New Saab 9-3 unveiled

4 Dec, 2013 10:34am Jonathan Burn

Under new ownership, Saab has unveiled the new 9-3 saloon aimed initially at the Chinese market

Saab has taken the warps off the new 9-3, following the news that production on the saloon has restarted earlier this week. The new model is virtually identical to the facelifted version launched in 2011, with the only major difference being the absence of the griffin badge.

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Under the new ownership of National Electric Vehicle Sweden, the Saab 9-3 will initially be aimed at the Chinese market with a small number being sold directly from NEVS to Swedish customers via its website.

The new model is powered by the same 220bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine used in the 9-3 before the company went bankrupt. Manual and automatic transmissions will also be available.

Production rate will be ‘very modest’ initially, with Saab confirming only around 10 models will be produced per week to ensure quality is at the highest level. Gradually, production will increase to meet customer demand.

An electric version of the 9-3 will also be launched in spring next year, with China again being the first market. NEVS’ partner and part owner Qingdao has initially placed an order for a fleet of 200 electric 9-3s.

Priced from 279,000 SEK (£26,125), the 9-3 will go on sale in Sweden from December 10.

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26k for a car that already looks 10 years old -= -fail.

The future of Saab is building cars in China for the Chinese market. Saab will not be returning to Europe or North America because there would be no market for their cars.

Depends how the electric car works out. There is a market for it. I believe that the Tesla sells relatively well in Norway.

Can't see this working in the case of Saab. There will be too many other options out there and the Saab brand doesn't have the kudos of its competitors. I think a Saab would be seen as a risky purchase by most people. Maybe they will sell a few in Sweden but I can't see them ever returning to the UK.

Another misleading AE headline...