Saab 9-3

In 1998, Saab renamed the 900 series to the 9-3 for the 1999 model year to be in line with the larger renamed 9-5. The 900 had been produced since the late 1970s and was the entry-level car for Saab. The Saab 9-3 took over the entry-level position. The model is pronounced ""nine three,"" not ""ninety-three,"" as the ""ninety-three"" was a car produced during the 1950s.

More on the Saab 9-3
Saab 9-3 Origins

The Saab 9-3 is a compact executive car that was produced through two generations beginning in 1998. A third generation was announced for release during 2012 for the 2013 model year, although this may be delayed due to the financial situation of the company. The Saab 9-3 is built on the GM Epsilon platform, which was the same platform used for the Opel Vectra and the Cadillac BLS before those lines were discontinued. The Saab 9-3 is a near-luxury car, and the plush interior trim, design, and style put it towards the higher end of its class.

About the Saab 9-3

Saab introduced the second generation of the Saab 9-3 at the 2002 North American International Auto Show, for release for the 2003 model year. With the launch of the new generation, the hatchback was dropped from the model line. Initially, the second generation 9-3 was released as a four-door sedan, with a two-door convertible joining the model lineup for the 2004 model year, and a five-door station wagon introduced for the 2006 model year.

Three trim versions were available for the sedan: the base Linear, the luxury Arc, and the sporty Aero. All were equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a power rating of 175 horsepower in the Linear trim model, and 210 horsepower for the other two trim lines. A five-speed manual transmission was standard for the Linear and Arc trim levels, while a six-speed manual transmission was the standard for the Aero. A five-speed automatic transmission was available as an option, which allowed manual shifting either with the gear stick or steering-wheel-mounted paddles.

The 2006 model year saw the launch of the station wagon version of the Saab 9-3, as well as the introduction of a V-6 turbocharged engine. The Linear and Arc trim lines were renamed as the 2.0T, and were equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a power rating of 210 horsepower. The Aero trim line was equipped with the V-6 engine, which had a 2.8-liter turbocharged V-6 that provided 250 horsepower.

For the 2008 model year, Saab introduced the Turbo X version of the 9-3, as well as an all-wheel-drive system for the Aero trim line. The Turbo X was a limited edition and was only produced for one year. In 2009, the all-wheel-drive system was available for all vehicles. For 2012, the car was renamed to the Saab 9-3 Griffin, and the three body styles were reintroduced.

Saab 9-3 Evolution

The first generation of the Saab 9-3 was in production from 1998 until 2002 to cover model years 1999 to 2002. When the new Saab 9-3 was launched in the place of the Saab 900, the company claimed to have made more than 1,000 improvements to the vehicle. Not only did the changes make it look sleeker than its predecessor, but other modifications improved the ride and handling of the Saab 9-3, as well as its safety and crash-worthiness. Side airbags that included head protection and active headrests to prevent whiplash were just two of the improvements to safety seen with the new Saab 9-3.

The base model came in a three-door hatchback, a five-door hatchback, and a two-door convertible. The five-door hatchback and convertible came in the base trim, as well as the higher SE trim level. All models were equipped with 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that had a power rating of 185 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission was standard, and a four-speed automatic transmission was available as an option. If the driver chose the SE trim with the manual transmission, the engine was modified so that it produced 200 horsepower.

From 1999 to 2002, a higher powered version of the Saab 9-3 was in production to supplement the model line. The Saab 9-3 Viggen was named after the aircraft with the same name, and was based on the three-door hatchback version of the Saab 9-3. Both three- and five-door hatchback Viggens were produced during its lifetime. It was equipped with a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine that provided 225 horsepower. It also came with a manual transmission only, and was also equipped with a rear wing to increase the down force of the car, and new bumpers and side skirts made it more aerodynamic. Overall, the car was made to feel sportier, both in how it handled and how it looked, with interior design and features specific to the Viggen only. The Saab 9-3 Viggen was discontinued when the second generation of the Saab 9-3 was launched in 2002.

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