Grainy spyshots: Saab 9-3x

Djup Strupe has been busy in the darkroom developing these shots of the coming Saab 9-3x (with a glimpse of the production version 9-4x thrown in as well).

These photos look like they’ve been taken from a video screen, hence the grainy and unsaturated nature of the shots. Consequently we get an impression of what they look like here, but not the level of detail required to say we’re seeing everything.

Click to enlarge and enjoy!

Saab 9-3x

Saab 9-3x

Saab 9-3x

Saab 9-3x


For those who are unfamiliar with this future model, the car is being referred to for the time being as the Saab 9-3x. Saab showed a concept car with the same name around 7 years ago, but this car is no relation to that concept.

The Saab 9-3x seen here is what you might consider as a Saab response to an Audi Allroad or a Subaru wagon. It’s raised by approx 30mm, is fitted with Saab’s groundbreaking Cross Wheel Drive (XWD) as well as some scuff plating at the front and rear, twin exhaust, some cladding on the sides and some bling here and there.

Whilst the earlier mail had the car debuting in London this month (July 08), recent speculation from Auto Motor and Sport in Sweden has the car showing at the Paris Motor Show in October.


Thanks to kdsaab in comments, and for those interested in more spypics, Los Jalopniks have a pic of the 9-4x that GM boss Slick Rick Wagoner produced today. Click here to check it out in all it’s fuzzy glory.

If the 9-3x is coming in Paris in October and the 9-5 is coming at Geneva in March, that must leave the Detroit show open for the 9-4x in January.

60 thoughts on “Grainy spyshots: Saab 9-3x

  1. an excellent SUV alternative. i hope they market the hell out of it. unlike the 9-4x, this has great timing.

  2. Steven, Do you remember those pics showed in 2003 from the Design center in Pixbo, of the 2004 convertible, sporthatch and the Crossover???

    I have those pics and this is really similar to that version.

    take a look at the chrome roof rails.


  3. Those new -09 roofrails looks superb! Looks MUCH better than the ones up tp this date.

    Great Car! Although, they could have done this a bit earlier. I´d like to see a closer picture of the 9-4X.
    As said.. Market the heck out of the 9-3X and start selling asap!


  4. THIS is why I read!

    Now that we all know you’re still around, Swade, WHERE IS THE DONATION BUTTON?????? hmmmm??????

  5. Nice car and a more efficient alternative to a thirsty SUV. I noted that the rear-end of the 9-4X isnt quite as upright as on the concept, or am I just seeing something that isnt there.

    I am with Tim in Denver, where is your donation button Swade!!?? :)

  6. I hope Djup Strupe has covered their tracks, there can’t be that many present for that movie. Let’s hope that gm are waaaayyy too busy to go all sherlock holmes :) :)

    The 9-4x with the sloping rear looks well tasty. BUT, what is that car in the background of the side profile pic?

    There is a hint of a nose there, 9-1? 9-5? It certainly doesn’t appear to be the 9-4x, it’s something else.

    The 9-3x looks good, not quite as chunky as the AMS render, but good none the less :)

  7. I would call it the 9-1. Looking at that picture, you can see in the upper left corner a video screen of the presentation. It appears to be a short wagon.

  8. It’s the 9-4x in the background. I’ll stake my house on it. And my mother’s house. And my sister’s.

    Take a look at the top photo. The vehicle is further away than the 9-3x, but is still taller. From that perspective, it couldn’t be any other vehicle.

    Shots of the original 9-4x concept here for comparison.

  9. I’m thinking 9-1 going on Andrews comment. The presentation screen does indeed show three vehicles, and it does indeed appear to have a wagon type hatch and the proportions seem to fit the 9-1.

    The angle of the nose doesn’t quite fit the position of the 9-4x.

    Now Swade…….about the house :) :) :)

  10. Are you guys talking about the one on the screen, or the vehicle next to the 9-3x?

    I’m talking about the actual parked vehicle. You must be talking about the screen.

  11. On the second pic, through the windscreen of the 9-3x you can see the nose of a third car. Assuming what is on the screen is a representation of what is on the stage, then it looks like the 9-1 has also made an appearance :)

  12. Swade, it’s both on the screen and on the actual photo – on pic number two, you can see the nose oo a third car poking through the 9-3X’s windshield.

    Now, any of those houses you mentioned happen to be in Canada? :)

  13. blarghh.. chrome roof rails. Useless. But the rest, yummy! Be interested to see dimension (cargo area) comparisons between the 39-x and 9-4.

  14. Crikey! First I’d seen of that.

    My family’s homes are secure as I was talking explicitly of the 9-4x. But that one….

    If this is the event that I think it is (the GME dealer conference in Germany a month or so ago) then I’d say it’s the 9-5. They brought all three on to the stage at that gig. The 9-4x and 9-3x were driven on stage and the 9-5 was pushed as it was still just a rolling model.

    Great catch.

