Base: 9-3 2.0t, 9.3 2.0T, 9-3H 2.3T BioPower
Mid-level: 9-3xH 2.3T BioPower
Up-level: 9-3x Aero, 9-3x Viggen
Body Styles: Sedan, Convertible, SportCombi
With the current 9-3 getting a bit long tooth, and the Aura, 2008 Malibu coming out and being redesigned, GM decided that it was time the 9-3 get a redesign based on the current platform instead of waiting longer for a 2009 Epsilon II based 9-3. Given this, we expect the Epsilon platform to solder on a little while longer, with the Epsilon II cars arriving around 2011, not the 2010 we were originally thinking, giving the redesigned Epsilon based cars around 3 or 4 model years on the market. With AWD being a necessity to compete in this segment, the 9-3 will be getting AWD, along with a full Mid Cycle Enhancement (MCE) for the 2008 model year. What Saab has done with the 9-3 under a different style of GM back in the early years of the decade is testament to it's expertise and know how. Saab turned a midsize non luxury platform into a refined, capable one, and they produced one of the best sedans in GM's stable. If this was GM a few years ago, imagine what is in store for the next 9-3, and indeed all of the Saab lineup. The current 9-3 is Saab's bread and butter, and a driving force for Saab's upward sales trend, and the redesigned 9-3 better have the good to compete and style to make it stand apart from the competition. Styled in the mold of the beautiful Aero X showcar, the 9-3 has a youthful "Junior Saab" style that is shared by both the 9-1 and 9-4X, with a bit different style of it's own to set it apart from it's larger brethren, the 9-5, 9-6X and 9-9x.
Using completely feasible technology already developed and in GM's arsenal, the 9-3 adds something that will help it to lead the segment in innovation and environmental friendliness. Our 9-3 offers a hybrid, the first in it's segment, and hugely important for a variety of reasons, not just the virtue of being a hybrid. The importance of this revolutionary hybrid system cannot be stressed enough. Some amazing firsts are evident in this hybrid system. Namely, 1. The first application of the BioPower engine in the US, 2. The first application in the world of an engine capable of running on any mixture of gas/ethanol to a full hybrid system, 3. The first instance of the Dual Mode hybrid being used in a sedan in the United States. Do it, GM.
The current 9-3 is a unique car for GM. It's modern, stylish and is selling well on the coasts. A lot of young professionals are looking to the 9-3 as an alternative option, something competent, different and exclusive compared to the 3-Series or CL-Class. In the fashionable areas of the country, Saab, along with Cadillac are are GM's best opportunity for sales. No question, Saabs are different. But, different can be a good thing, and in Saab's case, looking at the current lineup and the possibilities for the future, it certainly is. The CTS and the next generation Epsilon II based 9-3 are the most important luxury introductions ever for GM. The 2008 Saab 9-3 is coming at a time of GM product renaissance, an era of beautiful design and attention to detail. The next 9-3 as the possibility to make your jaw drop, so expect nothing less. Thanks to our friends at Saab blog Trollhattan Saab, and from reports we've gathered, it's pretty concrete that their will be a Saab introduction in the US, in August of 2007. The most logical vehicle introduction would be the 9-3, as it would be the most farthest along by now.
Vehicle Type: Small to Midsize 5 passenger 4
door Sedan, 5 Door SportCombi and 2 Door Convertible
Size Comparison: BMW 3 Series
Competitors: BMW 3 Series, Acura TL, Mercedes Benz C-Class, Audi A4, Volvo S60
Base Platform: Epsilon I
Drive Wheels: FWD, AWD Option, AWD Aero/Viggen
9-3 2.0t: 2.0L 230HP Ecotec Turbo
9-3 2.0T: 2.0T: 2.0L 260HP Ecotec Turbo
9-3H (9-3xH) 2.3T BioPower: 2.3L 280HP (On E100) BioPower Turbo w/Dual Mode Hybrid System
9-3x Aero: 2.8L 320HP HF Turbo V6
9-3x Viggen: 3.0L 350HP HOT V6
Transmissions: 6 speed Manual, 6-Speed Sentronic, Aero: 7 Speed DSG