new 9-3 shows what owners can expect from the model that’s tipped to become a top seller for the brand. It first surfaced on a Swedish website that had intercepted a copy of Saab’s business presentation to the European Investment Bank in January this year.
The new 9-3 is expected to launch towards the end of next year and will come with a variety of petrol and diesel engines, as well as a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes. At least one of the planned engines – a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol – will come from BMW.
The newcomer is based on an all-new chassis, which was developed independently of Saab’s previous owner General Motors. Both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive hybrid versions will be available.
Inside, Saab will debut its advanced IQon infotainment system, which uses Google’s Android operating software to provide sat-nav and audio.
This system will also allow users to access their E-mails and download apps that deliver online content on the move.
The new 9-3’s striking looks are clearly inspired by the PhoeniX concept that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, but also take cues from the larger 9-5.
That means there’s a greater focus on giving the car a sporty look, with boldly defined wheel arches, turbine-style alloy wheels and a coupe-like roofline.
The biggest changes can be seen at the rear of the car, which gets a curvier design than its predecessors, with stylish, narrow tail-lamps.
Designed by American Jason Castriota, the 9-3 is described by insiders as a “sportcombi”. Auto Express understands this means the car will be a five-door hatchback, rather than a four-door saloon.
It will offer seating for five adults, plus a practical boot and spacious cabin. Previously, Saab has admitted it was planning estate and convertible versions, and it’s understood that these are still under development.