By on October 31, 2011

According to, this is an image of the next-generation Saab 9-3, as revealed in a presentation to Sweden’s National Debt Office. Based on a new Phoenix platform that is supposedly under development (although with what money is unclear… new platforms typically cost around a billion dollars to develop), the new 9-3 will be the first Saab developed by the brand since gaining independence from GM. If, in fact, the company survives long enough to bring it to market in the 2013-2014 projected timeframe. And, based on all the news we’ve seen, the chances of Saab surviving, let alone developing a new car on a new platform, are extremely slim. But if you’re still holding out hope for The Industry’s Most Troubled Brand ®, this might inspire some more wholly unjustified optimism… as might the leaked image of Saab’s future product “plans.” Just don’t come crying to us when this all falls apart again in mid-November…


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17 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: The 9-3 That May Never Be Edition...”

  • avatar

    That vehicle has the potential to be gorgeous.

    Veloster meets Evoque. I wonder if they can pull it off though. Enough cheap trim pieces and black or chrome accents can kill a car aesthetically. The previous 9-3 and 9-5 is proof of that. I do like the looks of the new 9-5 though. They could really do wonders with a more potent chassis and an ounce of consumer confidence.

  • avatar

    Nothing is wrong with this picture. Looks great.

  • avatar

    Sweet looking design. I like the greenhouse – reminiscent of the 80s Saab 900s.

  • avatar

    I really liked 900s and even older 9-3. This is not worth saving. Huge overhangs on both ends means your suspension has to work harder, wheel arches in front of occupant’s knees means broken feet and legs in a front collision, a hatch without headroom for trunk storage intruding on rear passenger’s heads means broken glass and skulls. This is bland and old news all over, irrespective of the Mazda wheel arch design over the rear wheels.

    Put a fork in it.

    • 0 avatar

      Have you _seen_ the overhangs on a Saab 900 recently?

      • 0 avatar

        ah yes, what a great looking body designed several decades ago. back when A-frame front suspension with front wheel drive was a pretty big deal that made this car unique. notice the distance between the edge of the front door and the wheel well.

    • 0 avatar

      …you can determine the crashworthiness, structure, and possible injuries just from judging the exterior decorative sheet metal?

      Who knew!

  • avatar

    Looks good, it really does. However I get the feeling that *if* this design ever rolls out of a factory, there won’t be a Saab badge on the front of it, there’ll be an unpronounceable Chinese name instead.

  • avatar

    Car looks good…hopefully it gets made. I’m not holding out hope.

  • avatar

    I understand the pleasure to be had in debunking corporate propaganda and automotive vaporware, but you folks seem to be taking a little too much pleasure from SAAB’s troubles. Is there grudge somewhere? (I owned two 9000s, so I should have the grudge, but I don’t.)

    • 0 avatar

      New around these parts? Don’t be questioning the sheriff too much, ya hear? Besides, didn’t you catch the slight tip of the hat to Saab? Apparently, this looks good enough to found unjustified optimism. Had it really been a pig, a request for the towel and fat lady would have been made.

  • avatar

    At this point, Saab is the Lindsey Lohan of the auto industry. I really don’t need to read any more.

  • avatar

    See, this is what makes this so fun! The ongoing collapse. Now we are into the “what could have been” phase! Ahead of schedule I think.

  • avatar

    Most of the cost of developing a car is in the tooling, and dependent on volume. Until they pay to tool up for the car, they’re spending little above the salaries they pay their full-time engineering staff.

    Put another way, they can engineer the car all they want. But they will have to track down some serious cash if they actually want to produce it. Unless it’s to be a low-volume affair, but then the price would have to be crazy high.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    Looks modern and has all the SAAB styling cues.
    I hope it gets built.

  • avatar

    Is that design allowing for the possibility of a hatchback? Please say it’s so. Saab, if they ever do come back from the dead, would be well advised to start making hatches again, it’s what made the 900s/old 9-3 models so useful.

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