SAAB comeback. Look at the first 9-3 under NEVS direction.

Time for a glimpse of the first, produced under NEVS ownership Saab 9-3. We did not expect a new car and we did not get one. More a kind of evolution of Griffin series vintage 2011.

He rolls off the line: Saab 9-3 number 1 from NEVS
He rolls off the line: Saab 9-3 number 1 from NEVS

NEVS speaks of the model year 2014, the optical changes are marginal. But, to be fair, a lot has changed under the tin. Not visible to us, there are 200 modified parts, and NEVS has replaced more than a quarter of its suppliers with other sources. Maybe a reason why it took so long to reboot.

What first catches the eye is the new seating concept, which can be seen here for the first time in a Saab. On Monday, the new seating provided for lively discussions among German and Swedish fans. Are the seats saabisch? Does NEVS betray the long tradition of first-class seats right away with the first change? Things are changing, even traditional design, no question. Nevertheless, a difficult topic. Mark and I know what we are talking about. Because in the last few days we were traveling with three rental cars in Germany and Sweden.

First a Mercedes C Class with indisputable seats, then an Audi A4 Avant. The seats are better than in the Benz, but clearly the worse choice compared to the Saab 9-3. But with an enormously powerful seat heating. There were also in the Audi A5, with pseudo-sporty Alcantara seats. Which would say the positive about the A5, because a relaxed position like in the Saab did not want to set in. After 50 kilometers, I was really happy to be able to leave the Ingolstadt, getting out can be so nice! Only Mark had another 400 kilometers of motorway ahead of him and my sympathy. Are we spoiled Quite sure, because every day countless sales representatives from the concrete industry speed down our highways in their Audis and think the seats are great. We want more, are demanding and would like to get new cars from Sweden at the same high level as before.

So back to NEVS and the Griffin Evolution. The seats look good, even better than in the pictures, feel good. The leather is soft and, after the first impression, is of high quality. More valuable than the leather previously used in the 9-3 and probably more demanding than what Saab offered as premium leather at the time. The visible seams are very nice ... and then - yes then - we come to the headrests. They like it or they don't. In nature they are better than in the photos, and the embossed Saab logo speaks for attention to detail and builds a bridge to the Saab 900 and 9000 tradition.

Of course they are active headrests we see here. A refined, refined version of the original Saab innovation that (presumably) comes from a German supplier. The active headrest should be even better, even smaller riders can actively protect.

However, a seat is only a good seat if you immediately find a suitable position. So seated and - miracle - everything fits! This is not representative, but if this can be assessed in the short time, NEVS has done a good job here. Because immediately it not only occurs to me that such seats are really chic and I would like to have them in my car. A clear indication of a good choice. There was also something else. The Saab produced by NEVS had it: the typical Saab new car scent. A little crazy detail, perhaps without meaning, that not only I noticed.

All good? Just like that, maybe. Because the seats harmonize with my height, which is average. People with fairly long legs may find the overlay too short. Only a practical test will be able to clarify this.

Otherwise, the car has changed little. The griffin has disappeared. The silver Saab logo on a black background, found on bonnet, rims, engine cover and steering wheel, looks better than expected. Even a traditionalist like me will be able to live with it. Probably sometime after Saab-Scania and Saab with Greif without Scania pulls the third variant in our fleet.

It will be exciting for the 9-3 with the “Update”. A new front is expected, which should be beefier than before. The Saab will then have the required pedestrian protection, the entire front and bonnet will be modified accordingly. There should be other infotainment systems in the interior, the controls should be modified.

And then there was the story with the engines. More casually mentioned and deliberately left vague is hard to interpret what might come up. Under the hood is currently working to a large extent in Trollhättan developed and manufactured by GM 2 liter direct injection turbo engine. In the Saab, the engine called A20NFT delivers 220 PS and 350 Newton meters. It would be possible that further gradations are used, or that it comes to an upgrade to more power. We will see !

The first 9-3 evolutionary stage under NEVS direction is made only in small numbers, even to ensure the appropriate quality. The sales in Sweden goes over the Internet, you can order from the 10. December. Only buyers residing in Saab's home country can place their orders and then pick up the new Saab at the factory, along with a tour of the museum. So German customers would need a good friend in Sweden or a few more patience until NEVS releases evolution number two.

Saab No. 1 - rear view
Saab No. 1 - rear view

Internet sales for Sweden is an experiment, based on Tesla in the USA, that is acknowledged in the Stallbacka. That brings us to the business section. What is NEVS planning with the Saab brand and what's next? Do we get cars for Germany? We asked questions in Trollhättan and got interesting answers. The development of things from a blogger's point of view follows, but it can take a while. Because the next article won't be too easy to write and my desk and mailbox will be overflowing. A little patience - the word should be familiar - is therefore called for.




20 thoughts on "SAAB comeback. Look at the first 9-3 under NEVS direction."

