2011MY Saab 9-3: Cleaner Diesels and New 163HP 2.0 Petrol with XWD

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The 2011 model year brings another round of enhancements for Saab's long overdue for replacement, 9-3, comprising mostly of tweaks to the diesel engine range.

In particular, all three diesel models benefit from more advanced twin turbocharging technology, which not only helps reduce fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions, but also adds a few more ponies. The 1.9-litre turbo diesel range now includes a 130HP TTiD unit that replaces the previous 120HP engine, a 160HP version that takes the place of the 150HP engine, and a range-topping 180HP variant.

Saab said with these updated diesel engines and manual gearbox, the 9-3 saloon returns a combined cycle fuel economy of 4.5 lt/100km (62.8 mpg UK or 52.3mpg US) and 119 g/km CO2 emissions. For the SportCombi, the respective figures are 4.6 lt/100 km and 122 g/km, and for the 9-3 Convertible, which is available with the 160HP and 180HP diesel engines, 5.1 lt/100 km and 134 g/km.

To further optimize emissions and fuel consumption, Saab also implemented a set of efficiency measures, such as recalibrated engine and electric power management, revised gear ratios, low resistant tires, improved aerodynamics with rear underbody deflector blades and reduced weight through lighter construction and sound-deadening materials.

According to the Swedish automaker, the all-turbo petrol line-up also benefits from some of these measures (no specific details were released) resulting in an average reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of 7 percent.

For the 2011 model year, Saab is also introducing a new model to the petrol range that combines the 163HP gasoline turbo engine with the firm's XWD four-wheel drive system.

Other model year enhancements for the 9-3 include the addition of a 'change-up' indicator in the instrument cluster on all models, two new exterior colors, a perforated leather sport steering wheel on Aero models, a clutch interlock system on manual transmissions and child seat top tether anchorage points, plus new rear engine badging styled after the 9-5 saloon.

The 2011MY Saab 9-3 will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month.