A woman and her Griffin (the car of Anna’s dreams)

Ready for takeoff
We all know what happened to the ‘last Saab’, but less is known of the others that ANA recently built.

I am pleased to announce that one of the last Griffins now belongs to my wife!

Yesterday we finally took delivery of Anna’s dream car, a new jet black 9-3 Griffin Aero equipped with the Independence Edition wheels. We reserved the car as early as May 26th, the day we were all gathered to witness the hand-over of the very last Griffin. It dawned on me that Anna’s dream to own a new Saab would probably be hard to fulfill given the current status of the factory and the brand. Richard Nilsson reminded me that ANA still had a few new Griffins left. I decided to step up to the plate.

Propelled by a 130bhp TTiD engine, it is not the fastest vehicle on the road, but it still possesses enough bite to pass the odd truck or (cough)Ovlov.

I have been very critical of diesel engines in the past since they emit much more particles than most gasoline engines. However, this car will mostly traffic the country side and won’t bother the city dwellers much. Besides, Saab’s diesel engines are said to be among the best when it comes to emissions, so I hope this one won’t be too much of a burden to others in case we do venture into a big city during the winter.

The 9-3’s fuel consumption is very good compared to what I am used to in my 9-5 BioPower. The TTiD seems to burn roughly half the amount of fuel (~5.5 liters / 100km), but much less spirited driving was had on the way home compared to my normal driving style.

Anna’s car started out as a regular Griffin, but we opted for the TurboX steering wheel as well as the Aero front spoiler and rear diffuser/exhaust system. As this effectively transforms the car into an Aero, we asked Richard to grant us the Aero-badge which the car now proudly carries.

We also requested the full leather seats (with horizontal ‘bamboo’ stripes), but a complete set has yet to surface. The lack of full leather has so far not diminished the pleasure of actually driving this car. The smile on Anna’s face speaks volumes of just how fantastic this car is and the miracle that was Saab (and still is for those of us fortunate enough to drive them). Anna has yet to take her driver’s exam, so her first drive of her new car took place in the parking lot at an undisclosed location in Trollhättan.

After the informal test-drive we headed for the Saab museum to round the day off. A museum visit always lifts my spirit, but also reminds me of what could have been…

In short: A very happy wife (+ proud hubby) and three Saabs currently in our care.

43 thoughts on “A woman and her Griffin (the car of Anna’s dreams)”

  1. Congrats on the new car! It really is a beautiful car… Shame we didn’t get any over here in the States.

    I’m still trying to get my dad to replace his ’99 A4 with a leftover 9-3X or a used Turbo X… We’ll see how that goes, but perhaps when I get my license I’ll have a Saab of my own to borrow!

    • Thanks Jake.

      Have you made your father aware of the fire sales that has taken place on new Saabs? There are some really nice deals to be had out there. Sure, you do not get the factory warranty (which is reflected in the much lower price tag!), but you get a brand new car that is built to last.

      I am perhaps overly optimistic with regards to spare parts, but there is every indication in place that Saab Parts are working hard to take control over the tools and ensure availability for years to come. I strongly believe the supply will pick up noticably by year-end.

      • There are enough Saabs on the road—-even the newer ones—-to justify a healthy spare parts business. There is money to be made and the demand will be there.

      • I have! I’ve written what amounts to a small paper for school with statistics about Saab Parts, etc. and how even though buying a new Saab without a warranty is a compromise, it’s still less of a compromise than buying a used Ford Fusion or Subaru without a warranty for the same price. He’s a stubborn guy with no experience with Saabs, though, so I figured it would be difficult to convince him. His main concerns were parts and service, and considering there are over 500,000 Saabs on the road in the US and we’re in the most Saab-heavy of those areas (2 dealerships/service centers within 10 miles of each other), parts shouldn’t be an issue and neither should service. I’ve already been to the dealership selling the leftover 9-3X, and it’s definitely the exact car he’s looking for (small AWD wagon), for a good price, and with no history (it’s new). The only thing wrong with it is the lack of warranty and slight uncertainty about parts, which should NOT be a problem.

  2. Love those wheels, we have a customer who just bought a set from us and we brought another set in. Our customer put them on his black 9-3 and they look incredible. Congrats to you both, enjoy your holidays.

  3. I recall you both coveting a humbler Griffen at the Last Saab event — is this the same car? The modifications you’ve chosen are perfect (front and rear + wheels…and X steering wheel (of course!)). Honeycomb lower intake is The Bizness. Tinkering Inveterate: Add Hirsch upper portion grill ( also honeycomb) and then you can call it a A Day :).

    Can’t argue with MPG…but does Hirsch (or Maptun ?) offer anything to further the underhood bite?

    Looking forward to Oktoberfest test drive!

    • NTP,
      the Hirsch Honeycomb Grill doesn’t fit to the Griffin front.

      Regarding the bite, Hirsch offers an update to 170hp and 380 Nm, although the engine could go to the full 200hp and 450Nm as the other TTiD4 engines, but because of the smaller Brakes the Power is limited to those 170 hp. On the other side Maptun goes full monty with 210hp and 450Nm. But Anna still has to get her drivers licence.

      BTW, those wheels looks awesome on a black 9-3!!

      And the little Griffin spoiler in the back makes the car more visually balanced on the side view.

      • That engine came in three levels of output, 130, 160, 180. These were factory options, so surely Dealers (those left) have access to that technology and so could carry out the upgrade without having to pay Hirsch/Maptun prices? And because it was a factory option, the brakes are surely not a problem. As regards Rune`s concern about emissions – these cars do have Diesel Particulate Filters, so he can rest easy on that score.
        But a terrific looking car whose dark looks are matched by the absolutely gorgeous lady called Anna!

