At the beginning of 1998, the Swedes presented an updated version of their 900 model. By analogy with the company’s new flagship, the Saab 9-5 sedan, the car was named 9-3. In appearance, it was very similar to the ancestor of the 900 model, only the front began to look more like a Saab 9-5. The biggest update in the interior was the speedometer with a non-linear scale, whose digitization was “stretched” at 140 km / h and then “compressed”. Scales of this type are widely used in aeronautical technology. The first generation of Saab 9-3 has three body types. For the most practical 5-door hatchback offered. This model was equipped with a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine that produced 225 hp. The car was reinforced, compared to the standard version, the brakes and a stiffer sport suspension, which was developed in conjunction with specialists from the English company TWR. In the Saab 9-3 three types of transmission were installed. The most exotic and very rare was a mechanic with an automatic clutch (this box is called Sensonic). The gears are changed there as in any manual gearbox, moving the lever, but there is no clutch pedal!

Sensonic appeared in 1995, but after several years of production of this transmission, Saab decided not to do it more: it was too expensive and did not have much demand. But the standard 5-speed manual and the 4-speed automatic from the Japanese company Aisin have proven to be very reliable gearboxes. The car is distinguished by a high degree of equipment: the basic version is already equipped with power steering, air conditioning, airbag, ABS and power accessories. The aerodynamic trim kit is also included as standard. Also, Swedish cars have a twist as unusual as the night mode on the instrument panel, when the readings on the on-board computer, the air conditioning and everything else except the speedometer light go out. It is noteworthy that the Saab 9-3 is one of the safety records in its class. Along with the extensive zones of programmed deformation that exist in the front and rear parts of the body, the passenger compartment of the car is equipped with a very strong force structure with numerous reinforcement ribs from the floor to the ceiling. In addition, active SAHR head restraints (Saab active head restraints) and a complete set of airbags are responsible for providing passive safety. In the fall of 1999, the Saab 9-3 Aero appeared. This car took an intermediate position between the “solo” 9-3 c 185 hp turbo engine about cover for my travel trailer 26 ft.

Photo Saab 9-3

and a viggen of 225 men. For many fanatics of powerful turbocharged engines, it became the first affordable car of this class, combining the prestige of the brand, a remarkable power and a reasonable price. A crowded cabin, a lot of instruments: all this requires mastering and getting used to, which does not come immediately. There is even a booster pressure sensor, but in principle, the on-board computer works without reading the instructions, it is not easy to understand, there are many functions. Because of the number of buttons per square meter that surrounds the driver, it is difficult to find the Aero 9-3 Aero. They are scattered everywhere: the management of the mirrors is in the pillar of the front door, the electric windows are between the driver and the passenger, the lock of the trunk is in the center of the upholstery of the driver’s door. The sport mode is activated with a button on the grip of the automatic transmission, and the winter mode is the same, but it is located next to the gear selector. This is the signature style of Saab, different from the usual. The two-liter engine brought a power of 205 hp.

Photo Saab 9-3

The power unit was installed in a standard 9-3 chassis, which led to a marked decrease in control capacity and high-speed directional stability. In 2002, it will debut a completely new model, the 9-3. The emergence of the second generation marked an important change in brand policy. First, they abandoned the utilitarian hatchback in favor of the classic representative sedan. The name Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan was not chosen by chance. With this step, the company’s marketers emphasized the nature and characteristics of the model. The 9-3 also includes a truck and a convertible. The second-generation Saab 9-3 was built on the Epsilon platform, on which the Opel Vectra is based. To be fair, it is worth noting that many of the elements are specially refined and customized differently. In the rear suspension new flexible elements designed to provide the effect of the direction in the curves are used.

The range of active safety electronic systems has been dramatically extended: 9-3 received anti-lock and traction control systems, brake force distribution systems on the line and in the corners, and the ESP stabilization system is also included in the list of options. All these measures are designed to help the 9-3 model to compete on equal terms with the partners of the premium brands (mainly with the BMW 3 series and the Mercedes-Benz C class). It’s great that with all the innovations this car is Saab two hundred percent. The company Saab in the style of the interior of its automobiles stays faithful to the tradition, reason why the interior has not undergone significant changes during several decades. The interior decoration is dominated by a strict color scheme, which is also characteristic of the entire range of company models. For the decoration of the space they are used as classic materials, for example, leather and modern fabrics and plastics. For the design of the cabin Saab 9-3 second generation of textured fabric with leather inserts was used. Leather inserts on the door panels are combined with leather upholstered seats, steering wheel and gear lever. If you wish, you can ask for seats, fully upholstered in leather. Compared to the previous model, the interior of the car has become more spacious. The driver’s seat is very well equipped.

