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Facelift for a 'tired' Saab

Saab this week released photos of the new 9-3 range with much of the styling cues from the Aero X concept car.

Outside, it is a much shapelier and curvy character with a “face” up front and no ugly black rubber strips on the bumper or doors.

The front grille has much more impact, being bigger and curvier with a three-piece air dam and fog lights, rather than one horizontal strip.

The headlights now wrap around and slope up at the outside like cats' eyes.

The new 9-3 also returns to the Saab tradition of a clamshell hood, a tradition that started with the '67 Saab 99.

GM Premium Brands communications manager Emily Perry said Australia would get all three 9-3 models — Sport Sedan, SportCombi and Convertible — all at the same time, in the last quarter of this year.

“We will get petrol and diesel initially just as we have now,” she said.

“We are interested in 9-3 BioPower for Australia, but we will launch BioPower in Australia in 9-5 this year and see how it goes.

“So we don't have a 9-3 BioPower launch date just yet.”

The new 9-3 range will come in three trim levels — Linear, Vector and Aero.

“I don't have any further news on the interior at this stage,” she said.

Although there are no details about the car's interior yet, it would be good if they broke away from the cliched fighter aeroplane cockpit theme.

Perry doesn't hold out much hope for that: “It would be fair to assume that it would be very similar, or unchanged, to the current recently launched interior which is fresh into 9-3 this year,” she said.

“Saab interiors still remain the `cockpit' styled interior and driving position but it has been simplified, giving it a clean modern look.”

We hope so.