After the photo session, Rikard and I had a brief chat with Frank Smit, Vehicle Program Manager to clarify a few things.
Nevs are currently targetting China. There is currently only one model on the line, and that is the 9-3 Aero 220 bhp sedan. There are no Biopower or XWD options. XWD adds weight and drives up fuel consumption and adds no clear benefit in warmer climates. Plus there is no ethanol framework in place in China. So two of our favorite Saab technologies have currently been shelved, but may resurface at a later date. Finally, there is no demand for diesel in China, so I guess we won’t be seeing the 1.9 TTiD again any time soon either. “We have to start somewhere”.
The upcoming facelift is designed in-house in Trollhättan. No names were named, but Frank emphasized that they are doing this locally.
This new and slightly improved Griffin comes with a greater number of non-GM parts. Frank pointed out that they have involved Orio when designing replacements, so Frank says a number of these components will fit older 9-3s and this should help ensure that parts for the 9-3 will be readily available in the future.
Oh, that convertible mentioned in one of the slides? There will be an EV version of that too. The EV versions no longer removes a third of the backseat and they will have similar weight distribution as their petrol cousins. “Around 50-50, with a little more weight added to the front probably. These are, after all, FWD.”
A few pictures after the jump.