Now that the dust has settled in terms of Saab’s financial situation, the Swedish marque is concentration on rolling out cars to sell. The sleek 9-5 is out, and the 9-4X will join the range soon. Both these cars were completed under GM ownership; the first Saab designed under Spyker’s reign will be the new 9-3 that’s expected to hit the market sometime in 2012.
Victor Muller, boss of the Spyker Group revealed that while the carry over platform and hard points of the new 9-3 can’t be changed now, liberation from GM means that the mid-sized exec will feature a “bolder, more typically Saabish” look. British chief designer Simon Padian said that the 9-3 will feature a “much stronger form language” with a grille like the new 9-5’s. At least there won’t be two very different looking models in the same range.
The 2012 9-3 will still be based on GM’s Epsilon 1 platform but it will be heavily modified and will include a host of new technologies, according to Saab president and CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. “It is the existing 9-3 base, but we are enhancing so many systems that it’s almost a new architecture. It will be the first Saab to get start-stop, for instance.”
The new 9-3 is a vital car in Saab’s business plan. It will be Trollhättan’s volume model with 70,000 units annually once the new range, which will include a small car, is complete. The 9-5 is forecasted at 40,000-45,000 units a year while the 9-4X crossover is expected to contribute 10,000 units to the cause.