Next Saab 9-3 rendering

Assuming the Chinese government approves the sale of Saab to the Pang Da and Youngman companies (a very big "if," truth be told), the Swedish automaker could indeed have a bright future... in time. With the new 9-5 and 9-4X not in need of any dire updates just yet, it'd be smart for Saab to focus on reworking its biggest volume offering, the aged 9-3. And judging by this sketch found on Swedish site Svd.se, the next 9-3 (likely called "Ninety-Three") could be quite a rakish yet practical entry into the entry-level luxury segment. The image above is said to be taken from an internal planning document, and it depicts a handsome five-door shape, with Saab's characteristic cantilevered "hockey stick" greenhouse and turbine-shaped wheels.

We at Autoblog were very fond of the three- and five-door 9-3 bodystyles from the late 1990s and early 2000s (as well as the 99 and 900 model ranges that sired them), and with more automakers proving that dramatically sloped hatchbacks can have a place in the luxury segment (thanks, Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera), the rebirth of a proper liftback 9-3 could be a strong move for the beleaguered company. Even from this grainy image, we can see a lot of influence from the Phoenix concept that bowed in Geneva earlier this year, albeit without the showcar's flashier touches.

Still, who knows if this car will ever see the light of day based on Saab's current shaky situation. For now, we're crossing our fingers. Head over to Svd.se for the full story (and more photos).