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Mike Stevens | Nov 11, 2011

A single shot of Saab's next 9-3 has surfaced online this week, confirming the sharp new style suggested in the grainy fax-like image that leaked earlier this month.

Styled to merge the look of the new 9-5 with the recent Phoenix concept, the 9-3 shown here features Saab's familiar coupe-like C-pillar design.

It adopts the same wrap-around glasshouse as the larger sedan, leading into a sloping bonnet that combines with the long roofline and bulging rear guards to create the fastest looking 9-3 yet.

The new 9-3 will reportedly stick with a front-wheel-drive layout, and according to reports out of Europe, the car is built on a platform unique to Saab.

Whether the small-to-mid-sized sedan will ever arrive in showrooms is unclear, with Saab facing continuing financial troubles and a setback in its plans to take on Chinese owners.

Earlier this week, General Motors, which holds preferred shares in Saab, said that it could not support a deal if its own Chinese interests were at risk. A spokesman for the American carmaker confirmed that it is willing to negotiate, however.

For its part, one of the two Chinese companies involved in the deal, Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobiles, said this week that it is still interested.

Speaking with the Swedish press, Zhejiang director Rachel Pang said the company will do "everything we can" to push the sale through.

"If you are afraid you cannot succeed in business. There are always difficulties. One has to find solutions, not just give up," Ms Pang said.

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