During my years of documenting discarded Saabs in junkyards around the country ( and in Saab’s homeland), I’ve managed to cover the pre-GM American-market models well enough, with a special focus on the 900. In recent years, I’ve been working to cover some of the Saabs from the period of General Motors influence (1989-2000) and control (2000-2010).
I may never find an example of the ultra-rare 9-4x, but it’s easy to find used-up Opel Vectra-based 9-3 these days — and I vowed to photograph the first one I saw on a recent Denver junkyard expedition. That car turned out to be this Silver Metallic 2002 9-3 SE hatchback.
In the last edition of Buy/Drive/Burn, we concerned ourselves with unpopular large luxury sedans. The general B&B consensus at the end of the day was that none of them were a great purchase idea (see, you’re getting the point now). In the comments, Brian E. suggested we cover a trio of compact-ish sporty sedans he evaluated in real life, back in 2006.
So let’s travel to those days before the Great Recession and pick apart some sporty import sedans. By they way, they all have automatic transmissions.
The Saab 9-3 has to have one of the strangest histories of any automobile ever to reach mass production. Intended as a replacement for the 900, the model used a pair of GM-based platforms split between two generations before dying out when Saab went bankrupt in December of 2011.
The company’s assets were purchased by National Electric Vehicle Sweden the following year. NEVS spent the following years attempting to relaunch the 9-3 as an all-electric vehicle. Despite multiple occasions where it seemed like the project had stagnated into oblivion, the firm actually started assembly on a rebadged 9-3 EV sedan in Tianjin, China, this December.
Now the company is saying it intends to expand production to Saab’s vintage factory in Trollhättan, Sweden, while also considering adding additional facilities in China and Turkey. Who could have imagined that the world’s next hot-ticket EV would be a model introduced in 2002 under a defunct nameplate?
Apparently, Turkey’s electric is still in the works. In case you don’t remember, the former hub of the Ottoman Empire purchased the Saab 9-3’s license from National Electric Vehicle Sweden while it was still attempting to convert the model into a marketable EV in 2015. But, despite being the absolute perfect project to give up on, nobody has.
The plan was to make the electric 9-3 “the national car of Turkey.” That’s a little weird considering the model ended its life as an American-owned Swedish car, using General Motor’s Epsilon platform, that was later sold to Dutch automobile manufacturer Spyker and eventually NEVS back in Sweden. But, considering Turkey’s national sport is semi-erotic oil wrestling, this might be another case of the Republic embarking on something my Western mind can’t fully appreciate.
This is the new News Round-up where we cover all the things you should know that may or may not deserve a headline on their own (or we may have simply run out of time to cover them). It’s similar to the “While Your Were Sleeping” news coverage, but not the same, hence the name change.
This morning, Jaguar announced they are going racing again, the automaker formerly known as Saab has a business plan and the Tesla Model X has a price spread that would make Porsche blush.
After years of rumors and speculations of the will they/won’t they variety, a brand-new Saab 9-3 has – finally! – managed to roll down the assembly line! Don’t be fooled by the fact that this new Saab looks just like the 2009 models the company was building when it was spun off from GM’s bankruptcy, however. This car features all-new components designed by Saab engineers and manufactured in Trollhättan, Sweden.
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- Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.
- Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines. https://www.drive.com.au/reviews/2023-ineos-grenadier-review/
- Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.
- Inside Looking Out Chinese will take over EV market and Tesla will become the richest and largest car company in the world. Forget about Japanese.
- Joe These guys are asking way to much.. 40% raise, Medical for retired workers, 4 day work week. - Go work a regular job like as an accountant, or Insurance agent and see what you get when you retire! Why do I have to put money in a 401K and these guys get a pension and medical for life. Cars are already to expensive! However at the same time GM is bragging that they are going to be making billions on subscription services in the coming years. If we could all stop being so greedy the world would be a better place