All the recent talk of Saab has mostly centered around the new 9-5. But lest anyone forget about its entry-level offering, Saab is turning its attention towards the 9-3 to bring it closer to the ideals introduced by the 9-5, while adding some freshness in the process. According to a Saabs United source, the next 9-3 will receive a mild facelifted and a few engine room tweaks for the 2011 model year.

Fans of earth-tones will undoubtedly be ecstatic with the new Javabrown exterior hue, and Diamond Silver is another new color. Turbine-like wheels that echo the new 9-5 are included and expect a revised front fascia to match. Two new model choices – "Vector Griffin" and "Griffin Aero" – will be available, and the front bumpers will be slightly different between the trims.

Engine selections will be market-dependent, with a 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder with 163 horsepower in naturally aspirated form and 220 hp when sporting a turbocharger. Some markets can order a diesel, which will have three versions, delivering 130-, 160- or 180-hp. Interior changes are slight and boil down to color and materials juggling. It's clear that Saab has its design mojo working, hopefully it can infuse the same kind of enthusiasm into the sales numbers.

[Source: Saabs United]