  15. My guess, looks like it’s brushed steel, not chrome, to keep consistent with all the other silver bits on the car.

    Other than that, I’m betting these will sell like hotcakes in the Pacific Northwest and Northeastern states. Subaru Outbacks and Volvo XC70s are dime-a-dozen here in Seattle. I hope it handles about the same as a standard 9-3 despite its raised ground clearance.

    On the 9-4x, one detail I noticed is the top part of the tailgate above the window is painted black, where as on the concept it is body-colored.

  16. It could well be the 9-5 Swade. The picture on the projector isn’t conclusive, it’s a little distorted, so it is difficult to conclude for sure if it is a saloon or hatch rear end.

    Do you have any higher res pics of the ones posted?

  17. Holy moly!! It’s 2am here, I’d better hit the sack. This Saabisti bug does not help with the old REM cycle! :)

    Swade, you rock dude! Ciao for now.

  18. Wow nice pics. The 9-3x looks like a winner.

    I also nose/think that that grill in picture 2 is from the new 9-5. This means that this Djup Strupe must also have pics of the 9-5! Why would he/she only take pics of the 9-3x when the big fish is only a few metres away? There must be pictures out there.

    Swade can you do whatever is necessary to get those 9-5 pics, I mean lean on this Strupe, call in the Sopranos if need be. Just get those pics. We are counting on YOU.

    Pic 2 is such a teaser. Good work.

  19. I think it is the 9-5. I was just playing with that 2nd image in photoshop. The 3rd car on the screen and on stage has side mirrors and has a much different shape than the 9-1. But what really leads me to believe it’s the 9-5.. it’s got a hatch!!

  20. Hmm, upon closer examination of picture number 2, I must also conclude that the mystery vehicle is indeed the new 9-5.

    Sure is a blurry photo, but if you enhance it in Photoshop a little bit you can clearly see what is visible from the rear door window on the projection screen seems to swoop backwards in a / shape, while the 9-1 concept vehicle has the reverse hockey stick swooping inwards in a \ shape.

  21. Didn’t anyone notice that the 9-3x has written right across its back quarter in the 2nd picture??? How did you manage to miss that but see the extra car on the screen in the background?? Are you all fools???

    How the hell did you get them to do that Swade??? Perhaps you can get a picture of a fat guy with bad clothes on next time? I hear they’re in high demand.

  22. I am indeed interested in the new 9-5. Just wondering if Saab isn’t to late with the
    9-4X and 9-3X, as GM is limiting production in these segments. I am not really interested in the 9-3X as I never liked the Volvo CrossCountry or the Audi Cross whatever.
    More and more I am hoping that the new Saabs will incorporate the front of the 9-X, as that remains stunning. GM also keeps promising a 45 mpg car by 2010, it might be heresy here, but it would be nice if Saab can be one of the first cars to have mileage past the 40 mpgs. (besides the Mini, again BMW)

    By the way, by the time the 9-3X might be out, the rear and front would be totally outdated. I don’t see a point to introduce this car, when the current 9-3 has just two or three years left. Sounds like a 9-2X debacle to me.

    Sorry, I am still excited about the 9-1(X) and the 9-4X, though.

  23. Large, poorly dressed men are indeed in demand, Richo, as your lonely existence would attest.

    Alas, I managed to sneak out of frame in the few seconds between painting the site’s URL on the cars and Monsignor Strupe taking the photo. I may be large, but I’m still quick :-)

  24. KN said: “I think it is the 9-5. I was just playing with that 2nd image in photoshop. The 3rd car on the screen and on stage has side mirrors and has a much different shape than the 9-1. But what really leads me to believe it’s the 9-5.. it’s got a hatch!!”

    I’m quite sure all the credible sources I’ve read so far suggest the 9-5 will come in the body style similar to the Jaguar XF, Lexus GS or Aston Martin Rapide style and with a hybrid hatch/trunk. The Insignia has this:

  25. By the time the 9-3XC makes it to the market, it’ll probably only have a 2 and a half year lifespan. Hopefully the next 9-3 incorporates a crossover model from the very start?

    This is an area of the market Saab be exploiting. SUVs are not.

  26. Had they came out with this in ’03 (as planned originally), I bet they’ve sold quite a few cars !

  27. I can tell you that these foto’s are from the presentation to all the dealers at GM NEXT
    There were 4 cars on stage, the 9-3 X, the 9-4 X and the 9-5 sedan and estate.

  28. It’s obviously an Aero version, the 9-3X. Any news about what engines it will have? Will there be a diesel? Will there be other trim-version (Vector, Linear)? SAAB is first in this segment with an Allroad/Crossover. It’s cheap to make and will get SAAB a lot of positive press and hopefully some new customers. Yes, the next gen 9-3 is due in 3 years time, but this will help keep journos and potential buyers aware of the fact that there is a car called the SAAB 9-3 out there.

  29. The 9-5 Estate must be at the back and have a dark color, it seems. Really looking forward to more pictures…

  30. Exciting times at again.
    I wish the mysterious 3th car to be the 9X B-H preproduction version and not the new 9-5. The actual 9-5 satisfies my needs perfectly, never mind the age of conception or the long lifespan it has (though for better saab sales a completly new 9-5 would be needed).

