Saab 9-3 spyshots appear

As has been mentioned a few times already, Saab had the 9-3x out for a photoshoot in the last few weeks and sure enough, Djup Strupe has come through with some albeit lo-res goods.
Here’s the car. Click to enlarge:

As you can see, it seems to have all the things we’ve mentioned here in the past: The riased stance, the cladding all round, the scuff plating front and rear, the roof rails.
The only difference that I can see is the set of wheels they’ve put on this one, which seem to be a new split 10-spoke wheel on this model vs the silver Turbo X alloys they had on the model shown in Germany.
For our previous intel and spyshots of this car, click here.
I just hope they market the crap out of this one as being the anti-SUV. Or can they not do that with a 9-4x in the pipeline?

Djup Strupe and the future Saab time line


Djup Strupe (that’s Swedish for “Deep Throat”, the name for our secret Saab insider) has been in touch recently and provided me with the following Saab future model news.
I should mention that this comes direct from one of Saab’s major markets. Whilst timing may differ for other markets, seeing this is one of Saab’s top 6 markets, it shouldn’t differ too much for most.
There’s good news and there’s bad news. I’ll give my thoughts on which is which afterwards.
December 2008: We’ll get to see initial info and photos for the new Saab 9-5 sedan (Jan 09 – no pics came)
February 2009: Motorshow appearance for 9-5 sedan (Jan 09 – not happening)
September 2009: 9-5 Sedan on the road
February 2010: Launch for the Saab 9-4x
September 2010: Saab 9-5 wagon and 9-3x launch (Jan 09 – 9-3x to be shown at Geneva in March 09)
2011: Saab 9-3, written to me as being a facelift
2012: Saab 9-1 launch
The good news is that there’s news of all four cars in the proposed Saab model range there. The 9-1 right through to the 9-5 with the 9-4x and 9-3x there as well. Whether the 9-1 is actually definite or not at this point is anyone’s guess, but it looks like it’s definitely in the plans and with a date like that being circulated around Djup Strupe it means a decision might be imminent.
The bad news could be a calendar-year 2010 launch for the Saab 9-4x (a little later than expected), or a late 2010 launch for the Saab 9-3x (what could possibly take so long??), or maybe the 2011 Saab 9-3 being described as a facelift.
However you consider the news, it looks like Saab nuts are going to have to exhibit considerable patience for some time to come.
My tip: buy a cheap fun car to throw around in the meantime.
I’ve received another Djup Strupe email (different DS) indicating that project 540 was earmarked for 2011, meaning that the 9-3 due that year will be the all-new model rather than the ‘facelift’ noted above.
I used the word facelift as that’s how it was communicated to me, however the meaning may have been lost in translation.

A recent communication with Saab indicated that they were looking to the XWD 9-3 SportCombi to cross any gap between the 9-7x’s demise and the release of the 9-4x. I’d imagine the correspondent was referring to the 9-3x, which would make sense in that particular market (the US) and this would infer that the 9-3x would be seen some time in 2009.
Regarding the 9-3x info from Djup Strupe, above, it’s fair to draw the conclusion that the info doesn’t come from the US market and therefore, that the 9-3x might be released there first and in other markets at a later time depending on the demand they anticipate.

First spyshots: Saab 9-3x

Djup Strupe has been busy in the darkroom developing these shots of the coming Saab 9-3x (with a glimpse of the production version 9-4x thrown in as well).
These photos look like they’ve been taken from a video screen, hence the grainy and unsaturated nature of the shots. Consequently we get an impression of what they look like here, but not the level of detail required to say we’re seeing everything.
Click to enlarge and enjoy!
Saab 9-3x
Saab 9-3x
Saab 9-3x
Saab 9-3x
For those who are unfamiliar with this future model, the car is being referred to for the time being as the Saab 9-3x. Saab showed a concept car with the same name around 7 years ago, but this car is no relation to that concept.
The Saab 9-3x seen here is what you might consider as a Saab response to an Audi Allroad or a Subaru wagon. It’s raised by approx 30mm, is fitted with Saab’s groundbreaking Cross Wheel Drive (XWD) as well as some scuff plating at the front and rear, twin exhaust, some cladding on the sides and some bling here and there.
Whilst the earlier mail had the car debuting in London this month (July 08), recent speculation from Auto Motor and Sport in Sweden has the car showing at the Paris Motor Show in October.
Thanks to kdsaab in comments, and for those interested in more spypics, Los Jalopniks have a pic of the 9-4x that GM boss Slick Rick Wagoner produced today. Click here to check it out in all it’s fuzzy glory.
If the 9-3x is coming in Paris in October and the 9-5 is coming at Geneva in March, that must leave the Detroit show open for the 9-4x in January.

2010 Saab 9-5 to show in Geneva, 2009

I mentioned to you that there was going to be a GM Next presentation this week, right?
Hot off the press from Djup Strupe in Europe….

Well to be short, the new 9-5 is absolutely magnificent (both the sedan and the estate are beautiful). The cars were presented last in the GMNext conference, almost 6000 people joined this event last evening.
Unfortunately the 9-5’s weren’t real cars but dummies without engines and real suspension, so the cars had to be pulled in with ropes.
We also saw the new 9-4x, the final version (even better looking than the concept, more European)
And finally a 9-3 CrossRoad kind of car, something like the Audi A6 Allroad or the Volvo V70 CrossCountry.
The introduction of the 9-5 will not take place in Paris this Autumn, it’s going to be Geneva once again.

Oh yeah, baby!!!
It seems that my previous prediction, based on a quote from Steve Shannon, that the Saab 9-5 would debut at the Paris Motor Show later in 2008, was incorrect. I’m more than happy to exchange an error for a confirmed date, though, especially when it means we’ve now got something else to look forward to in Paris later this year 🙂
Bring it on. And in a hatchback form too, please……

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