Skip to main content

Night of the living Saab: the reanimated swedish automaker begins production of 9-3

night living saab reanimated automaker begins production 9 3 first new
The first new Saab 9-3 rolls of the production line at Trollhattan. Not pictured: trolls. Image used with permission by copyright holder

Saab has risen from the grave and it wants your brains! Errrr … Euros.

That’s right; the previously-defunct Swedish automaker is producing cars again.

The reborn 9-3s are the first Saabs to roll of the – troll infested – Trollhatten production line in nearly two years. 

Don’t get it wrong, though. These cars aren’t actually new, they’re updated versions of the 2012 Saab 9-3 destined for sale in China. From the information available, Saab won’t be returning to the United States anytime soon. That’s a shame because Saab is a favorite of ours at Digital Trends, and it might have an interesting future ahead of it.

To understand where it’s going, it’s useful to go through a brief refresher on where Saab has been. When GM imploded under the weight of its own managerial acumen in 2010, it sold off Saab to minuscule Dutch carmaker Spyker. Unsurprisingly, this handful of Dutchmen armed with a mere fist-full of cash was unable to right Saab’s ship, and the company went under by the end of 2011.

Since then, several ambitious witchdoctors have pooled their forces to bring Saab back from the dead. The odd group prominently features National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) and the investment arm of Chinese city Qingdao. 

Together, they are brining back the 9-3. Though the model going on sale in 2014 will be little different from the one that went down with the ship in 2011, the car has an interesting future ahead of it.

According to Reuters, NEVS will be designing a full-on EV version of the car that will go on sale in 2015. This is good and bad news.

Saab is precisely the car company you want to make an EV, they have always been known for intriguing, stylish cars with a unique personality. The downside is that we almost certainly won’t be getting it in the United States.

That, too, is a shame. But none the less, we at Digital Trends wish Saab, its new owners, and the trolls of Trollhattan well. 

Editors' Recommendations

Peter Braun
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Peter is a freelance contributor to Digital Trends and almost a lawyer. He has loved thinking, writing and talking about cars…
Mercedes-Benz G580 vs Rivian R2: Is the much cheaper Rivian actually better?
2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 from three quarter view.

Mercedes-Benz has finally taken the wraps off of the new "Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology." Yeah, it's a mouthful, but it's basically a new electric G-Wagon. It looks a lot like the G-Wagon you know and love, but with an electric powertrain and a battery. It's not the only electric SUV out there, however, and there are some great ones -- like the Rivian R2.

Both the Mercedes G580 and the Rivian R2 have a lot going for them, but they also approach the electric SUV slightly differently. Is one better than the other? I put the two head-to-head to find out.
Design
The approach that the two vehicles take to design is quite different -- and you might like one better than the other.

Read more
Mercedes-Benz G580 vs GMC Hummer EV: rugged EVs face off
2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 from three quarter view.

There's finally an electric G-Wagon. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new vehicle, officially called the Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology, after months of rumors and camouflaged sightings. But it's not the only rugged electric vehicle out there. In fact, there are quite a few EVs that could be considered rugged -- like the Rivian R1S, the Rivian R2, and, of course, the Hummer EV.

But how do the Mercedes-Benz G580 and GMC Hummer EV compare? Is one a better rugged electric vehicle than the other? Here's a look at the two vehicles, head to head.
Design
If you love the look of recent-generation G-Wagons, you'll love the look of the new G580. To be sure, it isn't exactly the same as other recent models, but it's certainly close, with a squared-off design and sharp corners. It keeps the metallic ladder frame panels and the flat roofline, and it's available in a variety of colors.

Read more
The Kia EV3 could be the cheap electric SUV we’ve been waiting for
White Kia EV3

The Kia EV9 was already one of the cheapest ways to get an electric SUV, but now the company is taking things to the next level. After teasing the Kia EV3 last year, the car is now official.

The EV3 is built to be a slightly smaller, cheaper version of the EV9 -- following the path of the Rivian R2, which arrived after the Rivian R1S. It's certainly not as technologically advanced as the EV9, but it still looks unmistakably like a modern Kia, and is clearly a sibling of the larger SUV. On the outside, the vehicle has the same split taillights and very similar Tiger Face front. But it is quite a bit smaller. The vehicle will be available in nine finishes -- however only "Aventurine Green" and "Terracotta" are being announced right now.

Read more