NG9-3 Hatchback Confirmed

Autoblog are at the 2011 Saab 9-4X launch event and they’ve been talking to Magnus Hillerborn, Saab’s Vehicle Validation Engineer. They are now reporting that a a five-door hatch is confirmed alongside the convertible.

The changes are so significant that Hillerborn says he imagines GM executives will be “very surprised” when they see the production car, which is tipped to take design cues from the PhoeniX concept car that debuted earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show. Hillerborn says that the hatchback will likely be five-door only (presumably a SportCombi wagon variant will follow), though we imagine there are some three-door renderings knocking about in Trollhattan. Hillerborn promises a very sleek and unique hatchback, one that should appeal to traditional sedan buyers as well (read: not bulbous and overtly hatch-like, but more streamlined).

There’s no word on a 3 door hatch or a sedan at the moment, feel free to head over to Autoblog for a read:

With all this speculation, we’re curious as to what everyone here would be interested in purchasing. Sound off in the poll below.

What 9-3 variant would you like to buy most?
5-door hatchback
3-door hatchback
5-door 9-3x
3-door 9-3x
4-door Sedan
2-door Coupe


Saab: the 5-door is making a comeback with or without us

We’ve often opined in these pages about the need for Saab to re-introduce a hatchback model. Beginning with that first 99 Wagonback, Saab seemed to have no peer among other hatchbacks. The cars were stylish, good to drive and oozed utility. The quintessential hatchback automobile.
Of course, in recent times, Saab has focused on the more mainstream 4-door and convertible formats. I’m not as dogmatic about this change as Swade is. It’s my opinion that Saab made a reasonable choice facing smaller sales volume and the lack of success with the 5-door 9-3 in some of the major markets. I’m laying much of the lack of popularity in the United States at the feet of the SUV/Minivan crowd — they simply were too enamored of these enormous vehicles to take a look at the five door.
Fast forward to today, and the small wagons and wagon-like vehicles are rising in popularity. The Honda Fit, Scion xB, Mazda 5 and all of their collective peers have certainly flourished in the recent past. Our own SportCombi and the former 9-2x have that same feel, and the 9-3 SportCombi certainly looks smart in 9-3x trim. Still, these aren’t exactly 5-door hatchbacks, are they? They are wagons.
Well, I’ve noticed that the 5-door is making a comeback of sorts. Automotive trendsetters Honda and BMW have both introduced five-door models for the upcoming model year. You may read about the BMW here and the Honda there. As you look at these photos, ask yourself this: if this layout is making a comeback, why wouldn’t Saab return to what they have done so well?
Saab: Bring back the hatch!


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