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One Quarter Century On, An Icon Shines In Los Angeles

The first and latest generation of four season turbocharged droptops.

By Gunnar Heinrich | IMG (modified) Saab Automobile

OWNING, in quantity one, a Saab convertible, I do profess a soft spot for Svenska droptops.

Since the 80s, the Saab convertible continues to be a key alternative choice for luxurious, year-round, open air cruising, in a marketplace over stuffed with Teutons.

To make that point and spool it home, Saab is bucking the parent company’s dramatic west coast scale back by presenting the 25th Anniversary Special Edition 9-3 Convertible in Los Angeles.

Good for Saab.

The best made of any Saab to date, the present generation 9-3 convertible like any Trollhattan product, has plenty of fat quirks to poke a cynical stick at; along with oodles of quibbles for any concerted driver to, well, quibble over.

But icons are fallible. It’s part and parcel of what makes them special. Would so many of us lust after a classic Alfa Romeo Spider without it being so beautifully different?

Twenty five years on and with more than 250,000 convertibles sold, that this special edition 9-3 is painted in celebratory “champagne metallic” seems altogether right.

Here’s to another 250,000 in another 25.

Full press release after the jump.

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.

Saab is a division of General Motors Corp. Saab Automobile USA is the importer and/or distributor of the Saab 9-3, 9-5 and 9-7X for Saab Automobile AB, Sweden. For the 2009 model year, Saab offers 7 different models that deliver 27 mpg or better according to EPA Highway fuel economy standards. In addition to 4 years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper warranty, including roadside assistance and courtesy transportation, every new Saab comes with 3 years/36,000 miles no-charge scheduled maintenance plus standard Onstar and XM Satellite radio. Visit www.saabusa.com for more information.

November 13, 2008
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About the Author: Gunnar Heinrich is publisher of Automobiles De Luxe online and is executive producer of the Automobiles De Luxe Television series on PBS member station CPTV.

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Filed Under: SAAB

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