Saab's new 2012 9-3 will rely on the current car's underpinnings and not a new platform
6 April 2010

The next-generation Saab 9-3 will be based on the current car’s Epsilon I platform, according to the firm’s boss Victor Muller.

The platform has been used to underpin the 9-3 since 2003 and it had been thought the new 9-3 would use General Motor’s new Delta platform, as seen on the Vauxhall Astra and Chevrolet Cruze.

Instead, Muller said the new 9-3 would rely on the current car’s underpinnings, albeit with major modifications to suite Saab’s tastes.

"It's a heavily modified Epsilon I platform, but [it belongs to] Saab now,” said Muller. “So that's the basis for the new 9-3; we have no further restraints so we don't have to share it with anyone else.

“This means we can knock ourselves out to make it the car we want it to be."

Saab intends to launch the new 9-3 in 2012 as part of its recovery plan.

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Comments
26

6 April 2010

I wonder how many will still consider it a Vectra platform even though the current 9-3 version uses less than 40% of the original 2001 Epsilon architecture?

6 April 2010

Probably still be OK as long as they tweak and improve it. The Delta platform would hardly have been suitable as the Astra is a much smaller car.

6 April 2010

Should be revealing as with no constraints we should see how Saab expect there cars to drive this time. Maybe the ride will not up to the leatest standards but the handling should reveal how Saab are really positioning themselves

6 April 2010

I don't really see this as a major problem. The fact that Saab now own the chassis should see a number of changes to bring it in line with current thinking. It's how long they will be reliant on it that may prove to be an issue.

6 April 2010

[quote Jon Hardcastle]I don't really see this as a major problem.[/quote] Me neither. The fact that Muller is talking so passionately and enthusiastically suggests they really want Saab to work, and they wouldn't be re-using the platform if they didn't think it could work. Looking forward to seeing what the next 9-3 looks like...

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

6 April 2010

This looks like a classic problem of a company without sufficient funds. The old platform can be re-engineered but its still an old platform and not a good one at that.

6 April 2010

I thought I'd read at about Christmas time on this site that the "old" 9-3 and 9-5 designs including platforms had been sold to BAIC of China for £125 million?

6 April 2010

We will now see what SAAB engineers can do. Lets face it, Volvos ride and handle with the competence of a pram but are based upon Ford platforms that are class leading when they are tuned by Ford engineers. Likewise VW share platforms between brands and get very mixed results from one to another. Half of GMs problems with epsilon 1 was a lack of rigidity and low spec dampers and bushing. Have a look at Abbott racing who can do wonders by re bushing and damping old SAABs

6 April 2010

Oh dear. I can only hope that SAAB's engineers can work some magic. I had an '06 9-3 for a while and the handling and ride for a £20k ish car was woeful, in fact even worse than my current '02 9-3! I'll keep my fingers crossed.......

6 April 2010

[quote saintly78]I thought I'd read at about Christmas time on this site that the "old" 9-3 and 9-5 designs including platforms had been sold to BAIC of China for £125 million? [/quote]

Yes, I think it was technology for the old GM900/9-3 (i.e. 1993-2003) and the old 9-5 (which is being replaced this year) which was sold, so this wouldn't affect the current line-up.

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