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    Thank you for the detailed report.
    But the Audi seats, I think not so bad, especially those of the described part leather Alcantara seats (S-Line) I like very much. I find that no more convenient / uncomfortable than the seats in the 9-3 III.
    Every time I change from 9-5 I or 9-3 II / III in my 9000, I feel like I'm getting into other spans. However, this only applies to the 94 built-in Bridge of Wire seats, which with Elmo leather are hardly better than those in the 9-5.
    However, I have to recognize with envy that there are now better seats than in the 9000.
    The new S-Class and the new A8 have fantastic seats, but unfortunately the seats alone cost as much as 2 9000: D.
    If you like, you can come by to try it out ...

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    This new 9-3 has apparently got a facelift! She is beautiful, sporty and aggressive for my taste. I would like to order this black Saab. Top class!

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    Mike, the engines are from GM, and GM built them for Opel. One was gracious enough and allowed Saab to stick his own emblem on it.

    So the engine looks at the Insignia, or with a bit more power in the Astra OPC.

    Even worse, I found it with the 9-4x Aero with the Cadillac cover and the relatively ordinary-looking Monster TURBO V6 lettering!

    Compare 9-4x and SRX.

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    Phew ... I don't know what to make of the seats. In the pictures here and on SU they look somehow “lax”. I think the sports seats in the “old” 93 are optically top notch, the new ones are nowhere near enough. However, I do not find mine suitable for long distances, I actually always have a neck, also find it a bit too narrow! Maybe the new ones are better !?

    But what does not work are these headrests! I already found it in the 95-II botch, just the look. The Saab headrests are the hockey stick! Distinguishing feature, basta! Something else has to happen, at least not those boring things! The whole combination of seat and support is unfortunately very static. (

    On SU I saw a picture of the engine, seems to be a new cover. Why was the Turbo logo changed? It now looks like the many current Opel on the tailgate ... Todo # 2 ... 😉

    Did you notice that?

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    I have the pleasure of driving to the office via the motorway and after 5 years and 200000 km it is still fun for me that I never had with other cars! I am also someone who works in the concrete industry and therefore travels a lot. I've driven quite a few other brands, which may even have been better, but I've never felt as comfortable in any car as in my Saab! I can't describe it, it's like the "welcome home" feeling! And when I read such small details as the Saab logo is used in the headrests, it shows me that the love for (Saab) detail still exists and that fills me with joy! Because it defines the car and the brand! And I drive my car until I can buy a new one here in Germany again !!

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    The seats should still meet higher requirements than the old SAHR2 (Saab Active Head Restrain) system in the Lear seats. They probably come from JCI, a not exactly small and insignificant manufacturer, as you can read from Belgian production. Here also the proximity to Volvo, which also use first-class seats. I'm assuming that in the new seat not only the headrest but also the backrest itself pushes up and forward (see Volvo). It's nice that when choosing a supplier alternative, the already high security standard was apparently improved again. I'm excited to see when NEVS will finally advertise the improvements, after all, sales will start soon ...

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      Do not expect too much, too fast. NEVS is in the start-up phase, we will see first actions in a few months, when the expected update comes.

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    Hopefully with the “Upgrade 2014” you will also leave the speedometer in the CENTER, so that you can still see the most important display in front of you: the speed.
    In the meantime, it has been speculated that the reason for the raging, non-saab-driven fellow human beings is that they display all sorts of unnecessary information in the instrument cluster centrally, and only incidentally the speed.

    That's what - I think - is what makes Saab (among others) what it is: the love for details and the thoughtfulness of these.

    In this respect, I am excited to see what the future will bring - hopefully a five-door 9-1 as a competitor to the BMW 1 series.

    All a good trip through the slippery season!

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    I find it interesting that the engine in the NEVS SAAB is also developed by SAAB.
    I thought that would be a GM development while the only of GM was plugged.
    Then yes, first there would be an engine on which you can build.
    Or could GM spark between?

    The headrests are not bad.
    Of course you have to get used to it but that will be fine.
    You have to be glad that this car ever stands before us.

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    Oh, I forgot something else. How high is the clock rate? 10 per week? How the media write it?

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      Currently, 2 vehicles a day, 5 days a week. One had announced very little production. NEVS is hiring additional employees in production, the process is currently running. The clock rate will be increased from week to week.

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        OK. Just wanted to hear it again from a safe source. You know what you can believe the media like that.

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    I think he can keep up with other cars very well and doesn't have to hide. Especially the price is reasonable. What else do you get for € 30000? A golf or poorly equipped Passat? But who wants that. The very thought is creepy. Tom, let's not wait too long for the next article.

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    Does NEVS buy the parts directly or source them via Orio? Is Orio only used in After Sales with the affiliated dealers? How do software updates / support (Orio?) Occur?

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      NEVS is completely autonomous, with its own purchase. Orio is currently the logistics provider for NEVS; the warehouse in Nyköping is used. There is currently a “Letter of Intent”, a non-binding declaration of intent that Orio and NEVS will cooperate in the area of ​​after sales for the new vehicles. That is the current status, discussions are ongoing.

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    Thank you for the picture report !!

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