Mike Stevens | Mar 28, 2011

Saab looks to be pulling out all the stops for its next-generation 9-3 line-up. New reports out of the US this week suggest the Swedish carmaker will introduce a hybrid variant at launch in 2013.

According to website The Detroit Bureau, "senior officials" at Saab have confirmed basic details on the new variant, including the pairing of the brand's current V6 arrangement with an electric motor.

The report claims that while the 2.8 litre petrol V6 will drive the front wheels, a new motor and clutch assembly will power the rear wheels.

The system is reportedly being developed to fit within Saab's existing XWD all-wheel-drive platform, sending power from the electric motor to either the left or right rear wheel when needed most.

Saab has previously experimented with electric vehicle technology in the form of its ePower 9-3 Sport Combi concept, but the next-generation 9-3 will mark its first production hybrid offering.

Saab has previously confirmed that its new 9-3 will utilise the platform that underpins the Phoenix concept shown at Geneva earlier this month.

The new 9-3 is expected to make its international debut in early 2013.

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