Saab is set to launch the replacement for the 9-3, to be called 93, in late 2012.
The 93 will be Saab’s first new car as an independent car maker. It will also mark Saab’s reintroduction of a hatchback model into it’s range.
The hatchback is likely to follow the launch of the saloon which is expected to be the first 93 variant to go on sale, with a cabriolet and sport wagon to come as well.
The whole 93 family, as well as the new 9-5’s eventual replacement, will all use the new Phoenix platform which Saab are still currently developing.
The 93 hatch will directly target Audi’s A3. The Saab will be slightly bigger than the Audi but will be priced to match, with prices starting around £18,000.
The styling will follow on from the new 9-5 but designers want to use more aerospace influences in the exterior styling. The wraparound dashboard design will also stay.
Sources close to Saab have revealed that a deal may have been done with BMW to supply engines for the new car, most likely the new diesel and petrol units from the upcoming Mini Countryman.
If Saab use these engines then they will also come with the Countryman’s new 6-speed manual gearbox which would allow Saab to offer their Haldex-based 4-wheel-drive system on some cars.
It is also expected that Saab will offer a dual-clutch transmission as well, because it has already developed one for GM.