Saab 9-3 Independence Edition

Spotted in the public domain.

Now that is one good looking convertible.

If you’ve been keeping pace, you’ll know that the Saab 9-3 Independence Edition will be a limited edition, with just 366 cars world wide.

Hit that link for the details we (believe we) know so far.

UPDATE: Also seen in the public domain…..

Thanks to Knape for the tip.

105 thoughts on “Saab 9-3 Independence Edition”

  1. Can’t wait to see a picture of the REAL thing! Too bad they’re so limited… I’d LOVE to see these crowding the streets.

    • Bravado, I just about spit out my drink ( from laughing so hard) on the upholstery option assessment….how true it may be if the color option included java!

      I imagine it will be a very sharp looking car when viewed in the steel and leather!

    • Haha, that’s exactly what my wife and I both said when that interior shot popped up – who thought that was a good idea – Top Gear will kink over in laughter at those seats!!
      Love the exterior though.

    • I think these skidmarks reflect the underbelly feelings VM & Co. must have experienced when signing that multi-zillion-contract with GM and knowing what they needed to borrow to do it.


        • Check out the AEROpolis

          dealer badge on the back of the NG9-5 at 1’57” in the video… That’s cool, way to go AEROpolis!

          • AEROpolis is a lithuanian SAAB’s official repair and care center. What means AERO, knows everyone, and polis translates into english as pole (for example: north pole, south pole), not as police, anyway, in swedish it sounds like AEROpolice, because polis is police in swedish.

  2. Wouldn’t that have been nice to see at the (Toronto) Canadian Auto Show this week. Too bad, from my investigation on their website, Saab (canada) won’t be there at all. If this is the final truth, save for last minute show up (not published) then “what are they thinking”! All this week in Toronto the Auto Show is talk talk talk – over 5 million people in the general region. Nobody even knows Saab is alive here in Canada.

    • It is strange, as I can remember to have seen Saab on their map, and the Saab facebook site still announces the event, and shows Saab on their Toronto Auto show page.

      Maybe somebody from Springman’s Saab can tell us what happened !!!

      • Unbelievably, Saab does not show on the official program (web nor print) of the Toronto International Auto Show ( This was confirmed by a local dealer [Budd’s] during our [Saab Club of Canada] meeting there this past Wednesday.

        However, Saab will be there. And a 9-4x too! Apparently we’re nestled on the first floor near Ferrari and other exotics. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it down as I’m travelling. But somebody local is bound to comment…

  3. That car looks very nice! I just wonder if this sunset red color will be available in the 9-3 Griffin as well or if it is unique for the independence edition?

  4. WOW it looks great.

    “Hirsch leather instrument panel and other other Hirsch interior appointments”

    Sorry if I’m behind the news on this one.

    So are Hirsch bits going to be increasingly part of “OEM” cars on the showroom floor ?

  5. Hey you Crayzy dutchies 🙂 We are as happy as you are 😀

    Beautiful color. That car looks like it would eat you up!


  6. The wheels are amazing, but my favorite part might be the fog light surround. The new grille is pretty stunning as well. Knowing this is also similar to the facelifted 9-3, it’s amazing what a little tweak can do to make the previously facelifted car look old.

  7. Picture of the seats reminded me of the Chicago Auto Show yesterday and the ONLY thing that bugs me about my and ALL 93s….NO perforated seats on ANY model!!! Solid leather seats become uncomfortable on sunny days over 20*C and really no amount of AC changes that. Maybe its a Swedish thing cuz ovlov are the same. But there are Camrys, Kias, Suzukis, VWs that are not in the 93s price range that DO. I use one of those cabdriver bead things all spring, summer and fall and on interstate trips the TiD loves and that does the job. Now if there were a way to put one of those inside the seat…THAT would be sweet.

    Other things I saw at the auto show. One of Buicks very similar motors will have a start/stop alternator/starter soon. Quite a few companies had copcars. Saab needs some beat 95 diesel copcar just for S & Gs. Cutaway motors and display cars turned on there sides wouldnt hurt either.

