Saab Automobile Debuts 25th Anniversary Convertible

Posted on 13. Nov, 2008 by in 2000-2009, 9-3 SS


Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

Saab Automobile USA are releasing a “25th Special 9-3 Convertible” which will be showing at the Los Angeles Auto Show that begins on November 22nd.

This edition, as I suspected is only for the United States, because back in September Saab Automobile released an almost identical version called the “Air Edition” for Europe, although that version had multiple engine options along with uniform aluminum colored Turbo-X wheels.

This “25th Anniversary” edition is interesting, because although technically it has been 25 years since the 900 Cabriolet Prototype hit the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1983, however Saab Automobile released a Saab 9-3 Convertible “20th Anniversary” edition back in 2006, two years ago, not 5.

I do want to use this an opportunity to thank former President of Saab-Scania of America, Bob Sinclair for the idea of the convertible and pitching it to Sten Wennlo back in 1983, and getting the prototypes built by ASC (American Sunroof Company) here in the United States. I also want to thank Saab Automobile USA for recognizing this during the 20th anniversary of the convertible in 2006 by having a media event in Southern California showing appreciation to Bob Sinclair.

The press release is below, and as you can see there is only one engine option for this U.S. edition unlike Europe, and omitting the Turbo-X wheels, but instead including an abundant set of wheels from inventory that debuted a whole three years ago. Why is it that Saab Automobile continue to waste time and energy on something like this, where an anniversary edition was already done 2 years and with much better execution I must say.

While the Saab 9-3 Convertible in its present form is a good car, this special edition is redundant and in my opinion undermines the 20th edition Saab 9-3 convertible launch back in 2006. The least they could have done, as one commenter on Motortrend suggested: “Outfit the converitble with a burgundy leather interior and white exterior paint job if they were serious about making it a true historical “anniversary edition” successor.”

I suggest you read what others are also saying on Motortrend and Autoblog.

For Immediate Release — November 12, 2008

American debut at Los Angeles auto show
Saab Celebrates 25 years of Convertibles with Special Edition
DETROIT – The first ever Saab Convertible made its world debut at the Frankfurt auto show in the fall of 1983. Now, 25 years later, a Special Edition makes its American debut at the Los Angeles International auto show which opens to the public on November 22. This new version of the Saab 9-3 Convertible will be showcased in a unique bright champagne metallic color.
Saab surprised the automotive world when it pioneered the concept of a ‘four season, four-seat’ soft top Convertible. Designed to be practical and stylish, the Scandinavian-styled convertible changed the perception of open top vehicles to be used all the year round.

“Saab has sold more than a quarter of a million convertibles worldwide and this latest edition highlights the timeless design and responsible performance that Saab convertibles have always represented,” said Steve Shannon, executive director, marketing and product, Saab Automobile USA.
The special edition Saab Convertible will be available in three metallic colors to include Jet Black, Carbon Grey and the new Bright Champagne. It will feature Saab’s signature 2.0-liter, 210 hp four cylinder engine and can be matched to six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions.
Special content includes influences from the Turbo X performance model, such as the design of the front bumper and steering wheel plus carbon fiber interior finishes and black floor mats with grey binding. Like the Aero version, the rear shows dual exhaust pipes and an anthracite grey bumper insert. Five-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels will be standard.
Expected to arrive in dealer showrooms in January 2009, the Saab 9-3 2.0T Special Edition Convertible will be priced starting at $ 46,725 including destination charges.

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