Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The One That Got Away: The 2013 SAAB 9-3

The current 9-3 is about 9 to 10 years old, and though over its lengthy production line it has received a series of nose jobs and minor updates, its Age is definitely showing, and its sales are slowing. The 9-3 was slated to be replaced by a new model for the 2013 model year; the next 9-3 would have spawned a sedan, a convertible, a 3 door hatch, and a wagon. The cars styling was previewed by the much lauded F-Body like Phoenix concept, and recently grainy images of what was rumored to be the next 9-3 leaked. An advanced hybrid system was also rumored, riding on the 90% new Phoenix platform, which is a version of GM’s Epsilon one platform modified beyond recognition. Only ten percent of the platform was to be carried over to the longer lower and wider phoenix.  The platform was to be extremely flexible, capable of underpinning everything from the next 9-3 to an all-new 9-7 flagship (no relation to the 9-7X) however for cars smaller than the 9-3, like the rumored 9-2 the platform would have become too expensive, so SAAB looked into using BMW’s Mini platform.  The phoenix platform may still have life in it, even if Saab doesn’t because two parties have shown interest in purchasing the rights to the platform, and SAAB’s advanced android based infotainment system IQon, Youngman, and the Turkish government, the latter has shown interest in creating a car brand, and hopes to acquire the platform to build a car around. There is still time for a new investor to save SAAB but time is running out fast for the unique Swedish Brand

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