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Automotive Intelligence News

News of May 16, 2002


 


World Premiere: All-new Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan

Photo: Saab/GM

First Saab positioned in premium, compact sport sedan segment

  • World class chassis dynamics enhance driver involvement
  • Long wheelbase and wide track for good handling and spacious interior
  • New powertrain includes lightweight, aluminum turbo engine
  • New five-speed automatic transmission and six-speed manual gearbox
  • In-house Saab electronics for sophisticated powertrain behavior
  • Fiber optic electronics for advanced, modular 'infotainment' systems
  • Exceptionally strong body for good handling, refinement and safety
  • Second generation Saab Active Head Restraints (SAHR)
  • Load-limiting seat-belts, dual stage front airbags and side curtain airbags
  • 'Profiler' customization program and choice of four specification levels

NORCROSS, Ga. - The all-new 2003 Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan is the first step in the biggest product development program in Saab's history. It spearheads the arrival of an entirely new family of cars, each focused on meeting the particular requirements of a different niche in the market.

As Saab's first contender in the premium, compact sport sedan segment, the focus for the new 9-3 is dedicated to delivering a unique, fun-to-drive experience that promises to set new standards for the class.

The coupe-like silhouette, with steeply raked windshield and rear window and short front and rear overhangs, communicates a strong, sporty stance, which is reinforced by negative wheel cambers. The overall look is designed to convey a sense of movement even when the car is stationary. The shape of the windows and the wedge-like profile also combine with the sleek integrated headlights and grille to give the car its distinctive Saab identity.

Excellent aerodynamics including a highly competitive 0.28 drag coefficient, resulting in low lift forces at the rear axle, improving high speed stability and braking. Careful airflow management also benefits the driver by helping to prevent road grime building up on the side windows and taillights.

The new model comes with a choice of two new, 2.0-liter, all-aluminum turbocharged engines, ranging in power from 175 to 210 hp. The front-wheel- drive transmissions include five- and six-speed manual gearboxes and a five- speed automatic with Saab Sentronic manual selection and the option of steering wheel controls. There will be three "Forms," or specification levels: Linear, Arc, and Vector.

Compared to its predecessor, the new 9-3 offers more spacious accommodations, particularly for rear passengers, within the same overall length. Front and rear width is increased by 2.16 in. (55 mm) and the wheelbase is 2.8 in. (71 mm) longer.

It is price-positioned to compete with the BMW 3-series, Audi A4, and Volvo S60. Sales start in October 2002.

The main features of the new 9-3 contribute to an enriched, sporty driving experience in four key areas: driver involvement, refined performance, driver adaptability and driver-centered design.

(May 13, 2002)

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