    The Hirschs were pretty cool.

    • Sorry Fred I happen to like my leather served solid 🙂
      It is actually something I would look for -perhaps your perforated idea could be an option but a few people I know round here just would not consider it as it looks cheap-its standard on many Fords and Korean cars which turns me off, also it doesn’t wear as well and is more fragile after 5 years and 100,000 miles it looks bad and is more prone to tearing.
      I my view it one sure way to ruin decent leather and I am glad its just not considered currently.

        • Bravada,
          perforated leather is easy to do, but to introduce ventilated seats, heated steering wheel and heated wipers could be by far more expensive than the extra money from the extra sold cars.

          The NG9-3 is another thing.

          BTW, the perforated/ventilated black seats of my DE9–5 look fabulous. 😉

          • Well, this is very old GM thinking. We don’t know if this will sell, so let’s skip it. GM (and everybody’s favourite Bob Lutz) thought nobody will care about navigation or rear armrest in the NA Epsilons, so they’ve skipped it, automatically rendering the car obsolete. The sole availability of features such as navigation or the abovementioned elements makes enhances the car’s image.

            Not many people are like me, who will pass a great car over the inavailability of certain features (apart from classic cars, no cars w/o Bluetooth for me), but certainly building a thoroughly Scandinavian car focused on comforting the drivers so that they focus on the road in turn while missing pretty obvious options in that regard makes the statement compromised. Same for the “safe car” 9-5 that comes without rear airbags and central headrest in some markets.

            Not to mention Saab pioneered the ventillated seats! This alone should make them standard accross the board. It’s as if Citroen abandoned the hydractive suspension.

          • Bravada,
            this is not GM thinking, although you are right in your argumentation, But we are talking here about a car with an estimated life of 1,5 – 2 Years, after that it will be replaced, furthermore we are talking about a car company that needs to maximize the profit out of every cent it invests.

            The money they invest in the current 9-3 is money they can’t invest in the NG9-3, it is not that simple, but I think this describes the situation quite well.

          • @ Bravada.
            They should not be standard across the board for the reasons already stated. I would go out of my way to avoid perforated leather. They should be an option on Ventilated seats

      • A lot of it has to do with where you live and how much you drive. In sunny, usually hot southern US, Id think absolutely. Even in Chicago, when I drive tons of interstate with a car that will go 600 miles on a tank, sitting in one place for four hours or so needs more than a solid leather seat. And it makes a huge difference with the AC too. The 95s have it and Im sure if its done properly, durability should not be an issue.

  8. I’m glad to notice that so many other car website and webblogs are using Saabsunited as their first source of information as regards Saab. All these sites are referring to this site when publishing the independce pics (and other developments).This site really should be continued. Red J……

  9. I like what they’ve done for the Independence Edition, and especially the colour. Even so, that picture only strengthens my previous conviction: I don’t like modern cars! Compare that 9-3 with a proper car, like this one. The front of the 9-3 is twice as high! The edge of the hood of the 900 would probably hit an average pedestrian slightly above the knee, while the 9-3 would reach the hip. This is of course not a Saab thing, it’s the same for all cars. But why?

    Apart from making the cars much uglier, you would also expect the higher front to result in more air resistance. Is it a fashion trend? Or maybe a consequence of modern engine development? Surely, it can’t all be about pedestrian safety? That should be solvable by other means.

  10. I prefer the normal Aero. There is to many details now on this independence-version. This extra detail inside the fog-light-hole are to much and in addition to everything else happening on this front becoming overwhelming and to far away from the understated simplicity which is one ons the strengths about Saab.

    • I usually agree with your views on design. But do you really feel that an extra-special limited edition “hey look at us” anniversary model should primarily be defined by “understated simplicity”? This model’s main purpose is to stand out, so it’s only reasonable that the designers go a little crazy.

