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 with sporty driving dynamics as an alternative to the qualities of a conventional wagon.
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 muscular, 'hewn from solid' 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 from September, 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 deck, without compromising their desire for driving satisfaction.
Last year, Europe's growing premium mid-size wagon segment reached a quarter of a million units, with diesel engines accounting for 70 per cent of sales. Building on Saab's reputation for sporty, versatile design and offering strong diesel powertrain options, the 9-3 SportCombi is poised to open up major new sales opportunities for the brand.
The high performance, 250 bhp Aero model is unique to the segment in having a turbocharged six cylinder engine, which will also be added to the 9-3 Sport Sedan and Convertible ranges. It leads a comprehensive model line-up including six gasoline and two Euro 4 compliant diesel engine options.
Carl-Peter Forster, President GM Europe, says: "The first turbocharged application of GM's new global V6 engine architecture will spearhead Saab's entry into Europe's premium, mid-size wagon segment, where we expect the 9-3 SportCombi range as a whole to establish a strong presence."
With a striking, wedge-like profile and Saab 'signature' styling cues, the close-coupled proportions of the 9-3 SportCombi include a surprisingly spacious cargo deck (rear seat up/down volume 419/1273 liters VDA) and useful load-carrying features.
· Sporty, distinct alternative to conventional wagon proportions. Saab traditional 'hockey stick' belt-line and 'fastback' rear quarter styling with frosted, steeply raked rear light lenses and LED bulbs.
· TwinFloor stowage facility. By pulling the chrome, aircraft-shaped handle, the main cargo deck floor can be transversely folded and relocated for access to a recessed sub-floor. Optional sub-woofer location in spare wheel storage well.
· First Saab to achieve zero lift levels at both axles, (0.00 Clf and 0.00 Clr). Low drag with excellent 0.33 Cd and high speed stability. Integrated rear roof spoiler.
The impressive 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 24-valves, DOHC, variable 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."
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