The all-new Saab 9-3 SportCombi, announced today, takes Saab into the premium, mid-size wagon segment for the first time by combining distinctive design, sporty driving dynamics and five-door functionality
Its strong, compact proportions are a bold reaffirmation of a Saab tradition for designing cars that are sporty in character and versatile in use. The cohesive five-door styling and a solid, muscular stance give the 9-3 SportCombi a clear, stand-out identity within the Saab 9-3 range.
Making its public debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show and due to go on sale in Europe and the United States from the fourth quarter of 2005, the 9-3 SportCombi will appeal to customers who require the versatility of a wagon, including smart load-carrying features and a generously proportioned cargo area, without compromising their desire for driving satisfaction.
The SportCombi rounds out Saab’s best selling range of cars, the 9-3. 27,139 Saabs 9-3 were sold in 2004 in the United States, of which over 6,100 were convertibles. The newest 9-3 proudly carries on the Saab tradition of hatchback models that began in 1959 with the Saab 95. In 1973, Saab pioneered another landmark design with the 99 CombiCoupe. Of the more than 500,000 Saabs on the road in the United States today, nearly 50 percent are hatchbacks.
Building on Saab’s reputation for progressive design and high fun-to-drive quotient, , the 9-3 SportCombi is poised to open up major new sales opportunities for the brand.
In the United States, the new 9-3 SportCombi range will start with a well-equipped 210 hp turbocharged 4-cylinder. The high performance Aero model features an all-new turbocharged V6 that makes 250- hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. This new engine will also be available in the 2006 9-3 Aero Sport Sedan and 9-3 Aero Convertible.
Debra Kelly-Ennis, president and COO of Saab USA, said, “The turbo V6 in the 9-3 Aero SportCombi and other 9-3 Aero models will give drivers more of what they expect in the Saab driving experience – ready torque throughout the rev range, high rpm power, smoothness and refinement.”
With a wedge-like profile and Saab ‘signature’ styling cues, the close-coupled proportions of the 9-3 SportCombi include a surprisingly spacious cargo area (volume with the cargo cover in place and the rear seat up and folded is, respectively, 14.8 cu.ft. and 44.95 cu. ft. and useful load-carrying features.
Sporty, distinct alternative to conventional wagon proportions. Saab traditional ‘hockey stick’ belt-line and ‘fastback’ rear quarter styling with steeply raked taillight lenses and LED bulbs.
TwinFloor stowage facility. By pulling the chrome, aircraft-shaped handle, the main cargo area floor lifts to divide the space into two separate sections and to reveal additional storage in the recessed sub-floor. The optional sub-woofer is located in the spare wheel storage well.
The 9-3 SportCombi has zero lift levels at both axles, (0.00 Clf and 0.00 Clr). The car has an excellent drag coefficient of 0.33 and impressive high speed stability. The integrated rear roof spoiler is standard.
The powertrain line-up is led by the launch of a sophisticated new 2.8V6 Turbo engine. The SportCombi inherits the outstanding chassis dynamics of the Sport Sedan, with a ‘fun-to-drive’ appeal that concedes nothing to its functionality as a versatile, five-door car.
New aluminum 2.8V6 Turbo. 250 bhp/184 kW, exclusive to top-of-the-line Aero, with 32-valves, DOHC, variable intake valve timing and a twin-scroll turbocharger.
The unique Saab ReAxs rear wheel steer characteristic from the Sport Sedan gives enhanced driver feedback and control for excellent handling and stability.
The rigid five-door body structure provides a solid foundation for the car’s sporty handling, refinement and outstanding safety characteristics. Torsional rigidity (21,000 Nm/degree) only marginally less than that of the Sport Sedan, despite the open five-door body format.
New generation Saab-tuned ESP and ESP Plus. All 2.8V6 Turbo variants include ESP Plus, with Hill Start Assist for manual gearboxes to prevent roll back.
“Although the SportCombi is a natural extension of the 9-3 range, it has a fresh character all of its own. In the tradition of the Saab brand, it is not simply a ‘me too’ type of product,” says Peter Augustsson, Saab Automobile President and CEO.
“Its progressive design and dynamic talents are intended to resolve any conflict between the rationality of need and the passion of desire. Customers will see it as a car that meets the demands of their lifestyle while still satisfying their desire for a sporty, fun-to-drive experience.”