      • No, I can follow you that this edition has to stand out and I like the special color and accept the rims, intetrior etc. I just don’t like so many things happening in the front and I think that the detail inside the fog-lamp-hole it the one that tilt the balance …

        • It is an awfully small picture, and the wide angle really puts the emphasis on the fog lights. I still like it. 🙂

          I wonder if one will show up in the museum? Anna wants to go there next weekend.

      • I do kinda agree with Troels. The previous “special editions” (I mean Anniversaries here) have been much more tasteful. Even the Viggen, which was anything but understated, carried the typical Saab design traits of simplicity and balance. This is the first time I can say a Saab look busy.

        For whatever reason, both the foglight treatment, the alloys, the colour and the upholstery simply don’t resonate with me.

        I love the 2007 Annis:

        That said, I am still a sucker for the 9-3. It might not be the newest car in the market, but it certainly has the looks.

  11. I think it looks great! And a great color for a vert. It got the 9-5 like “air intake” and it suits the car great. Ok, show me what happend with the rear 🙂

  12. We actually have two of these cars coming to us at Springman’s. Not sure when to expect them yet, it was reported on here yesterday that a dealer in Edmonton was expecting one next week which I would find highly unlikely. We ordered one in auto and one in stick. I think the colour will look amazing when you see it in person for those that are concerned with it, web photo’s never do a car justice.

    • Jason,
      the article in the Edmonton Journal was also very confusing for me, because he speaks about that car as the first new Saab, how can it be that in Edmonton no new cars will arrive till mid-April???

      • Red J,

        It is possible for it to be the first new Saab for that area because the dealer was not part of the original 12 dealers that signed up with Saab last year and it does take some time to get our orders in Canada. I just don’t think it’s possible for them to be getting that particular car that quickly. I have two ordered and I have not been given a date for arrival so if they are getting theirs that quickly, I would be amazed and pleasently surprised. I just received my 9-5 Aero’s, so if they got these Independence models to dealers that fast, I would be blown away.

        • So Edmonton in Dealer Nr. 13

          On a side note, do you know when will be updated?
          The Saab catalogue you can get from your facebook site is really nice but in the last page you find this text

          Now it’s time to let your inspiration really take off by designing your own
          Saab. Explore all your possibilities and find out more about our models,
          specifications, options and accessories at

          • Red J,

            Yes, they were number 13. To be honest, I never noticed the last page reference to but I sincerely hope that means it’s close to being done. We just received our brochures last week and I was told there was a pdf version of the brochure, so I uploaded to our site so that people could access it. Anyone wanting to see it can go to our facebook page Springman’s Saab or go to our webpage at and look under specials and flyers.

          • Jason,
            just for curiosity.
            The guy at Just Saab in Cincinnati that send Swade the pictures of the “wooden” 9-4X said that the wood* would be better than the wood* from the 9-5.
            As we see almost no wooden 9-3 here in Europe, how do the wood* in the 9-3 and the wood* in the 9-5 compare?

            *Maybe its only fake wood, but I call it Wood

          • Red J,
            The wood trim in the 9-5 and 9-3 that AJ would have been talking about seems to be the same as eachother. I haven’t had a chance to ask him how the 9-4X is better, but in the 9-3, it’s a very small amount of wood trim and in both it’s quite dark so I’m not sure if the concern of the wood trim was that it was too dark in both models or if it’s more of a concern on how shiny it is???? I personally think it still looks good in both models and I’m sure AJ would say the same, I guessing it just looks better in the 9-4X. I actually only have a 9-5 premium with the wood trim as the aero’s I have, have the silver trim. Hopefully everyone in Cincinnati got a chance to get out there and see the Just Saab guys and the 9-4, sounds like from their facebook page that most non-SAAB people love it, as well as the Saabers.

      • small detail.. almost silly to say but I’m good with those kind of comments… so…..

