The images reveal overhauled side and rear-three-quarter styling for the 9-3 hatch and convertible variants, which is understood to have been completed under the direction of former Saab design boss Jason Castriota.
From the screenshots, it appears the five-door variant was set to more heavily embrace the company’s signature hatchback shape, with the bootlid following the line of the rear windscreen rather than flattening out like a sedan. The tail-lights seemingly draw inspiration from the last Saab 9-5, while the black bootlid spoiler adds to the distinctive rear-end design.
The profile images confirm the 9-3’s front-end was also in line for a new look, with sharper, narrower headlights and larger, more aggressive air intakes.
To be underpinned by the all-new Saab Phoenix platform (which debuted beneath the Saab Phoenix concept), the third-generation Saab 9-3 was set to be unveiled at the 2012 Geneva motor show last March. Its debut was delayed while the company underwent bankruptcy proceedings, but never eventuated before Saab Automobile’s bankruptcy estate was purchased by Hong Kong-owned National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) in September.
NEVS plans to recommence production of the second-generation 9-3 later this year before adding an all-new vehicle based on 9-3 technology using a new electric powertrain from 2014.