Saab is back. Well, nearly. Today the carmaker has confirmed that a first pre-production 9-3 sedan has rolled off the assembly line at its Trollhattan plant in Sweden.
The 'new' car carries a serial number, spokesman Mikael Östlund said, but it will not be sold to the public. Rather, a handful of pre-production cars will be used for testing before the brand is relaunched in the coming year.
The announcement follows news in August that Saab's new owner, National Electric Vehicles Sweden, had reopened the carmaker's factory in preparation for a full return to production.
The car that rolled out of Trollhattan this week is nearly identical to the 9-3 sedan offered until the end of 2011, with only a new 'griffin-less' SAAB badge setting it apart.
The 9-3 is expected to benefit from a subtle makeover before full production resumes, designed to help the ageing car compete with newer rivals.
The updated 9-3 is expected to get a turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine, along with a number of key new technologies and features.
[Details and photos via SaabsUnited]