Our friend Swade over at Trollhattan Saab has had a big news weekend. One of Swade?s swedish based ?intelligence contacts? has confirmed that the next generation Saab 9-3 will be built on GM?s Delta II platform ? their premium compact architecture.
The big news here is not just the choice of platform but how the Delta II platform will change the 9-3. Delta II is expected to underpin the volume selling Opel Astra among others and to-date, the largest concept vehicle built on Delta II is the Opel Flextreme. The Flextreme is 4550mm in length compared to the current 9-3?s length of 4647mm ? which makes it reasonable to assume that Saab will be downsizing the 9-3.
Saab?s Trollhattan plant in Sweden is one of four manufacturing plants chosen to manufacture vehicles based on Delta II in Europe with production of Delta II based vehicles not expected to get underway until at least 2010.
What this means for fans of the Swedish marque is that there will be more differentiation between the 9-3 and 9-5 with the 9-5 falling more comfortably into the role of the larger premium model while the 9-3 will be the lighter smaller and possibly (hopefully) well suited to some factory performance fiddling.
If Saabs tug on your heart strings then do yourself a favour and head over to Trollhattan Saab ? everything you need to know about the Swedish marque is there and more.