When the first 900 Convertible was introduced in 1986, SAAB really turned the market for convertibles upside down. SAAB's 900 and 9-3 convertibles were a resounding success and are generally considered to be the true icons in the segment. Uusikaupunki, Finland and Graz, Austria were the assembly plants before the Cabriolet production was relocated to Trollhättan in 2009, the same location where regular production halted in 2011. Since December 2013 however, MY14 9-3 SportSedans were manufactured and only last week, a thoroughly upgraded 9-3 Cabriolet left stabl ...
The first convertible
A SAAB Cabriolet has always been extremely high on my wish list. Apart from stunning design and great performance, the feeling of freedom when driving down the roof is just unsurpassed. I could've just been on the look out for one for many years, but never again.
A SAAB dealer in Falun (some 2009 kilometers north of Stockholm) had a MY300 08-9 Cabriolet Vector in Arctic White for sale. Not just what the 3t BioPower automatic loaded with options (eg cornering xenon headlights and the premium sound system with xnumx cd changer), it features the light beige roof and parchment leather interior that i really liked. The car was technically in the process of being used as a demo vehicle and as a result of the GM announcement of an "orderly wind down" of SAAB, I was able to negotiate a great deal and trade in my MY05 9-3 SportSedan I had been driving earlier.
I still remember the talks I had with the salesman vividly. SAAB brand. He was talking about, but so what really expressing deep passion for the SAAB brand. He drove an almost identical 9-3 himself and I did not regretted that "summer car" all year round, something I actually did the first two years and never regretted.
Apart from the usual maintenance and a paint sealant, I never felt the urge to do any upgrades to the car. It was perfect just the way it was! Well ... until I got the MY14 9-3 Sedan, Then Orio ran a campaign here in Sweden with great deals on front bumper / grill upgrades. MY08 9-3 into a MY14-inspired version. Although a TurboX / TX has been quite nice too, I have to try and try my MYXNUMX XNUMX-XNUMX.
The one thing I never realized could make a big difference were the leather deer door handles. They were also fitted in the 9-3N Sedan and they really provide a premium feeling to the car. If you ask me, they should be standard on any SAAB. Finding a set turned out to be more difficult (like with most deer accessories at the moment), but I was lucky in the end. Another orabi service provided the dashboard to titan look and SAAB Service Center to install the whole bunch.
The big change however what the exterior. I love the MY14 front. A more modern, stylish and somewhat brutal look, with the larger aircraft wing around the SAAB logo and the very distinctive fog lights. The bulbs and Daytime Running Lights (DRL) were introduced by SAAB Automobile as part of the MY12 / Griffin series, but NEVS went a step further by introducing LED Bulbs and Daytime Running Lights (DRL). These DRLs turned out to be a major challenge for my upgrade attempt as the electrical values of the new bulbs do not match the pre-MY14 9-3's.
The MY14 Convertible by NEVS
These DRL modifications required experts and I found them at NEVS in Trollhättan! Not at the factory as you may suspect, but actually at their service department. Probably one of NEVS “best kept secrets”, this part of the NEVS 'Technical Development Center has actually been operations since 2013 and is run by a team of highly experienced professionals. The team did nothing short of an outstanding job. A new MY14 front (with working DRL's!), An updated back and the finishing touch with MY14 SAAB logos on the steering wheel, the rims and on the ignition key. And just when I thought it couldn't get any better it turned out that my car had received thorough cleaning and a waxing treatment. It feels I got a new car and this is what the MY14 SAAB 9-3 Cabriolet could have looked like!
The all-new 9-3 Convertible
9-3 Cabriolet and love writing about it, I would like to write about all-new 9-3. When I spoke to NEVS President Mattias Bergman recently, he confirmed that the Cabriolet was back in production. While most of the tools and required body presses are available, not all of them are. It has been been way too costly in the meantime (or at the suppliers' own expense). Bergman did confirm that however, the convertible is unique and essential to the brand and that is NEVS is working hard on a Phoenix-based product portfolio that is broader than SAAB Automobile has ever had. ace previously-announced in June, a new Business Plan is being worked on as we speak that will further underpin this and I am expecting NEVS to share more details soon. Until then ... time to enjoy my “new” 9-3 Cabriolet before it goes into winter storage 🙂