        “Sunset” signals end of the day…when somethings passes… it “fades into the sunset”

        Sunrise,beginning of a new day….. a new era…

        for me, the color is Sunrise Red… may not sound as seductive though…

    • Spyker like details emerging…? This just keeps getting better.
      Never been a fan of Orange sadly but it will grab folks attention-shout HEY LOOK AT ME…and emerging as they are from near death that will be a good idea.
      The future has to be bright…

      • I’m very okay with the orange, never thought I’d like it as much as I do, but it’s very classy. This is a great melding of Spyker and Saab. I can even see a bit of Spyker detailing in the air intake/fog lights. And those wheels! Wow, instant classic.

    • Nice pictures of your Saabs there Jorgen.
      I set that “Ready for take-off” picture as my avatar here on SU through, hope you don’t mind.


      This Independence Edition Saab does look really fresh and it feels very good to be able to see such a car being produced by them – taste the word, independence…

      Will they launch independence-models each year or is it every fifth or tenth year?

    • Jörgen. Looking at your link and your car makes me realise we probably only live a block from each other! I recognise your x. Have’nt seen it in a while though. Världen är liten!
      /Kalle, 93 aero ttid silver (om du känner igen min pärla)

      • Kalle,
        SC or sedan? Sidestreet of Vanadisvägen I guess. I keep the bulk of my Saab cars in the SUHRT garage in Sundbyberg/citysuburb of Stockholm. Right now my Turbo X is sitting out in the extremely cold weather here in Stockholm.

        • SC. I usually keep it around Frejgatan – Upplandsgatan.
          Many times have I walked past your x on the way to the store admiering it.

  13. So amazing that people just have the energy to complain on a model by Saab for their one year anniversery. Wuhuuuu.. “it’s not the right color on that”.. wuhuuu.. “other models were more tasteful”… wuhuuu…

    Come on – some people here sit to much in front of the computer trying to build up a fantasy world around Saab in their own head with Saab only doing their “dream model” every single time.

  14. Guys,to each his own but the car looks Fantastic!!!!.And it may have orange poop on the seat, it just wouldn’t matter to me.
    It looks very simple(i stared at that picture million times)yet it looks aggressive without being ostentatious .It is a great car.If i had the money(nah scratch that) if i lived in a different city or had a garage I would definitely sell my soul to get one.However,i’m still paying off my 95 aero(not much payments left though)then it is off to the dealer to get a new red or gray manual 93x which would fill my needs much more so than the convertible.And in my case a little bit more practical.
    So stop complaining and keep on SAABing !!!!!!!!!!:-)

    • The best rims on the 9-5 (‘Black Turbines’ aka ‘Panthers’). Period. Against just about any body colour. I wouldn’t buy the car without them (even the Hirsch wheels don’t come close IMHO). And I might very well buy because of them! Pity the brouchure omits — and all other wheels — from the options list (never mind the ‘Technical specs’ of the 9-5) .

      The online configurator for Canada remains still-born. Not to be negative (ahem…) but if the designated Importer is any way responsible for such a fiasco then I suspect their days are numbered (or would be if I Ruled The Roost). There are Canadian Salespersons starving because of this intolerable situation (with no leases in place…made more embarrassing that Canada’s largest Autoshow is in Full Swing..).

      As always: I’m open to correction (one one thousand, two one thousand…)

  15. In a earlier post tallpuma posted a link to a pdf with a orange independence day playsam car. Where to get that wooden toy for us who hopes it will be worth a lot when we are really old and needs a denture checkup?

  16. I might be wrong but it looks like the front has been given a mild facelift, more than the foglight surrounds that have been previously shown. Anyway it looks great.

