Saab Car Gets Makeover; Prince Charles Drives

By: Zeke Gervis

It has been so long since Saab made fresh news in the field of automobiles. Lately, Saab fans have not had much to get excited about. And one possible reason for such long time idleness is that General Motors (GM) in 2000 took full control of the Swedish brand. In effect, Saab is now known as little more than another GM division. Nonetheless, it would not yield a negative effect if the Detroit auto maker could find a way to take Saab back to its distinct roots.

And since GM knows how to handle its car marques, the public should know expect the start of such a reformation as the Saab compact 9-3 undergoes makeover.

The compact 9-3 is Saab's most well known model. For 2008, this car is inspired by the Aero X concept car that was first exhibited in 2006 at the Geneva auto show and more recently at the Detroit show in 2007.

With quality , the compact 9-3 comes with a new fascia that exudes the blending of the elements from the Aero X, the extinct Subaru Impreza-based 9-2X, and the larger 9-5: the hood, which has a horseshoe-shaped raised section, is based from the Aero X's engine cover; its clamshell design is familiar as it was used on the 9-5; and the fog light and lower air intake is similar to those found on the 9-2X. New on the compact 9-3 are the headlights and trademark three-section grille.

According to GM, the new front together with the revised rear end and instrument panel make the new 9-3 more focused and more assertive in attitude. The company also said that the clamshell hood resembles the legendary 1967 Saab 99.

The 9-3's turbocharged engine (with ample amount of torque) choices remains: a 2.0-litre four-cylinder that is suited for a 210 horsepower, and a 2.8-litre V6 that receives an extra 5 horsepower this year, for a total of 255 horsepower.

The 2008 Saab 9-3 is expected to be in showrooms in late September.

Here is another good news for Saab fans! To promote the Brighton-to-London Eco Car rally, Prince Charles of Britain was able to drive a Saab Bio-power 9-3 convertible along with Honda Civic Hybrid, a 7 Series BMW Hydrogen 7 and a silver Ford Focus Cell when he took a rush of environmentally friendly vehicles for a spin Monday to launch an eco car rally.

The handsome prince test-drove these four of the newest vehicles that are environment friendly (when it comes to gas emission) in the car park at London's Hampton Court Palace.

All these cars are powered by alternative fuels to petrol: the Saab was powered by bio-ethanol E85 that was made from fermented plant matter; the Honda used automatic petrol and electric motored vehicle; and the other two vehicles was powered by hydrogen.

The prince said that he could not give an electric scooter a try for the reason that he might fall from it.

Charles arrived riding in his bio-fuel navy blue Jaguar which was converted three months ago. He has two bio-fuel Jaguars and one converted Audi in his fleet. He flew to the Richmond palace from his home in Scotland - Birkhall - in a twin turbo-propelled private charter plane.

According to a Clarence House source, the prince wanted to use the twin turbo charter plane because it is relatively cleaner and emits relatively less carbon dioxide (CO2) than a jet plane.

The Brighton-to-London Eco Car rally ended in Trafalgar Square where the 20 participant cars were on display to celebrate the World Environment Day.

About Saab
Saab is a line of automobiles that is being manufactured by Saab Automobile AB. It is currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of the General Motors Corporation. Saab is the exclusive automobile Royal Warrant Holder as appointed by H.M., the King of Sweden. Products from Volvo, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz directly compete with Saab.

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