Also on the steering wheel, audio control buttons were provided, which allow you not to get distracted from the road if you want to increase the volume or change the station. Under the right hand there is a comfortable adjustable armrest, behind which an additional 12 V socket is installed. The ignition lock (which is quite common, but only for SAAB) is placed in the tunnel between the front seats, just behind the gearshift lever. The safety of the car is at a very high level, as evidenced by the EuroNCAP tests, where SAAB 9-3 received five stars: the highest rating. Standard features include front passenger and driver airbags, side and top airbags, belt pretensioners, active front headrests and many other systems that provide safety in emergency situations. Well, the main advantage of the Saab company are the famous turbo engines, in the production of which for 25 years, the Swedish engineers have reached a high level. For the 9-3 Sport Sedan, the Swedes developed a new two-liter engine with an aluminum block and a cylinder head. There are three options for this unit.

The most modest – 2.0 HP 150 HP engine. In addition, in the alignment there is a 2.0T engine (unlike the previous one in the capital “T”), 175 HP are already developed. The 2.0 turbo superior engine with a more efficient turbocharger develops 210 hp. Saab 9-3, as before, was still a front-wheel drive car. The engines are paired with a five or six speed manual transmission. And for a fee, you can get a five-speed automatic “Saab Sentronic” with the gear shift function on the steering wheel. For production cars there are two types of suspension: standard and sporty, which is installed only on the Saab 9-3 Aero. Structurally, the suspension is the same, but for Aero, the suspension is “sharpened” in a different way, in a sporty way. The first time the second-generation Saab 9-3 was produced only in a sedan, but already in 2003 a convertible (Convertible) appeared. The models were made in parallel. It is known that a body structure of this type reduces its rigidity and this negatively affects the handling and comfort. The Swedes have improved the torsional rigidity index three times compared to the previous model!

Photo Saab 9-3

This was achieved due to the fact that the front and rear parts of the car, as well as the lateral power elements are combined with a type of reinforcing ring, which largely compensates for the lack of roof, positively affecting driving performance and passive safety. Convertible traditionally for all modern Saab offers the highest level of protection. It is implemented in the following way. In the front seats the integrated frames in which the seat belts are mounted. The front airbags are adaptable, their impact resistance depends on the impact force. A powerful body structure with reinforced front reinforcements and a calculated deformation algorithm leaves a large amount of space for those who sit in the car during an accident. According to the ideology of the Saab 9-3 family, excellent handling is one of the main advantages of this model. The suspension is exactly the same as the 9-3 Sport Sedan. Your configuration should please the active driver. The engines are also familiar to us from the sedan. These are two-liter units of sixteen valves equipped with a turbocharger. Power – 175 or 210 HP. Since 2006, the range of engines of the model year has been opened by a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated engine with a capacity of 122 hp, followed by a 2.0-liter turbocharged version with a capacity of 150 hp, 175 hp. or 210 CV (Aero version). With a line of power units are the new turbocharged 2.8-liter Holden turbocharged engines with a power of 230 hp or 250 hp. In addition, for some markets, 1.9-liter turbo diesel engines are offered, which are developed in a version of 8 valves of 120 HP and one of 16 valves of 150 HP.

The turbodiesel complies with Euro 4 environmental standards, equipped with a new self-cleaning anti-soot filter that significantly reduces CO2 emissions. Choice of KP: “mechanical” of 5 or 6 steps or “automatic” of 5 or 6 steps. The monumentality of the center console, the instrument cluster and the overall style of the cabin are made in the tradition of the Saab brand. The steering wheel covered with soft leather has a familiar set of keys: audio system, mobile phone control, cruise control. In addition, there is a new button that controls the AVR system, which allows the driver to give voice commands, control the navigation system, the integrated phone, the CD player and the radio. In addition, the Saab 9-3 Sport sedan uses the ComSens system, which cuts emergency warnings or incoming calls to the built-in mobile phone at times when the driver drives the car in extreme conditions. At the end of the “dangerous modes”, the indicators on the panel light up and incoming calls begin to be received. Outside, this is the same Saab 9-3. Bumpers and body color thresholds give the car a more aggressive look. 17-inch wheels and a spoiler on the boot lid leave no room for doubt in sports ambitions. Since the summer of 2005, sales of the Saab 9-3 Sport Combi, a sports car based on the 9-3 Sport Sedan, started in Europe. For the dynamic style, the designers refused to increase the length of the body, as a result, the trunk volume is 419 to 1273 liters. Gamma engines and configuration similar to the sedan.

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