  17. I want it. I would love to switch out my 19k mile 2000 9-3 SE vert for one of those. It would go well with the Lightning blue Viggen…

    Just dreaming…

  18. Swades exactly right,the Electric Blue Anniversary edition redux.How and why are we supposed to get excited by new paint different wheels and a racing stripe down the middle of the seat cushion.I just don’t get it anymore.We’ve been there and we’ve done that.What next? the special the special”Free t-shirt” edition

  19. Sorry but SAAB’s should be understated and classy in my book.
    On this one I think SAAB’s lost the plot completely.
    Im not a fan of the stripe in the seats and the silver detail on the side of the foglights is just a joke…why ???
    The new style larger foglight surrounds I can live with.
    As for the orange colour, its everyones personal choice,but for me SAAB’s should only come in black !
    Not that i’m knocking orange….I had a bright orange FIAT X1/9 when I was younger.

    • Isn’t that to take understated to a too low level? Would a black standard 9-3 Linear with 16″ rims be enough understated? Write something about what you would have expected in a special edition instead of “lost it all” statements over some fog lights.

      • There is nothing wrong with a 9-3 Linear if that is what somebody wants (and I’ve considerd one). I am only stating my personal opinion.
        Personaly I would love to see a special edition convertible with the Carlsson (UK special edition) full Hirsch leather interior and the Hirsch aerodynamic bits..
        Fan ventilated leather seats would also be nice like in the old 9-5 Aeros (UK).
        The current UK TTid Aero convertible is great (I have one), apart from the low rent GM plastics in the interior and the poor sounding CD player. (I am comparing it to the two 9-5’s that I also have….a MY2000 2.0 lpt SE and a MY2009 1.9 Tid Turbo Edition, all three cars are in black with black leather).
        The older 9-5, even though it was still under GM has much more of a quality feel to the interior which I feel the current Saabs lack, but i’m sure will improve.
        My opinion on the colour and styling details is that the other Saab drivers that I personaly know also enjoy the subtle anonimity of a black stealthy car and a car the colour of a flying satsuma with skid mark seats and unnecessary silver plastic add ons wouldn’t send them heading for their check books…………….now throw all the Carlsson saloon bits at one and i’ll be tempted !

        • Ok. I also like the UK Carlsson edition. I think to make a special model you need to bring something more though and I think this is what Saab has done. A black 9-3 vert upgraded with Hirsh components is however great it is an upgraded vert and if you have the money you can build your own special edition. Here you will get something unique (as far as we know now that is). Special color, rims, special fog lights?, as well as Hirsch interior. I think 365 people will think this special edition is very attractive. You get the new engine in there as well.

  20. sad to see those cheap stuck on headlight washers, not the original pop-up ones from the original 9-3 back 2002.

    • I’ve found out that the pop-up washers are freezing when very cold out-side. They don’t do much good then even if I agree that it is better looking. I guess you don’t want Saab bring back the headlight wipers then 😉

  21. I can see an awful lot of negative comments about this which saddens me…for those that want understatement I think the Aero is available with a premium interior…I’m sure there will also be a final final special edition once Saab formerly announce the ng9-3 to help shift last of the older stock.
    I for one think this brash approach puts the ailing brand back on the map-it needs to be a high profile “Hello” and I am sure many people especially the younger folks will welcome the styling/detailing. This model was meant not to be understated for very specific reasons.

    • “awful lot of negative comments”?

      It seems to me that the negative comments (some of the silly joke ones aside) can be counted on one hand.

      I’d also like to point out that e.g. Troels is a professional Scandinavian designer. Even though I do not always agree with him, I still learn a lot from his comments (both the negative as well as the positive ones). I’m not sure you counted his comment among those you considered ‘negative’, so I am probably missing the mark by a mile, but a clarification would be nice. 🙂

  22. I happen to agree with Troels just a feeling though not directed at specific people or comments if it was I would use the Reply button.
    Criticism is good-it helps one know where they need to improve without criticism and guidence complex concepts will be doomed to failure. Maybe I’m just oversensitive, ofcourse We all have the right to say why we don’t like something be you a proffessional designer or an employee of Saab, or maybe even just the next guy to buy one…but lets understand why Saab made this car, given where they are right now, before we get upset about it being a new direction and not fulfilling the ideal attributes we would like to see which are on their way possibly but need a little more time to come to fruition. not long to Geneva.

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