Revealed Saab 9-3 SportCombi

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Reformed in Geneva: The 9-3 SportCombi lifts the veil from Saab's dark ages

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    MATT DAVIS
    Posted Date: 3/2/05

    One truth: Saab is no longer exclusively Scandinavian, so blue-faced naysayers might as well stop yammering. Whereas 9-3 Sport Sedans and all 9-5s are still built in Trollhattan, the 9-3 Convertible is sent out from Graz, Austria, the 9-2X is from Ohta, Japan, and we will be getting our 9-7Xs starting in late April from Moraine, Ohio.

    Another truth: Neither big and tall SUVs nor their vocal critics will be going away anytime soon. What is happening is a gradual return of the station-wagon lifestyle. Small, midsize and large wagon segments are finding at least one new offering in the North American market per year. So we figure by 2015, people ought to be complaining about the menace of too many wagons on American roads.

    Conjectural irony aside, the oft-delayed Saab 9-3 SportCombi, being shown at Geneva, looks to be a trendsetter in this budding new-old segment. What’s new about modern-day wagons is that they need to be premium, especially the interiors, in order to convince as many would-be SUV buyers as possible.

    The segment is already hot in Europe, and Saab hopes to help lead anticipated growth in the United States, where the 9-3 SportCombi will join the 9-2X in showrooms in November.

    Using the same “Epsilon premium” architecture as the 9-3 Sedan and Convertible, the SportCombi looks familiar back to the A-pillar. Then it’s a whole new ballgame. Maintaining much of the cool Scandinavian feel of the 9-3 Sport Hatch concept from Frankfurt 2003, the designers hope to convey a “hewn from solid” stance. (Note: 9-3 Sport Hatch design was by Michael Mauer and Anthony Lo, two non-Scandinavians.)

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    In the global sense, the amazing news is that in Europe the SportCombi will be launched with no fewer than eight engine choices—six gas and two diesel. Talk about a reawakening Saab ready to hunt bear.

    The biggest power-related news for America is the Aero edition will be the first GM product to carry a new aluminum 2.8-liter V6. Adding a turbocharger gives the SportCombi Aero a to-be-reckoned-with 247 hp. Linear and Arc versions will carry variants of the current 2.0-liter turbo four.

    Cargo room ranges from 14.8 cubic feet with the rear seat up to a maximum (i.e., loaded to the base of the rear windows, all seats down) 45.0 cubic feet. The flexibility of the cargo floor and the number of convenient stow spaces is as exemplary as one would hope for in a Saab.

    The 9-3 keeps its brethren’s MacPherson struts up front and compact four-link assemblies at the rear corners. The wagon configuration has reportedly affected frame rigidity only minimally, thus assuring a sporting drive.

    If the sitting-in-it part is anything like it was on the 9-3 Sport Hatch prototype, we’re in for a delectable experience in leather and sport fabrics. Essential standard interior shades include Parchment (aka “light room”) and Gray (“dark room”). ESP—incorporating ABS, TCS, MBA (Mechanical Brake Assist), EBD and CBC—comes standard on Linear and Arc, while the Aero comes with ESP Plus. Plus means Hill Start Assist, which prevents rollback at intersections when using the standard six-speed manual transmission. An all-wheel-drive SportCombi is not in the offing.

    For 2006, the SportCombi’s first full calendar year of production, volume out of Trollhattan is planned to number 30,000 units.

    This model satisfies so many voids in the Saab world portfolio that it may just be enough to get the company on the successful track that Volvo found a few years back. Now, if Saab can bring us an all-new earth-shattering 9-5 lineup, its toughest days may be over.

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    2006 SAAB 9-3 SPORTCOMBI

    ON SALE: November
    BASE PRICE: $28,000 (est.)
    POWERTRAIN: 2.0-liter, 173-hp, 195-lb-ft turbocharged I4; fwd, six-speed automatic
    CURB WEIGHT: n/a
    0 to 60 MPH: 8.6 seconds (est.)

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  2. Sideways

    Sideways Do I look like I give a damn?

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    Saab who?
     
  3. technogeeky

    technogeeky It just turned his world upsidedownface.

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    That looks a whole lot like my parents 9-5 Aero Wagon.
     
  4. LarryZ

    LarryZ i love sticky rice

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    i love the clear tails
     
  5. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    :wtfname:
     
  6. ballzofsteel83

    ballzofsteel83 OT Supporter

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    i think its pretty sweet... kinda weak engine and fwd though.... 250+ hp and awd and that thing will sell.
     
  7. jinushaun

    jinushaun New Member

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    I don't like the writer's attitude/slant. :down:
     
  8. HisXLNC

    HisXLNC ๑۩۞۩๑ Hot ๑۩۞۩๑

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    That's awesome.
     
  9. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    I love the styling, but it does need AWD for the win.
     
  10. jinushaun

    jinushaun New Member

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    This looks like a proper Saab wagon, not the 9-2X or 9-7X clusterfuck.

    Yeah, the name is weird. But I guess it's better than calling the 9-3W and have it die from anonymity.

    I don't mind the tail lights.
     
  11. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    They match the head lights and side repeaters. :cool:
     
  12. MrFoggy

    MrFoggy OT Supporter

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    That wagon = Sex.

    AWD that bitch and I'm heading to the Saab dealer right now!
     
  13. Dr. Woo

    Dr. Woo Guns don't kill people

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    With a name like "SportCombi," they've got to be aiming straight for the German market (as the German term for a station wagon is "Kombi" ).
     
  14. frinky23

    frinky23 Bangle Sackrider

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    Looks pretty good.
     

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