  31. Nice looking car on ugly-ass wheels… looks like they belong on a Ssang-Yong or something…

  32. 9-4x news – if that is the final production version then I note:
    - definitiely no hood badge
    - addition of roof rails
    - deletion of LED lights around fog lights
    - is that the indicator light now in the mirror housing?
    Looking better everytime I see it!

  33. Looks like unpainted turbo x wheels on the 9-3X. I’m sure the production wheels and tires will be a little more heavy duty.

  34. About the potential of it being the next 9-5 in the second image.. Look through the 9-3x front passanger window and you will see the front end of what I’m guessing is the 9-5, It can’t be the front of the 9-4X. To me it seems to have a lot of Aero X in it, with the large air intakes, pulled down grille etc.. Is this the first “real” image showing an unmasked front end of the next 9-5?

  35. No.. Taking a closer look it´s probably the 9-X BHC.
    But.. The 9-5 is around the corner and just as ready as the 9-4X.

  36. Great to see these images! Thanks Swade and Djup Strupe! Excellent work.

    By using a bit of imagination, I think there says 2.0T on the rear of 9-3x?

    Sideskirts looks exactly from 9-3SS/SC, and that´s no good. They do not offer any cover driving off road. Also chrome bit´s are too bling. Rear and front bumpers are almost straight (the shape) from 9-3 SS/SC. Not higher angles for going over bumps. And it seems as if there´s not much more road clearance. This car is probably more for showing than really going off road. Unfortunately. Or maybe I´m just too picky about it. But this is the model I´ve been waiting for a long time. And if it doesn´t have better off road capabilities than Outback, then it´s not for me and I´ll be replacing my Saab with Scooby.

    But let´s wait and see. It may turn out to be a great new Saab.

  37. There seems to be an extended slant front to this 93 that has gone uncommented upon?

    the nose angle is very sporty and longer below the headlmaps- nice.

  38. Second picture, furthest car back on the projector screen (and the most blurry)….looks like a Sports Coupe? anyone else see it

  39. What I find most curious with these pictures is that you have at least one if not two of the most anticipated releases for Saab in years in the new 9-4x and the new 9-5 and the person taking these pictures didn’t take close ups or better shots of them. If anything the new 9-5 would have been the one I would have had my sights on first if indeed that is the new 9-5…very hard to tell in these pictures….we won’t know yet considering they have kept that car under real tight cover with no spy pics to speak of.
    Just an observation….I can’t wait to see both the 9-4x and 9-5 in Aero trim….sign me up!!!…and build the 9-1 and they will come….believe me….Mini’s and Civics are the hottest meal ticket here in the states right now…you can’t find them.

    Nice new site Steve!!!

  40. Lance, check again, that is the 2007 nose, no change, just some (not enough?) cladding added.

  41. mark, looks like an ’08 style front to me (clamshell hood, kind of the “X” shape flow around fog lights as opposed to the horizontal bottom grill on ’03 thru ’07.

  42. 08 front, the upper part and lamps too. Lower part is different, but still maintains the style of ´08.

  43. has anyone else looked elsewhere on the web at this car? it’s getting absolutely slated by commenters on jalopnik for no reason I can see. I’d love one of these- its exactly what the doctor ordered for saab- they need to spread out into other markets and get some other products out.

  44. Listen to “pat” I bet he was there. He always knows what he’s talking about – “pat” is the oracle.

  45. Do you guys know that it´ll be badged 9-3X? If Pat is right, then I´ll start thinking that these images are not “leaked” but they are teaser shots from Saab/GM. If this is not true, then think of it – there´s a new 9-5 in front of you and you try to keep it shade while you take pics of other models.

    I really do like 9-3X. I truly wish I´ll see it soon in person and on the otherhand I hope the pricing would be reasonable to keep it competitive. Looks like there´s two tone leather Seats in Aero style. Previously we read from TS that 9-3X will get unique leather/cloth seats. I hope the latter will be the case.

    What do you think about the badge? Is it 2.8T or 2.0T? There´s XWD badge below it. Also the colour might be a new one. At least on these images it looks like greyish metallic.

    More image Djup Strupe, please!? Excellent car.

  46. These photos must be from the GM conference a couple of months ago.
    The same conference where SAAB showed the 9-5 “dummy”, 9-3Xand the production ready 9-4x.
    So you guys claming to see the 9-5 at the back might be right…only time will tell…

    Impressive of Djup Strupe to sneak the camera/phone in. The conference was a “high-security” event…

  47. MarkoA: The 9-3X was Saab’s Crossover Coupe concept from 2002 and a far more interesting car.
    Have a look at the real one.

    Hopefully the 9-3SC crossover will get a different name. 9-3SCX or 9-3XC or something.
    With the 9-3 scheduled to be replaced for MY2012, it most likely won’t have a very long product life. Only probably 2 years or so. With luck Saab will incorporate crossovers immediately when the new range debuts.

  48. hello all

    did anyone notice on pic2???
    there is a on the videowall behind the 9-4x!!!

    cheers joachim

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