      • Didn’t realize the upper portion of the Hirsch grill couldn’t be fit on newest front 9-3. I know the SAAB bit is larger..that must conspire against. Are you sure, RJ?

        I wonder if that front end could be retro-fit to a Turbo X…then darken grill and foglight surrounds some (‘titanium’). Perhaps add lip spoiler and extend splitters. Angle of foglight cutouts makes for even more Aggressive head-on and silhouette overall (@Anna: ignore that–Rune wants a Defensive Driving Spouse).

        And note to self: It’s Griffin, not Griffen! 🙂

        • I have the info from the source in StGallen.
          The Problem is the Wing in the middle as you say.

          The whole griffin front bumper system should fit to the Turbo X, but as you say, the silver pieces should be darker and there is no splitter in the front.

    • First of all, thanks for the lovely comments all of you!

      Mark, we may have drooled over three different cars that day, one of which had identical specs to this one. The BioPower model we contemplated was not as well-equipped and struck me as a slightly less ideal deal (I am worming my way out of saying “not a nice deal”, because that would be a false statement — but our deal was just that much sweeter).

      A tune that adds more kick in the pants is on the wishlist, but one thing (and one bank account) at a time… 🙂

  4. Rune, if you guys ever consider trading in that car let me know!

    PS. Remember to change the transmission oil after a few months and then every other year -I assume it’s a manual. If you ever see smoke in the mirror under heavy acceleration (ahem, no revving before the diesel is broken-in properly) have it checked. It’s a leaking turbo pressure somewhere or the MAF sensor is dirty/needs to be replaced.
    I’d appreciate it 😉

    • RS: Is that manual transmission advice applicable to all sticks, or is there some defect with this gearbox that makes it need such close attention?

      • No defects that I’m aware of. My recommendation was based on the fact that since they don’t make Saabs anymore, Anna probably wants to take extra good care of her car and since it’s a diesel it will be on the road for a looong time.
        That said I’d change the man. transmission oil at least every three years/100k miles on any car. Although it’s getting harder these days due to completely closed gear boxes. In fact I don’t know if it’s even possible on a MY12 9-3 without having to dismantle something?
        The stick starts to feel sluggish when it is time for a change. Haven’t had transmission trouble since the old 99 so I must be doing something right.

  5. Congrats to you both. A lovely looking car and looks stunning in black with those wheels. I love my MY08 TTID but i pine for a Griffin. The styling just has that extra edge to it and makes a huge difference to the appearance of the car. My budget just wouldn’t stretch that far sadly though when i was buying. Perhaps in a few years time i can trade in for a second hand one.

    A stunning car to go with a stunning lady if you don’t mind me saying so! 🙂

    All the best to you both.

  6. Slightly OT, but near.

    ANA can complete cars and, presumably at a push, could build them from scratch from parts. So what is to stop them, and presumably others, from building a trickle of new cars to order, perhaps with minor modifications? Would it just be completely uneconomic?

  7. Well done sir!

    Those wheels look great on that car. On my visit to Sweden last month, I was actually going to purchase those but went with the18 inch “Double Blades” instead. The 9-3 pulls them off quite well but the couple of 9-5s that I saw them fitted too just didn’t look right.

  8. Beautiful car. Not sure why you say it can pass the odd “ovlov” though, my S60 is more powerful and has more torque than the stock 93 Turbo4 I was driving. The S60 R Design can overtake the V6 Aero Saabs too.

    Congrats on the car though, would love to still be driving my 2011 93 Combi.

    • Eric: I love Saabs. But it’s embarassing when other fans of Saab make comments that are not accurate—-especially when it’s combined with panning other car makers. The Volvo “R” series are very well executed cars—-love the interiors. I want Volvo/Geely to gain the rights to the Saab name and sell them alongside Volvo.

      • 90% of the V’s out here are definitely not R cars. Anyone in Europe remember the hype about the 105 hp low CO2 whale (V70) just before SAAB came out with the low emission TTiD and about 70 hp more power?

  9. Stunning, great in Black and the front end looks bang up to date, love it. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it for many years Anna.

    My 2011 TTiD now has 14,000 miles on it, first service coming up very soon.

  10. I love the wheels, first time seeing them on a black car. Do they still have them for sale at the main dealership? Did anyone on this site order rims when they were first offered for sale?


  11. Now I understand why you called me the other day and asked if I was in Trollhättan =P

    All I can say is, WOW, that car really turned out to be a beauty! =) Now I know two beautiful girls who both drive beautiful black 9-3’s 😉

    Congratulations! =)

  12. Thx Tim 🙂 Wait until we’ll got a leather seats and tune it up a bit, then it will be just Perfection! 😛 Say hello to Johanna 🙂

  13. Can I just check something?

    9-3 TTiD 130 Aero? Sure? I would have accepted a TTiD 180 Aero, surely having the least powerful engine ‘powering’ the performance orientated model just goes to demonstrate how much the Aero tag was devalued….

    • As I mentioned, we had performed some modifications to the point where what was missing (to be an Aero) is different software for the engine (which it’ll get eventually) and bigger brake discs.

      SatNav – check, TurboX steering wheel – check, memory seats – check, etc…

      • Yesterday I spotted a Mazda 5 Sport – a Mazda 5 is an MPV, and MPVs cannot be described as sporty. Likewise this morning I spotted a VW Transporter T30TiD SportLine – it is still a van, again not sporty.

        what Anna has is a Griffin SE TTiD 130 with bits added, therefore not an Aero. It does not need SatNav to qualify as an Aero, I’ve seen many without SatNav. Memory seats? again not standard on Aero.

        • …and what would you say when we install MapTun stage 1 or similar (210 bhp / 450Nm)?

          We are hardly debating the difference between a van and a sedan here, but different software for the engine controller.

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