With more lives than the average cat, the Saab 9-3 prepares for a new life in Turkey

TUBITAK Saab 9-3 prototypes
Anadolu Agency
Saab’s highly-publicized fight for survival has been full of ups and downs, and it’s far from over. The Turkish government has announced that it has purchased the right to build the 13-year old, second-generation 9-3 from Saab parent company National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS).

Cash-strapped as always, NEVS is working closely with engineers from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) to turn the 9-3 into what government officials promise will be a “Turkish national car.” The project sounds promising on paper, but the first few prototypes (pictured) have been lambasted by the local press because they’re all but identical to the Cadillac BLS, a 9-3-based sedan that was briefly sold across Europe.

Fikri Işık, Turkey’s minister of science, industry and technology, responded to the criticism by pointing out that “no car is 100-percent original.” He has nonetheless promised that the final product will be an original model that will be “admirable.”

Additional details are vague at best, and all we know for sure is that Turkey will build a version of the 9-3 sedan. The government hasn’t decided if the still-nameless car will be assembled by a private company or by a newly-formed state-owned entity. Similarly, whether the 9-3 convertible and the 9-3 station wagon will be added to the revamped lineup is anyone’s guess at this point.

Power is expected to come from gasoline- and diesel-burning four-cylinder engines, though their origins remain unknown. However, TÜBİTAK’s ultimate goal is to develop an all-electric version of the sedan with input from NEVS.

The deal with NEVS gives TÜBİTAK access to a time-tested — albeit dated by today’s standards — platform in a quick and cheap manner. NEVS hasn’t disclosed how much it sold the 9-3 for, but Işık told Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News that the platform was “very affordable.”

For NEVS’ shareholders, the deal with the Turkish government is a way to generate much-needed cash by simply putting its assets to work. Backed by the deep pockets of China’s Dongfeng Motor Corporation, the consortium of investors that make up NEVS still haven’t given up on the ambitious idea of breathing new life into Saab.

Built locally, Turkey’s version of the 9-3 will be distributed in a handful of Eastern European and Middle Eastern nations. However, it will most likely not be sold in Western Europe or in the United States.

Cars

The Polestar 2, Sweden’s answer to the Tesla Model 3, begins taking shape

Volvo sister company Polestar has released a teaser image to give us our first look at the 2, its second model. Polestar tells us the 2 will arrive as a four-door fastback with a 400-hp electric powertrain and about 300 miles of range.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Legion'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Cars

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…
Cars

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Outdoors

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.
Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.
Cars

2020 Kia Soul and Soul EV continue to think inside the box

The 2020 Kia Soul is the third generation of Kia's boxy curiosity. The Soul maintains its signature look, but gets tech and powertrain upgrades. The all-electric Soul EV returns as well.
Cars

Psychedelic Volkswagen Microbus from Woodstock returns for an encore

With its trippy paint scheme, the Volkswagen "Light" bus became a symbol of the 1969 Woodstock music festival. VW teamed up with the artist who created this rolling mural to stage a comeback in time for Woodstock's 50th anniversary.
Cars

Amazon plugs in with $700 million investment in electric pickup company Rivian

Amazon invested $700 million for a minority stake in U.S. all-electric truck maker Rivian, according to a joint release. The announcement follows a Reuters report that GM and Amazon might invest $1 billion to $2 billion in the company.
Cars

2019 RAM 1500 Classic Warlock special edition: Badass style without the whoop

If you like the looks of blacked-out badass trucks without the cost of a desert racer, FCA announced the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock, a special edition pickup that focuses on appearance with only a touch of additional off-road capability.
Product Review

Mercedes-Benz updates the timeless G-wagen for the modern world

For decades, the G-Class has been an outlier in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, a body-on-frame brute with the soul – and driving manners – of an off-road pickup. With the all-new G550, Mercedes seeks to smooth out some of the rough edges.