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Saab has announced it’s updated 2012 9-3, which will be available in sedan, SportWagon or convertible forms. Chief among the changes are a new front fascia which brings the 9-3 in line with bigger brother, the 9-5.
The most visible difference are new headlight assemblies, though other updates include standard front foglights and a rear deck spoiler on all models.
Under the hood, the 2012 9-3 also gets new engines, in the shape of a pair of new direct injection gasoline four-cylinders, with twin scroll turbochargers designed to reduce boost lag, as well as variable valve timing for better throttle response, balance shafts for less vibration at higher revs and a forged steel crankshaft for greater strength.
The turbo gas engines come in two different forms, rated at 163 or 220 hp. Saab says that equipped with these engines, fuel economy and emissions on the 9-3 are improved by around four percent.
In the United Kingdom, the 2012 9-3 will also be available with a 1.9-liter twin-turbo diesel engine, which is offered in three different variants, rated at 130, 160 and 180 hp respectively. It will also be offered in two trim levels, SE or Aero.
There’s no word yet on how North American models will be spec’d though expect the gas engines to make the cut but probably not the diesels.
New Saab Spyker company expects to be profitable in same year
With Saab having just been saved by Dutch automaker Spyker, the new Saab Spyker Automobiles company has confirmed that it will deliver a new 9-3 model to market in 2012. The current 9-3 has been in production since 2002, meaning that by the time the third-generation of Saab’s volume seller arrives, the current model will be 10 years old.
Saab has said the new 9-5 model will arrive in dealerships this Spring, replacing a model that has been on the market for over a decade. The 9-5 will be offered as both a sedan and wagon, and a 9-5X model is also coming. The 9-4X is due out in 2011.
Most surprising is the news that the automaker is looking at delivering a 9-1 model, as past reports have suggested Spyker didn’t want to take the Saab brand down-market. But with automakers like BMW and Audi already competing in the premium compact segment, Saab is reconsidering. Saab Spyker has said in an official press release that it intends to be an, ““independent, performance-orientated niche car company with an industry-leading environmental strategy,” that will compete directly with BMW and Audi.
Saab Spyker expects to return to profitability by 2012, an incredibly short time considering it hasn’t turned a profit in almost two decades.