Variants of the Auto Express 9-3

People that know how the final car looks like have said that the blurry picture of last week was a pre JC design, and thus not really the real deal.

Auto Express has given a talented photoshopper the task to polish that picture using clues from the 9-5 and the Phoenix, for instance the fog-lamps pods are 100% Phoenix, or the crease on the rear fender.

Our Italian friends from the Saabway club have sent us two variants of the AE 9-3, which are at least interesting, and some of you will like more than the original AE 9-3

Read moreVariants of the Auto Express 9-3

Next 9-3 to use eXWD and 2.8L V6?

As we already know, the next 9-3 will be available with e-AAM’s new eXWD setup. Up until now we’ve been told that it works in conjunction with the 1.6L engine from BMW to achieve somewhere between 220-240HP combined during temporary boosts. As we’ve seen in videos, the electric motor’s high torque helps with difficult traction situations, and its torque vectoring keeps you going in the direction you want. What we haven’t yet heard (correct me if I’m wrong) is that it will be available with the current 2.8L V6. An article over at claims this, and they say they’ve heard this directly from senior Saab officials.

Cutaway of eXWD system from PhoeniX video.

Read moreNext 9-3 to use eXWD and 2.8L V6?

Is the world getting CO₂ crazy??

All of a sudden the car industry is able to deliver cars that are fun to drive and have an incredible low CO2 emission. Who is behind this incredible improvement, the engineering department or the marketing department?

I can’t speak for every new ultra-low emissions sports car being build in the future, but at least one. I don’t know how Mr. Wüst came to this information (German original article), but If I were one of the committees that decide how the consumption of a car has to be measured, I would try to change the current standard as fast as I could to reflect the real consumption of hybrid cars.

Mr. Wüst in his article talks about the Porsche 918 Spyder. This car will have a 500hp V8 engine + 218hp from the e-motor, a high speed of 325 kph and a 0-100 value of 3,2 s but only emit 70g of CO2 in the european mixed cycle.

Is that possible? Yes it is, because Porsche (and anybody else) is allowed to run the test only on battery power, the car can run for 25 km on battery power. Afterwards the consumed current is transformed inequivalent petrol consumption.

And what is the relation to Saab, you may ask? Well there is no direct link, as there isn’t much information leaked about the next 9-3, but it made me think about the latest Volvo announcement, and the fact, that rumors say that Saab is targeting similar Specs as the Volvo made me think about it.

Volvo is presenting its new V60 hybrid at Geneva. The car combines the current D5 engine (Diesel; 205hp;420Nm) with an electrified rear axle with 70electric hp, getting the current 142g/km to an almost impossible 50 g/km. This car will hit the showrooms in 2012.

Is Volvo using the same trick as Porsche, to be frankly I think yes, they do, the car can run twice as long as the Porsche on battery power. Will Saab have to use the same trick to get the planned 9-3 hybrid (with a similar configuration to the V60). Yes, I also think they will have to.

My point is, that Saab may present the <120g 9-3 SC at Geneva, but this big achievement from the Saab engineers will be seen like a joke one year later when Volvo gets the V60 hybrid on the road. At least the supremacy from Volvo won't last too long (I hope), and the Germans (the A4 for instance), won't be able to show something similar till 2013/14.

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